Imagine: Pesky winter colds be gone! (I could use that right now). You’ll never puke, never fail to breathe through your nostrils, never be confined to bed with a fever. And that’s just the start. Have a chronic illness? A life threatening one like my character Julia? One sip you and you’re instantaneously healed. That’s a pretty good deal.
As miserable as illness is, isn’t it a part of the human experience? And doesn’t being sick often bloom within us gratefulness for the well days? Even sometimes, if the illness is of the chronic sort, it can awaken a special reflection of the goodness of life. Right now I can’t breathe due to this nasty sinus crud, and boy oh boy, I long to savor the flavor of my food again!
Drinking from the fountain of youth affords you eternal life. Not only are you never sick again, you have all the days in existence to spend however you like.
I mean, you have ALL the days in existence to spend how you like. Living forever means no end. And you have to do something with yourself, right? Consider how you’ll fill your eternal days and if you can handle them if they get a little long. But hey--you’ll get to watch your children and your children’s children and your children’s children’s children grow up and maybe even have an influence over their lives in a way you wouldn’t as a mere mortal. That is, if you have kids. If this is a priority, maybe consider procreating before you take the sip.
One giant downside to living forever? Watching your loved ones die around you until they are all gone. Sure, you’ll be able to meet your great great great grandkids, but sooner or later they’ll die too. You’ll have to get well acquainted with grief--all five of the stages. You will inevitably get good at saying good-bye because you’ll have lots of practice.
Couldn’t decide on a particular career path? Or whether to pursue a career or travel the world? Well, now you don’t have to. You have ALL THE TIME, so you can afford to spend eight years in med school, feed hungry children, travel Europe in luxury, and eat all the food since you’ll never change after the day you drink from the fountain. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
Maybe you have one path or you don’t want to do anything with yourself. Maybe you do all the things and run out of ideas. Eternity is a long time. Don’t cope well with boredom? Maybe the fountain of youth isn’t for you. In any case, if you take a drink, you better be prepared with a toolbox of ideas for rainy days.
Right now there’s no time, right? We can barely get those recommended 6 to 8 hours as it is. But as an immortal being, you can afford to sleep DAYS away. Maybe that’s how you’ll fill some of your time. Just sleep. Or at the very least, take a nap every day. You’re not missing out because there’s always more time.
Drinking from the fountain of youth is a one-time decision, one you can’t go back on. Immortality or Mortality. That’s your choice….unless you want to travel to the Thousand Islands, find where the water is housed, and take your chances eating the various leaves around it that may or may not serve as an antidote. After all, if you change your mind, you have all the time to travel, right?
If you’re drinking from the fountain of youth, one important disclaimer is this: It gives eternal life to you--health, wellness, time...but it also has some demands of its own. It has to fill the eternal life stores somehow, right? So, when you drink, be prepared to have urges awakened in you that maybe weren’t there before. Like the urge to kill. And know this: the water will keep calling all your eternal days until you answer, time and again. You owe it, afterall. You took from the eternal stores, and now it’s your job to keep them full. Unless….
Unless you can figure out a way around the demands of the water. Like Julia, my main character, maybe you can find another way, but be careful...the call to kill comes quickly, and you may run out of time before those impulses take over.