I arrived early for our interview. That afternoon, I was wearing my favorite office attire. The light blue long sleeves with white stripes and the black pencil skirt bought by my Mom. I was wearing my lucky shoes, an Aldo black pumps. With the availability of a large mirror in the lounge room of that 5-star hotel, I took a glance of myself for a while. Damn,I look decent. With the accessories at minimum and my ID pinned on my blouse, I do really look like your ordinary news reporter.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
The Grim Reaper arrived 10 minutes late. His voice was raspy and dry as he apologized for not making it on time. I told him it’s fine, at the very least he’s present for the interview. He shook my hand and sat on the couch across me. His face looked dull and gloomy. Creases wore his forehead and cheeks down. Saggy eyebags populated his lower eyes. His lips were pale. His nose was crooked and etched with minute moles on top. His chin was slightly curved and his facial hairs weren’t groomed and trimmed. He wore his favorite all-black suit — a white long sleeves covered with a black tuxedo with a black necktie to complete the get-up. His pants were, I presumed, made of cashmere for the texture was evidently soft. His shoes were pointed and grimed with dirt and mud. He only had his long crane with him — no bags, no accessories — just his crane. I offered him a glass of water and he obligingly accepted it. He gulped the drink in one swallow and I could see his Adam’s apples twitching on both sides in his every sip. He’s having his difficulty in drinking. After a few casual exchange of “hellos” and “how are you”, I took my list of questions out and placed my tape recorder on the table between us.
[Start of Rec.]
Me: Good afternoon sir. First, thank you for accepting my offer for this interview. It is quite rare actually to hear your side in every story. What pushed you to speak up right now?
Grim Reaper: Good afternoon too. Well, for starters, you’re very much welcome. I kept my mouth shut for the past years, decades and centuries. For so long I roamed the Earth and collected souls for a living — I thrive on people’s death. That’s the very reason why I exist. To collect souls and keep it for my own selfish way of living. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t forced to speak up at this moment for I chose to do so, not forced. People these days, especially the young, think of Death as an escape — an escape to their problems, struggles and difficulties. They die because they don’t want to live anymore. And that is sad.
Me: You told me earlier that you thrive on people’s death, correct?
Grim Reaper: Yes.
Me: Then why do you think that it’s “sad” to die on your own? To die to escape from life when you will be the obvious beneficiary of such death?
Grim Reaper: The fact is, Death is not just a simple game of killing a human — it’s an art. Dying is a man’s last masterpiece. In my eyes, when I see the pain and struggles of the souls I’m taking, it feels like a paradise of abstracts, portraits and landscapes combined into one frame. When I get the feeling that someone is going to kill himself, I don’t enjoy the view. I don’t find the piece beautiful. It’s like a blank canvas with tiny dots and colored lines — a dull and plain death.
Me: You still have your taste in dying. Why do you think suicides are dull?
Grim Reaper: Many people in this world are striving to live and struggling to keep themselves alive. Every efforts to keep on going adds up to the challenge and subtlety of the piece. In other words, a pizzazz. When you kill yourself, just for the sake of escaping life, I don’t see the pizzazz that I wanted to see. Of course it’s fun and all that more souls are keeping me alive but in reality, it’s a pity. It’s such a waste to see people die from their own hands. There’s no thrill.
Me: I can sense from your words that you still care for the living humanity, even if your source of immortality is death, correct?
Grim Reaper: Yes. Humans are wonderful and beautiful entities that live on this Earth. They are living context of ideas and thoughts with the power to influence and talk to each other. They also have the power to love and be friends with one another. I admire those characteristics of the living for such characteristics don’t exist in me.
Me: I’m beginning to see how deep and loving you are, Grim Reaper. Of course minus all the soul-taking obligations and stuff, but really. You do still care about the humanity.
Grim Reaper: Yes. I do. But most humans don’t care for themselves. Humans don’t realize the gift bestowed upon them and they carelessly put it into waste. Human hurting, teasing, blackmailing, bullying, killing and causing pain to another human is truly one devastating sight. Such sight can lead to suicide, and I hate taking souls of the suicide victims.
Me: I see your point. Any last words to the readers of this interview?
Grim Reaper: You all should appreciate life as you know it. Enjoy the gift. Cherish every moment and live with it. A time will come that I will come and get you, and that time would be that right time for you. Don’t make me come for you in your own decided time, it’s sad to take souls in that manner. So live on, be happy and be free. We’ll meet someday, at some point when you’re ready to leave the Earth.
Me: Thank you for the interview Mr. Grim Reaper.
Grim Reaper: It was pleasure talking to you. Good bye, and see you, when I’ll see you.
[End of Rec.]
He hurriedly left the lounge to take more souls to keep himself alive. I talked to the most feared entity in this world — the soul taker, the Grim Reaper. But somehow, the life taker gave me the hopes of being and staying alive. He made me appreciate life in a new light and inspired me to live happily and just continue on living.
Such words. Thank you, Grim Reaper.