Nocturnal Remission

Mike Essig
2 min readFeb 5, 2017
Van Gough Museum

Death dropped by last night. I never expect him, but he was lonely and I was available.

What’s up, I asked.

Same old shit, he said. You have no idea how hard this job is. Absolutely no one wants to see me. Ever.

Must be lonely.

Lonely, he said, you can’t imagine! Most of them die as soon as they see me. Do you know hard that makes it to have a meaningful relationship? Or even get a date?

Death lit a cigarette, unafraid.

Oh, I can imagine.

Well, let me tell you; it’s damned frustrating. Sometimes, I’d just like to cuddle, but I’m not into corpses. Yuck.

Death isn’t much of a conversationalist. Mostly he just whines. It’s all about him. He tends to ramble.

I just quietly let him talk. He did.

Have to be going, he said finally. Must meet the soon to be dead. Rush, rush, rush… and Santa Claus thinks he has it bad. Thanks for listening. See you soon.

No hurry, I replied.

I swear his missing lips smiled as he turned and left.

It took a while before I realized what I had just been spared.

Sometimes, it pays to be a good listener.

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Mike Essig

Honorary Schizophrenic. Recent refugee. Displaced person. Old white male. Confidant of cassowaries.