When Death appears to me, he’s wearing a big overcoat and a fedora. He doesn’t have a face, of course, because he doesn’t actually have a head. It’s all dark and shaded where his head and face, and neck, too, should be, but that’s ok. Apparently he can see fine enough where he’s going. His coat collar looks like it’s tall enough to hide his necklessness, at least in the back anyway. That’s Death for ya – he does have a sense of 1940’s style.
He has broad, massive shoulders and he’s about seven feet tall, I’d say, but then I’m a short little shit so my judgment might be off a bit. He’s not a vivid character unless you consider mutations of gray and black to be colorful in some way, but mostly, from his clothing to his posture, he just seems tired.
I’ve only seen him twice so far. The first time was when a friend and I were driving down this curvy road and he was trudging along on the side. She was driving speedily enough that I didn’t have time to clock a slew of details on the dude but we both definitely saw him. There were enough streetlights to know what we saw, and what we didn’t.
There wasn’t a sidewalk or even much of a shoulder beside the asphalt, but there he was in the middle of the night slowly ambling up the side of that curvy-ass’d road…with no head or face…but he was wearing a fedora and a big overcoat and a broken-down, weary gray aura.
I didn’t know at the time that he was Death, and I’m not sure what I’d have done if I did. My seat would probably have been hella wetter, but other than that? Who knows.
The…being?, well, as he had no head, no face, I couldn’t think what else he could be.
It’s not like you generally think to ask Death who he is or how it’s going.
The second time I saw Death was in a dream. My mom died back in 2011, but I still have dreams about her every now and then. This time around we weren’t discussing anything earthshaking, we never do, actually, but we were, well, here:
For some reason my mom and I were spending the night in a fire house in small beds placed near each other, but the actual fire engines were on the main floor below where we were, and the space between was open like we were up in a partial, but very high up, loft. The engines were all shiny and the concrete flooring was clean, and nobody else was around, for what that’s worth.
We were talking about general bullshit, nothing that I remember and nothing important, when alluvasudden she looked over my shoulder to the window behind my back. It was full dark outside and the window was covered with a thin lace curtain (the kind of “curtain” that doesn’t actually “curtain” much at all) – and asked, “Who’s that man?”
I looked out over my shoulder and didn’t see anyone but I “knew” in my gut that someone – that Death – was outside that window…and that he had a dog that was barking its fool head off. I started screaming for him to get away, go away, to leave, etc.
At that point I woke up – during the screaming part, naturally – with my heart trying to pound through my chest.
In retrospect I realized that I was yelling at Death to go away. Actually, I was yelling at Death and his bark-ass’d dog to go away. Did I actually see him in my dream? No, I didn’t, but I knew him. I like to think I was yelling him away from my mama, but in all honesty I was just yelling at him to go away period.
No wonder Death has no face – I can’t think of many people who would want to see it or hear what his mouth would say or feel what his eyes would show.
No wonder he’s so tired and beat-down – few people would want to hang out with him, and precious few would welcome him into their soon-to-be-discontinued lives.
I’m glad Death has a dog for companionship, though; just wish he wasn’t such a bark-ass. And, because I know you want to know, judging by that bark he’s a mid-sized dog.
When my time, or times depending on your theories, come/comes, I hope I can look Death in his face, that I can greet him kindly and with humor and honor. I hope I have enough presence of mind and soul to ask his name, to ask his dog’s name, to invite him into my home for coffee if I’m able and if he’s so inclined.
Death has a job to do, a mission to carry out. He’s The Ferryman, meant to ferry souls from this situation to the next. I can’t imagine the number of times he’s been yelled – hopefully successfully because I’m selfish like that – away from someone’s mama, or daddy, or other loved one.
These aren’t things for me to know, but thankfully we’re not forced to know everything. Hell, I barely know the merest scraps about myself as it is, much less the mysteries of the universe.
But I do know this: Death has a dog…but no head.
**A/N: Comments, as always, are welcome.**