Death is my friend, grudgingly. No introductions are needed. The courtship started when I was child with the death of my father. Taunting me, she shows herself as if to remind me that I am not worthy of it. We see death as an ending, as the final chapter in someones life. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
The hospital was cold, sterile, and quiet. The front doors opened in a swooshing automatic way which is perfect for the mindless many crossing the threshold. They can’t conjure up the thought to open the door on their own. Their thoughts are on their loved ones fighting for their life or giving life. The day is beautiful not a cloud in the sky. The sun is blinding. I paid no attention as I walked up to the front desk to retrieve my name tag. The hospital is set up like a jail since I am not allowed entry until I present my ID and purpose for visiting. This strikes me odd what else would I be visiting a hospital? I did not come for the food nor is their option for roller derby. The front clerk stared at me blankly as I handed her my driver’s license. Her stringy dark hair rested lifeless upon her shoulders. Her glasses perched religiously on the end of her nose reminding me of a troll in a fantasy genre movie. As she smiles I expect to see sharp pointy teeth but greeted with lipstick stained teeth. It appears she has eaten a small child blood staining her incisors. I making a mental note of her name I proceeded to the elevators. I was in, I made it past the first check point. My body tense, fatigued transferred into auto pilot. My wife standing next to me crying hysterically. This is a shock to her. For me, it is just another death dance. Unable to provide her comfort I remain stoic. Perhaps, it is because Death and I are intimate. We share a bond that no human could possibly understand. I count the floors as we make our ascent to the fifth floor. I focus on buttons as I successfully ignore my brother n law standing in the corner. Only I can see him. The outline of his body appears in my peripheral vision. He stands stock still and watches his sister sob. Bravely, I glance over. The look of confusion on his face signals he is unaware of the situation. Before Death takes your hand in a dance, there is the in-between. The time before they cross. This is where I come in- it has been assigned to me to fulfill their last wishes, convey messages to their loved ones and help them pass through the VIP entry into their “new” life.
How was I assigned this task? this morbid duty to humanity? is it punishment, an honor? Who knows? I have yet to figure out the answer. Death gives me nothing. That selfish bitch keeps all her secrets safely guarded……. (to be continued)