Back in 1986, Peter B. Gillis and Brent Anderson created Strikeforce: Morituri for Marvel Comics' Epic line. The premise of the book was that an alien army invaded Earth, and the only viable defense we could mount was to take volunteers and have them undergo a process to give them superhuman powers. Only problem being, the process would kill them within a year. The Sci-Fi Channel picked up an option on it back in 2000 or 2001, but they upped the expiration date to an even thousand days, I guess to give themselves the potential for two or three seasons. The series was supposed to come out in 2003 so I don't guess much ever came of it.
Except for the fact that the whole concept struck a chord in me. The
clarity of it is kinda stuck in my head. I can't stop thinking about the motivating power of "this is what you get, and no more. After that time's up". And I'm not even talking about sensations and experiences and things like that. I'm not talking about taking your life and trying to cram everything that you can into, to experience as much as you can before you go. Doing something for no other reason than for the sake of having done it really isn't "doing" anything. I'm talking about quality over quantity. I'm talking about taking the life you have and giving yourself something to sort of get you into gear. Taking the life you have and, whatever this phrase might mean to you, making it count for something. Making it better for you and for the people you care about. Making your life something you enjoy living rather than something you just get up and slog through day after day after day. I've said before that time is a luxury that none of us has; it's a lot easier to just say that than it is to actually believe it, even if it is the truth. We don't know the how or the when, but the end is coming for all of us. But because we don't know the when, it's far too easy for us to forget about the fact that the "when" could be absolutely any time. How does that bit from The Sheltering Sky go? 'How many times will you watch the full moon rise, perhaps twenty, and it all seems so limitless.' The reality is that we have no guarantee that we'll get tomorrow. We might not even get the rest of today. But it's that very not knowing that makes it seem like the days will never end.
What would it be like if you woke up one morning and instead of that seeming limitlessness, you had a thousand days? The how and the when laid out in front of you, irrevocably writ in stone? What would you do if the vague and abstract concept of "a lifetime" suddenly became the cold and hard numbered reality of one thousand days? You have a good starting point, at least; 1,000 is a good number. Nice and round; not a short enough span for a "fuck it, I can do whatever the hell I want with no accountability" fatalism, and not long enough for an "I can wait, I've still got time" lethargy. It's very seductive and tricksy, too; when you say "one thousand days", the whole thousand thing sucks you in. It sounds like a lot, but it's not. It's two years and just shy of nine months, counting the extra day for the leap year in 2008. Almost three years. It may sound like a pretty good while, but what if it was all you had? What would you do with your thousand days?
That's what I asked myself when I opened my eyes yesterday morning.
This is the second day of my thousand days.