Story-time with Aaron: Part 2

Thursday April 1, 2010

I went to the gym to train, but I ended up just sitting in the studio and writing this. Huh.

(Part 1) (Part 3)

It is Thursday. Take a walk. Both knowing the way, more or less, it is hard to tell who is leading. Aaron leads, but he isn't going anywhere in particular.

Down the sidewalk, along the road, under the trees, tall but not proud. Majestic trees, planted and grown. Across a concrete bridge, impractically steep. Pretty from a distance.

Aaron points. "Would you look at that? It's Death, from grade school! I haven't seen him in ages."


Aaron realizes it is a strange name. "His father disappeared before he was born, and his mother had a strange sense of humor, didn't she? I told him to at least go with something a little more distinctive, you know, not sacrifice his individuality altogether, but when we started middle school he started going by John. Better call him that."

"What did you want him to use?"

"I suggested Judas." Aaron grins. "Let's go!"

Death is sitting on a metal bench, tearing miniscule pieces of white bread and throwing them to the ducks that defecate throughout the park. Aaron gets his attention.

"You know, you're not supposed to feed the ducks."

Death looks up and smiles his recognition. "Aaron! What the heck are you doing here?"

Introductions are exchanged. Death helpfully continues the conversation.

"You know, I go by John, but my real name is actually Death. My mom gave me that name after my father left before I was born."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah. I used that name all through grade school."

"Yeah, actually Aaron mentioned that, but he said you just went by John now."

Death turns to Aaron. "You did?"

"Sorry." Aaron is not sorry, but now Death can continue.

"After a while I decided that it was actually easier introducing myself to people if I told the little story of my name. You know, it builds trust when you disclose little strange, semi-private things about yourself. Do you have anything like that?"


Aaron steps in with his.

"I still live with my mother! Here I am, twenty-eight years old, by some reckonings, and I still live with my mother!" Aaron is immensely pleased with himself. "You see what I've done? I've taken something that could be an embarrassing little secret, and by taking ownership of it and disclosing it, I show I'm confident with who I am!"

Death nods in agreement. "Just like that. Disclosing things like that is great for relationships. I read about this disclosing stuff in a psychology book. Which is where I learn most of what I know about relationships."

Aaron laughs out loud. "Good, good!"

Death continues. "Yes, you see how I made a little self-disparaging joke there? It shows I don't take myself too seriously, and makes other people more comfortable around me. With a name like Death, it's important to be a little light-hearted. People can try to see symbolism in every little thing I do."

"A rose, by any other name..."

Aaron frowns slightly. "I don't see how that's relevant."

"Anyway," Death interrupts, "what have you got that you can disclose? Any little thing is fine."

Pause. Death and Aaron wait expectantly, leaning in slightly.

"When I was in high school, one sunny day, I came to this park with a girl that I liked. I was feeling so happy, I started running down the park the long way. I thought she would run with me, but when I looked back she was still back there, shoes in hand, plodding along slowly. I guess it was then that I realized that we would never be."


"Oh," says Aaron.

"Oh," says Death.

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