i will end and the planet will end but i will end first and for that i am jealous of the earth by timmy reed

        I enjoy life but know I cannot live forever and this makes me sad but also jealous and angry of entities (like the planet) that will get to experience more life than me. I wish I never thought about dying. It’s never a good thing. For instance, I thought about dying before my nap this afternoon and I woke up with a sore throat and a deep ache in the right side of my chest. The ache is menacing. Of course I fear it is a tumor. The worst case scenario is the easiest to fear.
        The planet Earth is not actually alive in a biological sense – although there are innumerable living things on it and inside of it; all the life we know in fact – so it doesn’t have to worry about menacing things like cancer. Someday the Earth will come to its end. Just not for a long time after this tumor (or something else) has killed me.
        People are always talking about saving the Earth. I like to imagine that the Earth is listening to them. Listening and thinking: You need to save yourselves, Living Things. I am not going anywhere until the sun explodes. Make life nice for yourself. I have given you a place to grow. I have allowed you to be my tenants. I have let you be my parasites.
        I am jealous of the Earth not only for the life it will lead after I am buried in its flesh, but also for the enormous life it got to experience before I existed. Countless reiterations of my own lifespan, of the oldest man’s lifespan, of the lifespan of the oldest tree, of the lives of all men and all trees. The Earth has been around that long, never coming to an end. Think of all it has seen! And felt: the constant tickle of life like fungus growing on its belly and reproducing, spreading and building and even trying to leave by blasting off in tiny rockets. I am jealous of the Earth. I am jealous in the way that one can only be jealous of something they love but will never understand.
        In the future, after humans have destroyed themselves with atomic ray guns and fast food diets, the Earth will remain just as it remained when the dinosaurs died off watching the sky, gripped by the beauty of falling meteorites. None of the fossils that have yet been discovered indicate whether the dinosaurs experienced jealousy or not, but I cannot blame them if they did.
        The Earth has been hospitable to me, if indifferent to my brief existence. I think about living on the Earth and feel like I am visiting a large country estate with too many rooms, so many that no one is sure exactly who is staying over at any given moment. But the Earth is not an uninformed majordomo. The Earth is the estate itself. It doesn’t know who is staying inside its walls or care whose name is on the deed claiming ownership. The estate doesn’t know that anyone owns it at all.
        It does not make sense for the Earth to be jealous of me. What would it be jealous with, not to mention of? It hasn’t got a brain. Not having a brain, even for a short time like my lifespan or yours, one might think of as an upsetting handicap but I don’t think that’s how it works. The Earth is never upset. It cannot understand what it means to be upset. It spins satisfied through the eons in the dumb blackness of space. With no brain, it has no consciousness and with no consciousness it harbors no fear of death and with no fear of death it feels no sadness or anger or jealousy. I dwell on these things as I surf the internet, kind of searching for clinics that I can afford without health insurance. I need someone to look inside me. I need someone to tell me I am alright, that my end is a long way off. I need someone to tell me there is the slightest chance that it may never come at all.
        Maybe I am not jealous of the planet’s lifespan, it occurs to me. Maybe I am jealous that the Earth doesn’t have to deal with being alive at all. And just like that, I am not jealous because I remember that I enjoy being alive. But only for awhile. Later I will be jealous again. I always am.
Timmy Reed is a writer (cretin) from Baltimore, Maryland where he currently attends the Creative Writing & Publishing Arts MFA program at University of Baltimore. He worked as an Editorial Intern at Crazyhorse while an undergraduate at the College of Charleston. His writing has recently appeared in Gone Lawn, Spilt Milk Magazine, Pure Slush, The Bicycle Review, Artichoke Haircut, Pretend Genius, Monologging, and Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore. He was awarded Third Place in the 2011 Baltimore City Paper Fiction Contest. He has stories forthcoming in Black Heart Magazine, The Rusty Nail, and the anthology, gorge. He blogs about animals and stuff at http://underratedanimals.wordpress.com/ and writes tiny stories on Twitter @BMORETIMMYREED