A man woke up one morning, fixed himself a bagel, drank two cups of coffee, and went looking for Death. It won’t be hard, he thought. He usually shows up even when someone’s not looking for him.
He crossed the street, walked down the sidewalk, down to the farmer’s market, and walked up and down the rows, ignoring the beautiful girls at the souvlaki stand. No sign of him. He checked behind the cantaloupe stand. Nope. Death wasn’t there.
He crossed the street, went to the Used Bookstore and stood in the various sections he deemed most likely to attract Death. He flipped through some of the books. He whistled Schubert. Death wasn’t there either. The man felt ripped off. Come on, Death! he thought. Where are you? Then he had an idea.
He crossed the street and headed to the hospital. He found the most terminal of patients and waited among their beds. The monitors and things beeped along happily. The man stayed for an hour or two, but, sheesh, no Death. He didn’t have time to hang around with the infirm and dying all day. He needed to find Death!
The man had a thought as he walked past a crowded public pool. Maybe he could just go pull someone under and get Death’s attention that way. But then he was like, Hold up. Let’s not get carried away. His questions were mainly academic, and he had to face the fact that he wasn’t really the murdering type.
This was really proving to be quite a conundrum. More than he wanted to deal with on a Saturday morning. He thought he would just breeze out, find Death, ply him with a few questions, and then spend the afternoon reading. But he’d invested so much time hunting for Death by now, that he just wanted to crack the problem. He ran through scenarios, plots, ideas, all trying to figure out some way of getting through to Death. He turned back toward home, absorbed with the question, but also getting pretty interested in lunch.
He crossed the street, focusing on how to lure death in, while ham sandwiches crowded in at the back of his mind, when WHACK! he was struck by little Honda hatchback.
When he floated up from his body, he didn’t even recognize Death, couldn’t remember a single question he’d had. He breezed back to the farmer’s market to check out the Souvlaki girls.
In the hatchback, the driver leaned his head forward, rested it quietly against the steering wheel.
“Oh,” Death said, throwing the car into park and lifting his head up from the steering wheel to look at the body in the street. “Oh, not again.”