“So, how’s work?” I asked without looking. I flipped through my menu, trying to decide what to get. Southwestern Eggroll, maybe? They were good, but made me feel kinda touristy in my own country. Embarrassment's not a very good garnish.
“HUMANITY IS SIMPLY A GRADUAL SLIDE TOWARDS OBLIVION. YOUR LIFE IS SIMPLY PASSING THE EVER WANING HOURS UNTIL MY ARRIVAL. I AM THE ONLY MEANING YOU WILL EVER KNOW. THE GAPING ABYSSE SHALL TAKE ALL YOU HAVE.”
“Good to hear,” I replied. Burger sliders? Or Chicken fingers? “How’s Cathy? You guys still together?”
Death pounded his massive gauntlets upon the table.
“COMPANIONSHIP IS A FEEBLE LIE. AT YOUR MOST INTIMATE, YOUR MOST TRUSTING, YOU ARE STILL ALONE. YOU GRASP WILDLY AT THE SHADOWS TO DROWN OUT THE SILENCE WITHIN. ALL TRUST AND KINDNESS IS A CRUEL FAÇADE.”
I looked up, my mind still on nachos. “When did you break up? You two seemed really good for each other?”
“LAST JUNE” bellowed Death, “SHE SHATTERED OUR COVENANT AND I BATHED HER WORLD IN FIRE. A SWIRLING VORTEX OF NIGHTMARES DESCENDED UPON HER VERY MEMORY. TWISTING BRANCHES OF SCHORCHED NOTHINGNESS ARE THE ONLY REMAINING LEGACY OF THE ONE CALLED CATHY.”
“Well at least you seem to be taking it well.” I said, “what were you thinking of getting? Because I’m kinda feeling like the chili, but the table next to us got the roast beef sandwich, and it smells pretty good.”
“NOTHINGNESS IS THE ONLY TRUTH. GOD LAUGHS AS YOU SCRATCH FOR MEANING IN HIS WASTELAND. HE LAUGHS THAT YOU THINK HE CARES. ONE DAY THE BLOOD IN YOUR VEINS WILL TURN TO THE DUST YOU WALK ON, AND THERE IS NO SOLICE.”
“What’s wrong,” I sighed. Death had been pissy the whole night, and I was pretty sure he was going to make me pay for the meal.
“TGI FRIDAYS IS A MONUMENT TO THE TEDIUM OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. YOU GRASP DESPERATELY AT CULTURAL GIBERISH TO DELUDE YOUR SELF INTO A FEELING OF BELONGING. EVEN THE MIGHTIEST OF YOU WILL FALL BEFORE ME, AND NOTHING SHALL REMAIN. WE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE.”
“Don’t bitch,” I said, “besides, whenever we go to longhorn you just ask to know the cow’s names.”
A waitress approached our table hesitantly. She was the blonde haired kind, still full of spunk before college. Her nametag said Lucy, and her head bobbled nervously as she walked. It was like being served drinks by a shivering puppy. This girl would be tipped well; it was almost unfair.
“Can I get you anything, or are you still deciding?” she asked. Her voice was a series of squeaks that had not yet become a melody. I tried to avoid looking at her chest, considering it a moral grey area.
“I’ll have the Fish and Chips,” I said, smiling. The waitress jotted it down hastily, muttering the words as she wrote.
“And you?” she asked, looking to Death. His titanic frame was totally still, and his form grew darker, as if he was consuming the shadows of the room.
“MAY 12. 2016. ON A MONDAY NIGHT. YOU FEEL NOTHING."
“I’m sorry?” the waitress asked, leaning in.
“A CAR ACCIDENT. THE DRIVER FLIPS HIS VEHICLE, WITH YOU HIS PASSENGER. HE WILL ESCAPE WITH ONLY A MINOR CONCUSSION AND BROKEN BONES. YOU WILL NOT.”
Lucy pulled back from the table, clutching her notepad like a crucifix. Her face was utterly blank. I tried to think of a way to make it look like Death was joking, but that would only egg him on.
“THEY WILL NOT FIND YOU UNTIL MORNING. THE HOT SUMMER ASPHALT WILL OFFER YOUR BODY UP TO THE ELEMENTS, AND THEY SHALL TAKE GLADLY. THE CROWS WILL FEAST WELL THAT NIGHT.”
“He’ll just have a steak with some curly fries” I said, and ushered Lucy away from our booth. As she bobbled away, Death boomed “FAREWELL LUCY, FEEDER OF MAN AND CROW ALIKE. I LOOK FOREWARD TO OUR NEXT MEETING AS MUCH AS MY ENTRÉE.”
I waited until her blonde curls were out of the sight and turned to Death.
“If you were trying to pick up the waitress, I don’t think you’re doing it right.”
“I THINK WE REALLY HIT IT OFF” said Death, belching green fire from his eyes.
“This is why we don’t hang out anymore.”
“DON’T BE A DICK” Death said, and the booth next to us exploded into a cloud of ash. I sighed, walked over, and took what was left of their drinks.