Friday, January 13, 2012

Sitting at Death's Door

There’s a chair, it’s a big soft one, sitting in the corner of the coffee shop. It’s inhabited by all kinds of folks throughout a day. Youngsters reveling with friends, older men reading the paper, a man receiving news of a relative’s death.

He’d probably just been to the hospital or nursing home, saying his final goodbye. Coming here to get away and, ‘work,’ which was really just an excuse to not be in the room at the same time as Death.

He’d probably met Death before in some dark alley a world away or in an open street fighting a war for someone else’s freedom explaining his reticence to be around it when it came knocking this close. Trying to forget the final gasps, trying to loose himself in something, anything else.

His phone rang, sounding like a funeral march in his ears. He answered. It was done. They were gone. There was nothing left for him to do but to marvel at the sun that shown on his back and feel the heat of the day, the warmth of life.

The same call had been made before, the call of death.

But instead of being made with a phone it was made with nails and a spear. The thud of the hammer and the thrust of the spear spilled and spelled certain seemingly unalterable death for its victim.

The family wept. The friends sat in their chairs and stared in unbelievable disbelief at some unfocused distant point.

But soon they would know what the man in the chair at the coffee shop knew death isn’t a vault anymore, it’s a revolving door. The one they wept for would shatter the vault’s door leaving alive and free to reign.

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