“You got this.” He tells himself in the mirror. “You got this, you got this, you got this, you got this…”
I’ll save you the repeating he does for the next three minutes; it bores me just as much as you. Being omnipotent and at all places at once has its drawbacks. Most people don’t think about how much it sucks being able to see everyone and be everywhere.
You ever have one of those days where you just stay at home in your PJ’s? You sit around eating ice cream watching two seasons of Friends, and ignore the outside world. Don’t lie, I’ve seen you all do it, maybe not Friends, but you’ve done it all the same. You’ve all taken a break from the world.
But me? No, I’ve never done it, I’ve never had a day off. I’ve been working overtime since you all showed up. You don’t even want to know that vacation hours I’ve built up over these thousands of years. The big guy upstairs keeps telling me I’ll get time off soon, but I think we both know that’s not anytime soon.
So on and on I go. One person to the next, day in and day out; I lead a very busy life with a full schedule.
You can imagine my frustration with Kip here then, when I have to watch him reassure himself for bordering ten minutes. I want to push him out the door, tell him to get on with it and go, but of course I cant; it’s against the code.
Finally, finally he’s dressed and ready to go. He’s changed his shirt three times now. Pit stains kept appearing on his shirt not two minutes after putting them on, so he’s moved onto a button up t-shirt; something “breathable” he tells himself. I’d say he looks good, but of course, I have no idea how to dress: I’ve been wearing the same robes literally forever.
“You got this, you got this…” he continues to drone on, as he pops a myriad of pills into his mouth. Anxiety medication to help with his problem. It reminds me of a kid in a candy store, but his look is much more grave, more eager. I know he absolutely needs this, while a child may not.
And of course, the dunce, in his infinite wisdom, decides to go to the Peacock. Christ. (I can say his name, too.) First time he’s gone out in four weeks and Kip wants to go to the biggest club in town. That’s like testing a kleptomaniac by leaving him in a department store unattended. Believe me, I’ve seen it, it doesn’t work.
That’s the thing about humans, you’re so damned predictable. You all just repeat yourselves over and over again. Then you have the audacity to think you’ve changed, to think you’ve ‘evolved’ – as you have all scientifically put it – when it reality you’re no different than Neanderthals. I’ve watched you all from the beginning, and will watch you all till the end, each and every one of you. If it weren’t for the one in a million genius, the rest of you would still be left in the dark, without the discovery of fire. The whole lot of you is living off the brilliance of a few key members of your race.
Oh look, he’s sitting in the car now. His ingenuity has brought him to use the rear view mirror to chant his three word mantra. He takes a few deep breaths, builds up the courage and begins the thing that will be his demise. He’s getting out of his car now. At this point, he usually turns around and admits defeat. He usually stops by red box, picks up a movie and watches it by himself, or at least has been since the incident. Before that, he had at least been a little more social, able to make it out for birthday parties, weddings or important events. Since then however…
I lean against my scythe, watching him as he walks towards the club. His conviction is surprising me. I know the ending of the story, but the in-between is always a mystery; it’s the one part of this job that makes it interesting.
I can tell he’s not happy with the cover charge. I don’t really understand money, I know when you pay someone, you are paying them with your time. Kip pays the man two hours worth of his time just to get in; as someone who never has enough time because of you all, two hours seems steep.
Predictably, he utters, “You got this, you got this…” under his breath.
Ironically, he’s doing well. He’s telling himself that he has nothing to fear. His doctor told him so, told him that his social paranoia is a defense mechanism. He’s been telling Kip that for the past two years, and only now has Kip even begun to accept it. I think the rest of you would call it sad, or disheartening. To me, it’s just business. Everything on this planet has an expiration date, nothing that is made can be forever; even all of you. Kip’s time is up, and to his dismay, it will not happen in bed while he sleeps.
The Man sees him now, right on time. I don’t know why he does it, or what he hopes to succeed. Nothing you all do makes any sense to me; it’s not my job to make any sense of what you do, it’s my job to get the final say, to place the final puzzle piece.
And so, a few months after his thirty-third birthday, Kip receives a late birthday present. The Man slides a knife between his third and four rib and starts the timer. Kip cries out in pain, in panic, and in what I assume is anguish. His fears have probably been proven right. I bet right about now he’s cursing his Psychologist, telling himself that if he gets through this that he’s gonna give that man a piece of his mind.
He won’t though, The Man has killed Kip, but Kip doesn’t know it yet. No one knows what’s happened. The Man is walking out now, hands in pockets and pretending like nothing has happened. The patrons around Kip assume he’s drunk, or has just fallen over. It isn’t till a woman in heels slips on his blood that someone notices he’s slowly passing away.
I have his soul about halfway out of his body, give or take, when the paramedics arrive. All those bastards do is put me behind schedule. Did you know that after a heart attack, only 2% of patients go on to live life healthy and without setback? Most die of the same thing just a few years later. Medicine is your great triumph, yet all it does is delay the inevitable. All it does is add a few days to our unpreventable meeting. Seeing these men in their white button ups, with their rolling table and loud ambulance, is one of the few things in my life (if you call it that) that make me feel any sort of rage. Don’t they know I have an appointment on the New York subway in fifteen minutes? I mean honestly, how am I supposed to keep up with all the killing you guys do when you keep setting me back? Choose one or the other, life or death, I don’t care, but stop wasting my time with this dance of indecisiveness.
In the end, I win. As I always do. The paramedic calls for the black bag and they zip Kip up. The lights and sounds on the ambulance do not sound as they leave the club.
But that’s enough about Kip, the moon is high above the earth and the night has only just begun.