The Mercy Seat

Who I am or what I did to get here is not important. What is important is that I am sorry for what I did and that I'm not scared - I came to terms with, and gave up to, my fate a long time ago.

Sitting in the waiting room you get a lot of time to think, a lot of time to brood. You see things clearer than ever. What's important. What's real. There are few things that are mine, I see this clearly these days. This time is mine, these thoughts are mine. Memories are mine. It's nice to know that there are some things that no one will ever be able to take from me.

Waiting is my favourite past time without me actually liking it, I've done it to death. Death. I've been on Death Row for fifteen years now and tomorrow my moment of fame finally arrives. For too long I complained that time moved too slow and now it is moving too fast. Time is fickle. It was only in dropping all of my appeals that I felt I could exert any sort of control over my destiny and put an end to the bleak isolation and uncertainty of time left that was slowly sending me into the thralls of insanity. And now here we are. I have had continuous butterflies in my stomach and lumps in my throat ever since I was told my execution date. In a situation like mine it helps to only think in metaphors. This feeling is much worse than anything you could never hope to feel. Your first date? Getting to meet an idol? Your final exam? I can tell you self-assuredly that all of those pale in comparison. I guess this is the final exam for me, only I'm certain to pass.

Over the course of the past few months, ever since I found out it was my time to sit in the mercy seat, I've debated with myself whether it's better to know when you're going to die or for it to just happen. Like, rather than keep us here for years on end, the guards just came and took you one day. Would you rather know the specific date you were gonna go or just get run over at some random date in a hit-and-run? If it was going to happen what would you regret not doing? I regret not learning to play the saxophone. Fuck leading a better life, what does that even mean anyway? 9-5 behind a desk and barbecues at the weekend? Like I said, I came to terms with who I am and what I did a long long time ago.

I also came to the realisation that it is not the electric chair that zaps the life out of you, it is the preceding years of waiting. They slowly wear you down to the point of acceptance and a kind of... hollowness, like your soul has already forsaken you and all that's left is your conscience in an empty vessel, left behind to antagonise and punish you further - the electric chair a mere symbol of finality, solely there to finish the job. And now that is all I can really hope for, something to finish the job. Something to end this experience called life.