Dear Death

To Whom It May Concern

We idled through the line with our trays and then took our plastic-wrapped tunafish sandwiches and coffee in Styrofoam cups over to a small formica table. Flug talked about the problems he was having with the Gun Control Bill–trying to put it into some form that might possibly pass the Senate. I listened, glancing up now and then toward the food-bar, half-expecting to see somebody like Robert Kennedy pushing his tray through the line… until I suddenly remembered that Robert Kennedy was dead.

–Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, p. 29


Dear Death,

How do we forget?

I know why we forget; let me put that notion to rest. We’re afraid–even paranoid–that you’ll show up on our doorstep unannounced. We do anything and everything we can to delay you–or, at least, we’re supposed to. We know this deep down, because our survival depends on it. And yet, we yearn for a moment where we don’t have to think about you, and we try to forget. So now, here we are, licking the Cheeto dust off our fingers and talking on the phone while wandering into the street.

We like to tempt you, for sure. We throw crazy parties in your honor, but not because we want you there. These are the kind of invites you’re supposed to respectfully decline. By inviting you, we want to look good, but if you show up, it’ll be awkward. With all due respect, you can be kind of a wet blanket.

This isn’t to say that we don’t outright beg for you sometimes. We’ll give you the address to a different house, and you’ll show up there and party for a while, but of course, they’ll eventually give you the right address, and you’ll come right over. And so on, and so on. So, yes, sometimes we deserve you.

You show up, and then after a while, leave with people we love, taking them “back to your place.” It’s rude, is what it is. But after you have left, hardly a moment goes by before we begin thinking of you nostalgically. You really were the life of the party, weren’t you?

Warmly (for now),

E

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