Having a smoke with the reaper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hospitals are strange places. Anything can happen. Even a nice chat with the reaper.

Submitted: July 18, 2017

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Submitted: July 18, 2017

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Having a smoke with the reaper

 

The word "Graveyard shift" totally gets a new meaning if you work as a physician in a hospital.

I´ve witnessed strange things in this halls. Perfectly healthy people drop dead in the blink of an eye and others, who were already bagged make a full recovery.

Throat cancer patients who didn´t quit smoking after we had to take out their adams apple, wheelchair races in the hallways, people with cardiatic arrest and broken legs walking in, filling out the formulars and getting shocked by the diagnoses.

Back then, as I stared practicing medicine in 1984, we didn´t even know what AIDS was. Now we can clone skin and print body parts in hours. Where has the time went? 1984 is long gone.

I remember a janitor, back in the 90s, who used the drawers in the morgue to cool his beer and a nurse who fainted every time she saw blood.

I´ve seen a lot of strange things, that´s for sure.

It´s a slow cold night today. I don´t like slow cold nights. That mens that he will pay us a visit.

The man in the black suit.

I´m having a smoke and a cup of coffee in the parking lot.

A silent ambulance stands guard. A modern aera gargoyle.

>>Seriously?<< The man in the black suit shakes his head. >>Don´t you guys always warn about the hazzards of smoking? Lung cancer and addiction?<<

>>To be fair,<< I raise my hand, the coffin nail between the fingers. >>Almost everything we give our patients is addictive and carcinogenic.<<

I exhale smoke, a ghostly white cloud in the cold darkness.

>>What brings you here? Business or fun?<<

>>Business.<< He taps a cigarette out of the pack. >>I prefer to play golf in my spare time.<<

>>You have spare time?<<

>>Not as much as it used to be. Back then, as I still had my valkyries, I could be on the green at noon. Battle ended, the ladies picked up the souls of the fallen warriors and carried them to paradise. You know, Valhalla was the place to be. And then monotheist religions took over.<<

>>What happened?<< I ask. I´m not afraif of him. Reaper is a regular in this hospital.

>>Budget cuts.<< He searches for a light. I hand him the Zippo my father gave to me the day I fnished med school.

>>And the valkyries?<< I ask.

>>Changed profession to guardian angels.<<

>>Good personal is hard to find.<<

>>It´s a pain. Especially because noone wants to do this job. Long hours, overtime and I didn´t had a day off since 1976. Last movie I watched in a theater was Taxi Driver.<<

>>There was a rerun of it a few days ago.<< I say.

>>I still ´ve got it on video tape. Original package, never opened.<<

>>You still have video tapes? VHS died like 15 years ago.<<

>>I don´t even find the time to watch DeNiro, where should I find the time to buy a blue ray player? It´s always a pandemic or a war or a natural desaster somewhere. You know what I want to do? Sit down with a bucket of popcorn and watch every movie I´ve missed since ´76.<<

>>I never thought of the grim reaper as a motion picture enthusiast.<<

>>Grim reaper?<< He sounds offended. >>Black hooded cape and a scythe? Puh-lease, that´s so 16th century. You can´t imagine the trouble I had every time I went to pick up a soul.

No, please death, my time hasn´t come yet. No; please death, my mission isn´t fullfilled yet. No, please death, who will take care of my cat?<< He picks a crumb of tobacco from the tip of his tounge. >>As if I would make the rules.<<

>>Well, you are the one to pick them up and lead them to eternal damnation. A little negotiation is understandable.<<

>>I´m just a delivery guy. Pick them up at point A and bring them to point B. I don´t write the list and I don´t have any influence on it.<<

The man in the black suit throws his cigarette butt in the trash can. >>And by the way, there is no such thing as eternal damnation. Lucifer has no interrest in human souls. There is no sensefull justification for eternal punishment for the bad things you people do in your, what, 60? 70?90 years on earth. A movie can be awesome even if the trailer sucked.<<

>>There is no hell?<<

>>Oh, there is a hell. Lucifer doesn´t live under a bridge. But hell is no place where human souls go. Basically hell is a members only country club.<<

>>What about purgatory?<<

>>Even the pope cancelled off purgatory. Budget cuts.<<

>>So what happens to a soul after the body dies?<<

>>You will find out yourself, very soon.<< His face becomes an evil mask.

My veins freeze to ice.

>>Just kidding.<< He smiles and winks. >>You have a lot of time left. Your name is waaaaaaaaay down on my list.<<

>>That´s not funny, Reaper!<<

>>Maybe not to you.<< He laughs silently. >>Some jokes never get old. And now, if you would pardon me, I need to pick up misses Beverly Jorgenson.<<

Berverly Jorgenson, 68 years old, mother of three, grandmother of seven, bladder cancer, final stadium.

>>Will you come back?<< I ask.

The man in the black suit stops his steps. >>Not tonight. I have to mop up a drunk driver from Interstate 24.<<

>>When did that happen?<<

He grins again.

>>In about eight minutes.<<


© Copyright 2017 matt dogg. All rights reserved.

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