Deathwish 027: Liz

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, October 9th, 2015

"...You wake up to a certain kind of blackness..."

deathwish for nailed magazine liz


I think about dying because I’m a control freak. If I guess I’m going to die and I do, I’ll be right. That’s like winning the lottery. But, it isn’t.

Sometimes I catch myself muttering: today, maybe, or tomorrow, car accident, cancer, stroke. How’s my heart, I wonder. Tick.

Death only snatches you once. It’s rare and special. So of course I want to snare it.

Sometimes my intuition is dead-on but sometimes it’s dead wrong. So far I’m never right, but I like to test it.


…is it now, is it now, is it now


I don’t really want the control. I don’t want to take my life in my own hands, I mean.

Solving the mystery isn’t worth that much to me. I can say that now, while I feel good. I’ve had deep and terrible depressions. I’ve had times when it felt nearly impossible to keep living. Where I’m in a dungeon piped with voices that seem to know the worst of me. I’ve gotten out of it. I’ve fallen back in it. You wake up to a certain kind of blackness.

Maybe my obsession comes from wondering who exactly or what, if anything, is in control? I don’t claim any spirituality as my own, but I have craved it. My best guess is that life is irresolvable. I’d like to relax myself to lie down in that idea, to surrender. I have had brief moments of this. In one moment I saw a dead man’s teeth speak to me through the clouds.

It’s all so funny, the teeth said, how serious you take it.

Life is a game, the teeth laughed, nothing matters.

Just then I felt so light I thought I was flying.

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 026: Fiona,” go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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Liz was born in North Carolina and currently lives in Portland, OR.


Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).