Not Afraid

Death is approaching. I can’t hear him, but I see him clearly. He’s taken my friends, many of them years ago. Soon I’ll be not experiencing what they’re not experiencing. He’s steady in his approach. Stealthy. But clearly coming my way.

I like life. I do. I laugh as much as the next guy. And I smile more than he does. Life is pleasant enough. And yet, I watch them all drop off one by one. Somehow, I reached 90. Can you imagine? I feel like myself, like I always was. I don’t feel like 90. If I’ve got aches and pains, I hardly notice them. They’ve faded into the background.

So now it’s just the two of us—me and the grim reaper.

Is it my imagination, or does he look smug? No, that’s not smug. It’s something else. He looks tired and…something else. At least that’s the impression I get from his posture and the way he’s walking. The hood covers his face. It always does s the final moment.

I try talking to him but he doesn’t answer. He’s even stopped walking. He’s just standing there, stooped, on the other side of the room. He senses I’m different from the others. He’s right. He doesn’t know what to expect from me but I know exactly what to expect from him.

Advantage: mine.

He sees I’m not shuddering, not trying to flee, not pleading, not crying. He advances again, mobilized by his sense of duty. And now he’s right here. Right next to me. I feel his icy breath on my face.

I won’t run. I won’t resist. I won’t give him the satisfaction. But I’ll stick a finger in his eye. Just for fun.