(and a guy dressed as the Grim Reaper holding an hourglass in the middle of route 9 led to this …)
So I saw the Angel of Death tonight … on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie standing on the median between the North and South triple lanes, at a traffic light, near a T.G.I. Friday’s and a Mattress Firm and across from a new specialty soap shop, a new Sleep Number Bed place and a convenience store among a number of other spots.
Tall guy dressed as you might expect of an Angel of Death/Grim Reaper type. Long black robe, oversized hood and he was pointing at things, menacingly, possibly specialty soaps and he seemed like he might even have been yelling though I couldn’t really hear as I passed him amid that damned rock n roll I was playing too loudly on a nice sunny almost Spring evening, finally, one you surely wouldn’t expect the end of days to arrive on, at least you’d hope not, though I’m afraid my Mom might feel vindicated now all these years later of her worries of, when I was younger, while I was playing that damned rock and roll too loudly back then as well and cutting up perfectly good heavy metal band concert T-shirts to have her sew them on the back of denim jackets, that some might think the end of days would sneak up on me because I wouldn’t hear it/them coming.
The only thing out of the ordinary for this particular Angel of Death though was that he was carrying an hourglass. Not that Angels of Death don’t sometimes carry hourglasses, they do, I’ve seen artist renderings, some pretty cool artist renderings as a matter of fact,, but this was in lieu of the tall, sharp, pointy, violent looking scythe’s we’ve more come to expect in a clichéd Angel of Death kinda way which, truth be told, is probably for the best in this day and age that that wasn’t what he was carrying.
Tall, sharp, pointy violent looking clichéd scythe’s? Yeah, that’ll getcha noticed, and not in a good way, and possibly even get ya tased or worse. Hourglass? Much less threatening.
I did though think, if I could have, that I would have politely pointed out that this hourglass of his was a little small, not really of a size befitting his stature or one to really get him noticed in the middle of a busy roadway here in Poughkeepsie, and right at the height of an evening rush hour with people being lost in thoughts of get homes and dinners and dog walkings and sweatpants and checkings in on that show that you’re pretty sure your better half cheated on and watched the next episode of without you, again, and conversations/angers left open ended the night before.
I would have pointed out that he needed something a bit more dramatic, more theatrical, something oversized to really catch that thought lost eye. The hourglass he had was, well, a little on the Spinal Tappy Stonehenge side but with him being the Angel of Death an all, I would have been as deferential and as delicate as I could with this observation (plus, he most probably still had that clichéd scythe somewhere in reserve – and that shit looks like it would hurt … a lot, like in a death kind of way).
Now was there any reason, I thought, any significance to this specific spot of his as I drove past? I don’t know. Was this where the thunders and the lightnings, the great fires or floods, or great fires followed by floods to drown out great fires making people tread water in floaties the only thing they had on hand, damn the children, the pestilences and rivers of blood were newly ordained to happen, or was he just waiting on a pick up order from that T.G.I. Friday’s and doing what Angels of Death do to pass the time, what little time may be left?
Had he been maybe having some trouble sleeping recently (certainly possible as carrying the weight of his message has gotta be a heavy sleepless nights kinda burden) thus reason to be in between a Mattress Firm and a Sleep Number Bed store or was he really pointing menacingly at specialty soaps, a could be 21st century haven of witchcraft with all the witch-like curatives some of the soaps and maybe oils and creams inside can surely promise … plus Hell, you know there’s gotta be a crystal or two hanging in there somewhere right? Or maybe he was just waiting to cross the highway way to get to the convenience store for a pack of smokes thinking to his Death self, well, if I’m bringing word of the end of the world to the peoples, I might as well smoke up while I can.
I don’t know. Whatever the reason was for that location or whatever the reason wasn’t, all I really thought on my way home after passing this Angel of Death fella with his too small hourglass (you just need a big black sports hearse car to compensate my not friend) was “listen, if this is it tonight big guy, if this is the end of days, after you’ve possibly picked up your order at T.G.I. Friday’s could you …
“Hi, can I help you sir?”
“I’m here for a pick-up”
“Angel? Hold on … hmmm, hmmm, hold on a sec, I’m sorry I’m not seeing that here for our pick-up orders right now”
“You sure … nothing under the name Angel? With an A?”
“I can spell Angel sir, thank you, and sorry, but no … could you have ordered under a different name?”
“Oh wait, you know what, I may have. Do you have one under the name Death?”
“Death … Death … Death … sorry busy night … hold on … oh, here we go … Death … burger, blood rare, locusts, frogs, extra cheese, fries and the apple cobbler dessert special?”
“Yep, that’s me. Sorry, I don’t usually use my last name, way too formal and can be a little off-putting”
“No worries Sir. Let me get that for you, Oh, and by the way? Cool hood”
“Oh, well thank you so very much”
“I would say though, if you don’t mind a little constructive criticism, that you get a slightly larger hourglass”
… and could you, after you’ve put a deposit down on a new bed …
“You’ll be so happy you chose our little slice of sleep heaven … (stop short silent stare) … sorry, my bad … probably not the best of selling points for you I’m thinking now … you’ll be so happy you chose our bed Mr. Death instead of something that feels like a bed of nails like from those sleep hacks across the street …”
“They have something that feels like a bed of nails?”
“Bed of nails, those sleep hacks across the street have something that feels like a bed of nails?”
“Ummm, well yeah, that’s what we say … Ok, but hold on, I got ya. If you’d like, Jimmy, one of our delivery drivers, works at a small local hardware store and I’m sure we could throw in a bag of nails, support small business right, that you can toss on the bed, like scattering rose petals for you and the Missus …”
“There’s no Missus … I’m Death. It would make holiday family get togethers very uncomfortable.”
“Ok, well, bag of nails just for you it is then”
… and then after checking in on potential modern day witches …
“Do you have a soap or some oils that can just ease some tension, possibly transport me away to a better place? I think I’ve seen a commercial like that …”
“a place like … HELL!”
“Gotcha! I saw ya glancing over at that crystal … witch”…
… and after you’ve a grabbed a smoke outside the Exxon while you’re getting yelled at for your loitering could you at least let me feed the cats and have my dinner and maybe clean a litter box or two? I would SO hate to have to face the end of days, you know, the rapture or something, even if you all do the rapture, I’m not sure, or some sort of reckoning, with messy litter boxes and on an empty stomach.
Alright Bella, alright Ms Cricket … Last Fancy Feast “Savory Centers”
Eat up quickly girls, I don’t know what kind of deadline he might be facin’.