The Urban Sherpa - a blog by Christopher DeWan

(where profundity falls like overripe fruit...)

Read Work and Other Essays, a collection of nonfiction by Christopher DeWan.

The Obituary rating=3

Morning coffee

Imagine his surprise when he saw the obituary, force itself as it were into his daily routine, in the middle of his second cup of coffee ("Light cream, two spoons of sugar") and between bites of cinnamon roll ("No nuts, please, they get caught in my digestion"). He had just padded down to the bottom of the driveway without his slippers ("Damn dog") trying to ignore the cold rain ("and worms") that got between his toes and the bottom two inches of his unhemmed pants ("Gotta do that").

The paper spread open on the mahogany table leaving nut-sized drops of water that might or might not ruin the wood after time. As always, he skipped straight to the end, to the announcements, to the life and death page ("The only real news"), which was the main reason ("the only reason") he subscribed to the rag.

"So. There it is. This is what it's like to be dead."

He wondered if it was no longer appropriate to finish his coffee ("but since no one's looking...").

In many ways he felt cheated—not at being dead ("It seems natural enough"), but rather at the system failure, that he hadn't been notified, that he'd had to read about it in the paper like everyone else, and ("My God!") that meant some people in this meddling town knew before he did ("Nosy").

Rather than let himself get bitter about it ("bad for my blood pressure"), he poured himself a third cup of coffee.

"Well, better go tell the kids", already sleeping through some of their favorite cartoons because the clouds and the rain kept the sun off their sleeping eyes.

(" At least they spelled my name right.")