I entertained two unhonorable guests recently, I don’t know exactly when and there is reason for it as you will see. Ha, entertained, unsuitable word but what other word can I use?
The first was Death. She surprised me one sunny afternoon blocking the sun and things, when she popped in my living room, uninvited of course. Who the hell knows her address and even knowing her address who the hell would have invited her? OK, I must make a short intermezzo clarification here, seeing that I call her her and why would I do so when no one knows neither her gender nor her sexual inclinations (though rumor has it that she is at least Bi and certainly Multi). I guess I try to pay here my tribute to political correctness – empowering the feminine gender as much as possible, yet I’m not so sure if this kind of empowering would place me on Women’s Lib love list or hate list. Well, one can never satisfy everyone, I hope I satisfy at least some single ones from the everyone totality.
So she appears in my living room, dressed all blacks and browns and blues – “it’s called Goth, you idiot,” she clarified smiling eye-orb to eye-orb before placing a bit of flesh as disguise on her skull, not very convincing but better than the original. The predominant color being blue of the dark kind, her skull hair blue, her armpits hair blue, her pubic hair (definitely female) blue, even the white-of-eye was blue, but I refrain from calling it blue-of-eye since some of you may mistake it for an allusion to Frank Sinatra. Because, you know, everyone imagines Death to look like someone they worshipped one time or another. For most women it would be Brad Pitt, for me it would be Liz Taylor, truth is that at this moment she looked more like Shit to me, be it first name or last name, immaterial.
“Hello Death,” I mumbled gathering my wits and finding I had none left. “Are you here to find some new ally?” I continue the same nonsense articulations a mouth belonging to me seemed to, well, articulate. She laughed showing canines studded with diamonds. “Diamonds, not gold?” I asked incredulously.
“Gold was for once poor Russian peasants. Diamond is for present rich American show-offs. And – no, I am not looking for new allies, no one beats Putin and for now this is sufficient. I just wanted a preliminary chat with you. Are you OK with it?” As if it was a question, even if it ended with a question mark. “But before, could you please give me something to drink, I am dying of thirst,” and she flashed a twenty carat my way, enjoying her rotten wit.
“Sure. What would it be – blood, wine, coke?”
“Coke would be bad for my sceethe...” and she rolled on my floor laughing and enjoying her linguistic prowess, pieces of flesh rolling off her bones and then sticking elsewhere on her skeleton. If it wasn’t so terrifying it would have been hilarious. She kept laughing for a while, Bing Crosby’s Jingle Bells replaced momentarily by ACDC’s Hell’s Bells, or rather by broken gravel rolling down a tin roof. I gave her water and watched it spill in and straight away spill out, kind of like into Munchausen’s Bucephalus when cut by the portcullis. “OK, sit down!” she ordered.
“You will not sit on my lap, will you?”
“I did once sit on someone’s lap, it was disgusting, so no, I will not.”
I mopped the floor and sat down, the word preliminary playing havoc on my mind. What follows preliminary is usually final.
“Stand up!” I wished she would make up her mind. I stood up. She took out a tailor’s soft tape meter from some hidden cavity in her pelvis and started measuring me: chest, waist, hips...I felt funny and she was also tickling.
“Hey, you won’t find any 36-24-36 inches and I do not intend to apply for any Miss Whatever contest, you know,” I laughed, my laughter slightly on the vibrato side. She didn’t react, mumbling and measuring again – left to right, right to left, again left to right...
“OK, that will do: 86-86-86.” She put the meter away.
I was outraged.
“What 86-86-86 you blind co...” I almost said cow but thought better of it “...couturière?” and hoped she knew some French and thanks to her lack of eardrums she would skip my slip of tongue.
“Perfect,” she flashed the twenty carat again, “the perfect size of the box.”
Then Death... disappeared. What do I mean by disappeared? I mean disappeared, vanished, hocus-pocus, vamoose, absquatulate, gone with the or without the wind, poof, etc. Hello, hello, anyone!? And I was left sitting there, trembling like a leaf facing the teeth of a hungry goat and thanked whoever powers to be that they called her elsewhere. Amen!
Until my second guest arrived, that is. Death. No, not the same one. I do not know how many of the clan there are but this one was definitely another member. Sharing the name of course but not necessarily the sense of humor. Also female so sub conscientiously I ascribe them all to the Amazon sub species. Or supper species, if you wish.
I wonder, in retrospective (I am still alive at the moment these lines are written) why would the two of them have appeared in my living room (yes, the second one as well) in such a short span of time, riddle which might be solved in full only when the third one appears, as she certainly will. But the moment of the second one’s appearance I was busy preparing myself a salad and I was just at the phase when I was pouring some oil on the cut veggies that I heard the muffled sob.
She was as ugly as her namesake relative, but somehow looked more fragile and the scythe she was carrying was certainly made of plastic by the way it did not cut through anything it was touching in the creature’s spastic movements.
“You are not sick or something?” I asked, not really concerned for her safety as for mine. If there was such a kind of sickness then certainly human doctors would not be able to cure a human sick with it.
“I thought she would be here, where is she?”
She did not have to explain who she she was looking for. Such a short span of time even my failing memory could gap.
“Are you here for her or for me?” I asked, starting to munch my salad, just in case I would be forced to leave in a hurry. I hated wasting food and the work that went with preparing it.
I heard a noise as if she was pulling up a sob through her nose even if there was no real nose to talk of. The remnants of an attempt to disguise her bony features were visible on her face and at various parts of her, let’s call it body, but the immaturity of these made me think of an infant threat rather than of a mature threat. Maybe this time I was in no immediate danger to visit my ancestors. I munched on, one never knows.
“Why are you here?”
“I don’t know, I thought she would be here. She would know.” She scratched her ribs and it made a sweet melodious song, like the cords of a harp. Made me think for a moment at king David’s harp.
“Are you related in any way?” and after a short pause I machine-gunned... “Is she your sister? Your mother? Do you have a father?” Luckily her scythe was made of plastic, now I knew for sure, since she lifted it and struck me within milliseconds of my question. “That will leave a blue spot on my neck,” I wailed, “my lover will think I was hickey-ing someone else.”
“You are lucky I do not yet have my steel one.” So she knew what she was doing. “How do you think we are made? In vitro?”
I had no real answer to her question, I did not care for an answer to her question, I wanted her out of my living room before her scythe gets eventually upgraded and the next blow might not leave any place for any eventual future hickey on my neck.
“Listen, dear Death two, may I call you dear?...” and as I could not read anything in her empty orbs I continued hastily. “I do not know why... errr... your relative Death one visited me for an unconcluded preliminary chat, and I do not know why you visit me, looking for her or for whatever other reason. I also do not think you could enlighten me on the subject seen as you are still an... what?... infant? apprentice? But one thing I know for sure – I am going to finish my salad and you can just sit there and watch or stop sitting there and disappear.”
She kept skulking and I kept eating. Then suddenly her features brightened like lighted by an inner fire (yeah, sure, probably the fires of hell) and she pointed a three phalanged index at me.
“Hey, do you have a smart-phone?” It was an insulting question which I didn’t deem worth answering, of course I had a smart-phone even if I was whatever old going on whatever older, but I wasn’t that old. “Let’s do a skullfie,” and at my raised eyebrow she hastened to add “local slang, you call it a selfie.”
I did guess as much. Yes, definitely an infant. I pulled out my battered (still younger than me) smart-phone, let her put a thin ulna over my shoulder and while she was doing her V sign I stopped munching for a second and pushed the button. She watched the result appreciatively and I believe she grinned... believe, I said, one can never be sure with these characters. I decided to exploit the momentary entente and dared ask a question which bothered me since my first encounter with the species.
“Tell me, Death two, you creatures are supposed to be some kind of angels, no? Wings, even if black, long robes, even if tattered, curls, rosy cheeks, stainless steel scythes... presentable you know, not, ahm, well... like this.” I shut up and waited for another strike which, thankfully, did not come.
“You humans are so pathetic. Why do you insist in ascribing to us your ugliness just because you are as ugly as this? Rosy cheeks, curls...” she stopped for a moment and after some gurgling noises she vomited right there, next to my foot. The carpet started steaming and melting with a hiss. Wherever it came from it could not have been her stomach, I was gazing right through it. “We ARE beautiful, why don’t you accept the fact and stop fantasizing your nonsense?”
And with a pull of her scapulae she disappeared. I mean disappeared, vanished, hocus-pocus, vamoose, absquatulate, gone with the or without the wind, poof, etc. She even disappeared from the picture I took. I finished my salad, washed the dishes, sat down to write the events from memory and then turned on the TV. They were talking about Putin. Maybe this is why Death one disappeared and where two was supposed to go as well?
I do not know. I finished writing, turned off the light and went to bed. I wasn’t going to fall asleep so fast, I was sure. But thinking of that plastic scythe made me suddenly burst out laughing. Never thought Death could make me laugh. Well, it did.
When the third guest arrives, I believe I will be prevented from continuing this mini-saga. Thus, I write this mini line here, in lieu.