Because I Could Not Stop for Death

[Death and I engaged in a dialogue here lately, as follows]:

“Oh, it’s you again,” I said, happening upon Him rather unexpectedly.

“You were hoping for someone else?”


“Gwyneth Paltrow, perhaps?”

“Very funny.” (yes)

“Well, come on.  A good sense of humor is crucial in this business.”

“Yes.  Vital even, I would imagine.”

“Oh, that’s bad.  You’re wicked.”

“That’s funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.”

“Now that’s just mean.”

“My apologies.”

“None of that matters, anyway, you know.”

“None of what?”
“That.  Gwyneth.  Women.  Beauty.  All of that fades.”

“So they tell me.”

“Besides, the relationship I have with her will be far more significant than anything you could ever hope for.  I make quite an impression.”

“So I’ve heard.”

“Permanent, if you will.”

“Got it…”

“I am the only constant, after all.”

“Right.  You and taxes.”

“Yes, I’ve heard that one.”

“Well, what do you think?”

“I don’t much care for it.”

“How about the song?”

“Which one?”

“The country one.  The ‘live like you were dying’ one.”

“Oh, yes.  I’ve heard that.”

“What do you think?”

“I can’t say that I’m a fan. I don’t really like country music.”

“Well, I’m with you there.”

“I prefer the poets.”

“You do?”

“Oh yes.  Dickinson.  Marvell.  Herrick.”

“Gathering rosebuds, and all that?”

“Yes, that’s it.”

“I can see that, I suppose.”

“People forget.  Or try to.  But I don’t forget about them.”

“How kind of you!”

“I am, really, if you think about it.”


“Come on, who do you know with more friends than me?”


“Fine, acquaintances.”

“I can’t say that I can think of anyone.”

“See?  And they all call me friend in the end.”

“I doubt that.”

“Well, most of them do.”

“We’ll see.”

“Yes, you will.”



“Well, on that note…”

“Yeah, I better be going.  Lots to do…”

“Now that’s just evil.”

“What?  It’s just a job.”

“I suppose.”

“Talk again soon?”


And we did.

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