Death and Black Jack

angel-of-death-16541I am familiar with his stare. His tattered, and tired embrace I have sunk into often enough to know, that when he wants me he will not come to wrap his arms around me as  a reminder, but rather to pull the life from my shell and together we will go. He will show me the world in over exposed film, and we will sit and he will ask me to tell him a story. But not of death. He smells of it, and this time it will be my duty to embrace him, and remind him that there is love and there is beauty and there is pain in all of it, but also, there is treasure in the life that brings. He will stroke my hair, as he has done before and he will ask me if I want to abandon all that I cared for, or if I would like to stay and watch over them.

His voice is soft and kind. His heart is naive and uninhibited by the lessons that only blood in the veins can teach us, so these moments we spend with him before we decide to take his hand or to watch unseen, are precious to him, and merciful to us. He will explain that human choice is not his choice, and that he is just the deliverer. That timing has nothing to do with him, and that he is just the bellhop of the afterlife that pushes the buttons of the lift and we can get in or decline to ride. But either way, we are cold to the touch and the only gift we have left is that of sight and memory, energy and interference. Our mortal shells will be left for the world to declare their love to, while we stand in amongst them and watch.

Details will become important. Each laughter line, each tear, each sigh, and every glance in the direction we are standing in will be rewound and replayed and looped on a timeless pile of collected memorabilia if our own making.

There are no deals to be made. If you fall off the edge and he catches you, only to return you to the gasping surges of pain that you try so hard to bury, that does not mean weakness on his part, or strength on yours. It means, that is was not your time to die.

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