The Golden Man

Eternity. Eternity scares people. Nothing in all of history scares and enthralls people more. Countless lives wasted and lost, all for the search of eternity. Every culture tried their own sense of immortality, the Egyptians with their mummies, the Chinese with jade coffins, and the early English with the pursuit of alchemy. The truth of the matter holds a terrible weight. “A season to all things,” except one. For the first time ever, the sun was rising.

What would you do with a hundred years? A thousand? Eventually, the days don’t even seem separate anymore. For Him, all that exists is the concept of Now. Since the beginning He existed, since before names. Despite this, He has had countless monikers: Adam, Nicholas Flamel, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar to name a few. Military, political, artistic, all done over and over again in an endless cycle. Stories come and stories go of the eternal man, but none really capture his essence.

The earliest He could remember were the days of Adam. Before the ancient eyes seemed so ancient. A normal man to all who saw. A small house, a modest family, a normal life were all that defined Adam. However, as always, time marches on. Except, it didn’t, not for him at least. The distinction felt sudden to him, but before he knew it, he outlived his wife, children, and grandchildren. Parents should not bury their children. To ease his pain, Adam left his home and took on a new name.

Alexander intended to forget his past life. Throwing himself to military, the furthest thing from a simple farmer’s life, he rose to greatness. Everyone marveled at his great skill. A long life gives a lot of time to hone strategy. Conquest followed conquest and his fame grew, though legend will always exceed man. When enough time had passed and the time to move on came as it had so many times before, “Alexander” died to give a phoenix’s birth to a new man.

More often than not, He found himself in positions of power. What was it about those ancient eyes that willed people to bow down? A few Caesars and a King David later, He turned to something more than Himself. “Martin Luther” used his longevity and longtime study to attempt to impart something good to the world. Not many people liked that idea. After some time another man died and another man walked away.

Ah, the Golden Age of Piracy. To a man who carries so much weight inside of him, the release of the gentle rocking of a boat and as much alcohol and he could drink were nectar and ambrosia. During this time He adopted a few identities, laying claim to infamous titles such as Blackbeard, Francois Le Clerc, and Henry Morgan.

Fast forward to the birth of America. How novel the “New World” to the man who had seen everything. After a string of nondescript lives, destiny saw fit to push Him into the forefront once more. “George Washington” led the people of America to independence. After a unanimous presidency He tired of politics and the strain of running a country so yet another “soul” went to its grave.

A Civil War and an Industrial Age later the year was 1993. He had to laugh at the current year system. After all, comedy knows no age and neither did He. For some reason, menial work granted solace. Despite His apparent immortality the usual desires of food, sleep, and entertainment still applied. Only He didn’t need those things. Without them He would continue on, never dying no matter how hard he tried. This current life, Isaac Walker, lived in a small rural town and kept to himself.

With the invention of the photograph He needed to avoid showing up in the history books. His usual routine consisted of waking up to go for a walk and watch the sunrise, go to work, and go home or to whatever struck his fancy at the moment. One such day He found himself in his library. Among books handwritten by friends long since dead, He found only quiet contemplation. How many lives? How many deaths? How many friends and loved ones outlived? These were common themes. What a curse longevity could be! A bitter laugh always sat close by for those who complained of too little time. What did eternity mean if eternity meant nothing? All the time in the world and His only accomplishment was the realization that it meant nothing.

 Sleepwalking through another dreary life, one day everything changed. Upon meeting “Her” life had meaning again. He could never remember her name, but that didn’t matter. He went through so many names they ceased to have meaning to Him. All he knew was a peace long that long eluded Him. Battles, friends, and empires no longer mattered. His palace formed from the simple suburban house they bought, His armies became two beautiful children and a dog, and every day spent together became treasure. For a man who witnessed the birth and death of pretty much everything, nothing compared to the love of his family.

“There is a season to all things.” These words rang true for all but Him. His family could not elude time the same way he did. Time, reaching slowly, came and stole from Him as it always did. Black hair became gray and the strength of youth fell away to the ravages of old age. His wife fell first. The children only got 20 more years, give or take. Grief became his only companion.

A few more lives, a few more deaths, nothing really mattered anymore. No matter how many identities, nothing could take away the pain. The need to rejoin His family overtook everything. Since death wouldn’t take Him, He would take death.
Over the thousands of years, He realized the extreme gift of luck given to Him. A thousand battles and wars, yet death never found him. He didn’t really know if death could find Him like that. However, nothing would keep Him from his family. Walking back into His study, He walked back through time. Any museum would kill for His collection. Maybe they would find it after He was gone. Oh well, let the Devil take tomorrow. Stepping to his gun cabinet, He pulled out one of the many guns displayed. The American Revolution, The Civil War, Vietnam, too many wars, too many names all shown in a neat row. He sat down and thought. The sun outside began to set over the hills. A long day for sure, but it was coming to a close. “A season to all things”, hopefully His season could end. The man who held eternity in his hands threw it aside and pulled the trigger.

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