I met Death last year; he was feeding pigeons in the park. We didn’t speak a word to each other; our eyes didn’t even meet. I’m not going to claim to know him well, only about as well as I know myself; exactly as well as I know myself. I’m pretty sure it’s the same with everyone, we all know death as well as we know ourselves. Not at all.
I met him again at the deli on my street; he was serving sandwiches. Of course, he was a woman this time. She looked me in the eye and told me I would have a pleasant day.
Ms. Rutherford, the kind lady who lived above me, got her sandwich next. Death said she would see her soon. Death was right, of course, I had a very pleasant day, and Ms. Rutherford didn’t get up the next morning.
I called the cops saying I heard a sound; it wouldn’t be good for her to go unnoticed. She had always been a good upstairs neighbor, never loud and would give me cookies when I helped with her groceries. I’m going to miss the cookies.
The third time I met Death he was at the park playing with the children. They ran and screamed across the woodchips as their parents watched on, Death ran and screamed with them. Seemingly without a care in the world, I suppose Death doesn’t have any cares in this world or another.
I didn’t stick around to find out who else would get to meet Death that day. I didn’t know if it was one of the children or one of their parents. It could have been Steve, the single dad who the mothers would check out when he wasn’t looking. It could have been the golden retriever Daisy, who belonged to the college student who liked to run through the park.
It’s not that I don’t like Death; he’s as decent as I am. I can’t hate him for what he is, everyone has a purpose and his is necessary. I don’t have to like what he does. However, I can’t object; who am I do deny someone their future.
The last time I met Death was twenty minutes ago, as I got out of the shower. He was in the kitchen making me a pesto and chicken sandwich, and he greeted me like an old friend. I did the same.
It wasn’t just this past year that we had known each other which made us friends. I had known him all of his life, and he had known me all of mine. We made idle chatter about the weather and other inconsequential things and complained about our busy schedules.
Before I left, he handed me a bag of bread crumbs, for the pigeons in the park.