Killed by a Goblin (A Work in Progress)

Do you ever think about your death?

More specifically, how people will react if you die. The truth is, I know that no one will care if I die. Is that a comforting or discomforting thought?

On the one hand, with no one to care if you die, there is a sense of anonymity. You have slipped into and out of this world unscathing no one. You got away with all your crimes, all the things you are ashamed about and which keep you awake at night. No one cares to be mad that you’re gone. If anyone was even aware that you even left, they might reel from the shock momentarily, but then recover within a few days and keep going on, because that’s life. Life just carries on, emotionless, untiring. It marches on callously.

Of course, with no one to care about you, that is disquieting in its own way because it damages your own sense of delusion about your self-importance. It means you didn’t make an impact. You left no mark on the world, but the world left its unholy mark on you.

I imagine myself dying in an utterly unremarkable way. Choking on a banana in a dim, dodgy apartment on 5th avenue, slamming my head into the ground and bleeding all over woodplank floors. If the neighbours downstairs felt something wet drip down into their hair, they would think, annoyed, the plumbing. There, I would remain undiscovered until the landlord started banging down the door, asking where that rent was. Only to be positively annoyed that I had dared to make a mess, that there were rats and maggots and flies chasing all the rot from my stink that she would have nobody to chase for reparations.

Only then might someone from my family or friends circle realize I had not simply gone ‘off the grid’.

I long to go somewhere truly off the grid. But, I wonder if I even have the mettle for it. To go off the grid would mean to be truly self-sufficient and to have that strong mental willpower. Is the wild truly too romanticized that I believe I could actually be that pioneer?

You hear about the mountaineers that went off into the wild remoteness, only to return to civilization a month later and realize the world had been hit by Covid and that everything was shut down, the world as we know it had ended. They would have thought, well, fuck, we should have just stayed out in the mountains a few more months. It’s not worth it.

Every time I go off camping for a little bit and come back to ‘the real world,’ I feel that way.

But what if I truly disappeared and nobody even knew about it, or cared? Would that be a welcome solace in a world so fake? Or would I scream out into the nothingness in terror?

She imagines herself just walking down those cobblestone streets, waiting for a goblin to leap out from one of the dark alleys and drag her into a porthole.

Down they would go, and all claim to artifice would strip away as she feared death, the ultimate leveller. With the goblin’s leathery hands and prickly claws gripping her legs, pulling her roughly against all kinds of seaweed sewage that she preferred not to think about (most likely human faeces, or at least faeces of some kind), the darkness would envelop her. Her eyes would search out any tiny streams of light, but find none because nobody ever came down here apart from maintenance workers, and they were not on a route at the moment. As she was pulled unceremoniously down the tunnels like a cart being wheeled by an impatient horse, her shirt and pants riding up exposing her back to direct contact with the dirty stone and water, getting all scratched up (in fact, punctured–it was a miracle she had yet to encounter anything truly sharp and fatal, like a rusty rod or wire), she just marveled at the life she was leaving behind and all the problems she previously whined about, but which she now wished she could trade her current debacle for.

Finally satisfied, the goblin would toss her into the seventh layer of hell, ignoring her screams as she collapsed into an explosion of fire. The fire would sear her skin so quickly she barely felt it for a split second, and then she would simply cease to exist. There would not even be any before or after for her. She would simply no longer be, and above her, on the cobblestone streets, passers-by would continue about their night, none the wiser to the goblin that had murdered her.

The waitress pulls her out of her reverie. “Would you like the check?”

Not particularly, she thinks, but she forces a smile to her face, and accepts the bill. 

Isn’t this such a strange world? We fashion ourselves around a system that objectively does not matter and would not work, except that we have somehow all collectively agreed that it holds weight and should drive our lives, chaining us to an economy that deprives us of our souls.

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