Thursday, March 24, 2011

Messengers - 12

“They react in a lot of different ways. Most of them aren’t like you. Most of them haven’t had their death day come and go. Most people that have had that happen don’t make for a very good interview. But the people that haven’t had their day come up?” Dylan said, “They have a lot of different reactions.”

“Like what?”

Dylan took a long drink of coffee before he answered, a little timeout so he could think about how to put it. He wanted Johnny’s reactions to be true, not tainted by what other people thought. He was a writer. He did most of his thinking with his fingers, so he needed time to get it right.

“Honestly, most of them? They ignore it. We all live with the knowledge that we’re going to die, all the time. Unless the date of dying is within a year or so, it doesn’t change much. Whatever people use to cope with it, religion, denial, lots of pie, that works when you have a definite date. It doesn’t change anything at all.”

“Really? That’s fucking disappointing.”

“I though so too, at first. But you know, it’s kind of reassuring. People get this news, this important news, the biggest news that they’re ever going to get, and what happens? They go back to their jobs and get right back to their lives. It’s the same way with the angels, you know? Look how fast we got used to it.”

Johnny seemed to think about it for a while. He frowned.

“I guess, but fuck, you’d think it’d change something. You’d think that people would do something with their lives if they knew it was ending.”

“Some do. A couple of the people I interview, the people without a lot of time left. Some of them left their wives, some of them sold their houses, some of them did the things they always wanted to do. I interview one woman, a mom, forty five years old, who had just gotten full sleeve tattoos. She always wanted to, she said, but she was afraid of what people would think. That it wasn’t her. But when she read the news paper and saw she’d be dead in ten months? That changed everything.”

“Did she?”

“Did she what?”

“Did she die?”

“Yeah. Car accident.”

“Well, that fucking sucks?”

“So why didn’t you?”

“Why did I what?”

“Why didn’t you die?”

Johnny leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. Grinned like a chesire cat.

“Because I’m seriously fucking stubborn.”

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