– Have you ever wondered about the dark side of the moon? The shadows that lie in that far-away place that can only be reached by imagination? The dark spot in the attic, a chilling breeze just before the night dawns. When you think there is a safe place to step, but just before your feet reaches the floor you find out that that safe place is an inch lower, so you misstep. One inch of confusion with a racing heart. When you are left with something completely unknown, what is there to us? What do we gaze when we gaze the abyss? To answer those questions and many more, tonight we will receive a dear friend. Come upon us, Death!
– Hello, my friend, we meet again! It been a while, where should we begin? Feels like forever!
– How about not quoting Creed, just for starters?
– Reasonable enough, although is widely said that it may not be wise to demand anything from Death, the Grim Reaper, the Omega…
– Yadda, yadda, yadda. In my humble opinion maybe you could help to dispel such pestering biased notion of Death, the merciless. Death, in real life, who are you?
– I am not. That’s exactly my definition: I am the cessation of existence.
– Don’t be too picky.
– I know, it’s just sort of a conceptual standpoint. You need to know that before you know me. That I’m not (just) the evil Grim Reaper, a lousy skeleton holding this long sharp sickle under this long black robe. I usually prefer to describe myself as, instead, a force of creation.
– What, Death isn’t destruction anymore? Have you went emo all of sudden?
– Leave my hair out of this. The main issue is somehow ellusive: Death isn’t something or anything in itself, but an interruption of other processes and whatever happens because of that. Imagine a little puppy.
– You had to go for the puppy.
– Yeah. This puppy is born, lives a joyful life in a countryside house, playing with other puppies and the kids in the neighborhood. Later on it mates some bitches – I’m so clever with words, ain’t I? – and leaves some lively offspring. Can you show me where I take part in that life? I bet you’re thinking I’m just hidden in some dark woods waiting for the final moments of his vivace-filled life experience with a Requiem, right?
– You sir are way too dramatic, do you know that? What a penchant for cheap ambiance.
– Would you please just answer me, goddamit?
– Chill, man. Or thing. Entity. Deity? Anyway, Yeah, that’s what I was expecting, you finishing your story with a fancy the-night-got-colder-and-the-shadows-grew-stronger all over the poor puppy.
– That’s where you’re completely wrong. You fail to see that the life of this pup is so full of Death, is so full of me! Many time I have granted him food, shelter, even entertainment. Other deaths, but, nevertheless, death. For, in order that someone can eat, someone must die. If not animals, plants. They’re alive too, you know? I’m not calling for an equalization of every living thing. Some plants feel, but most of them don’t. And even those that do, do not have a neural structure into some sort of consciousness, which is something pretty much common among animals. They feel pain. Believe me when I say, some of them even feel the horror of absolute fear in face of their final demise. I know because I’m there. I’m always there. I was there when the chicken was killed to be turned into dog food. I also was there when the ancient oak tree that was used to fabricate his doghouse. And, when the time comes, I will be the one that will have to explain to that old dog, that once was a vibrant adult dog, and a lovely puppy before that, that his time has come. That him to must bid farewell to existence as it is. From then on, he will be no more. At least as an individual. His matter will me splashed around nature, that’s how it goes. But that one puppy, he won’t ever be again, and no other puppy shall be the same.
– For crying out loud, you want to dry me in tears, I’m *BEEP* reverse-flooding here.
– Focus. You asked me who I were, and this is my answer. I am that thin veil that obscures whatever is far away. The undiscovered country. I am a force of creation because I turn one into another, a plant into a animal, a deceased child into energy for a strong tree to grow, and in the future that tree will be cut to warm children just like the first. But I also present you all with the limits of life. It’s the perspective of my coming that keeps you guy from slacking your life away.
– I not only play Tetris with existence. If my job was only that it would be easier. Everyone would see me as a diligent worker, building blocks of life. But I’m also a constant reminder that eveyone has an expiration date. I remember every each of you that at some point, this amazing life story you tell yourself each day it’s gonna end. So you must rush, and make good use of your time.
– So you’re the deadline. Appropriate.
– Indeed. Most of people fear me because of that function. They avoid even the must subtle reminders of their fragility. You humans wish you could be gods and hate whoever tells you’re not. And I’m not even saying that, you know? You can indeed be gods, but for a limited amount of time.
– A limitation that pretty much revokes the godlike status, doesn’t it?
– No, my child. That God you have in mind, limitless, is just dumb. It’s a silly concept.
– Don’t be mean to God, he actually came here a few days before, he’s a friend of the show.
– so am I. Focus on the concept: any entity that is immune to the heavy chains of time would be unable to understand pain, and the enebriating clearness of solace. You must have limits in order to get what life is really all about. And the answer isn’t me. Life is not about dying, or evading death. Is about being alive today. And then tomorrow again. Being a powerhouse of destruction and creativity every single day, like a steamboat dashing against the current in a rainforest river. Lots of fumes, splash and debris. And that feeling of grandeur derived from the absolute uncertainty about what comes next. The denouement of life isn’t death, it’s life itself. Death is the propeller telling you that the show must go on.
– I find it very interesting, you know. Because we frequently make metaphors about death, and they are sometimes perceived as a final stop of something. No more of that. Well, if there is no more of that there must be something else. Time is insidious as that, it would never allow us any slip out of his kingdom. Any kind of symbolic death means also an availiability. It is time to do something else.
– But not me, my son. I shall always be around here, a shadow of life, relentingly. And I’m very proud of my job.
– I’m proud of you as well. Whenever you come for me I’ll not to cry as a little girl. Thank you for your kindness and fun. It was great to have you on the show.
– Nah, thank you for having me here. It’s good to be able to just chill and talk. About you: You are the one to decide how strong you are willing to fight for your life. I’m the one to make sure that that fight will be hard. Hard fought, hard earned. Meaningful.