Bed Man - by Mark Powers

    I am looking up at the ceiling. Its cold outside, the wind is blowing, the sunlight can barely keep the room from turning dark. I can’t get off the bed. I can’t even think of anything except for the gloominess around me. It could be worse of course, there are plenty of people in far worse situations than me, but here I am, in my room, alone, silent, and feeling about as warm as a clam in a refrigerator.  

    I read somewhere that the greatest reason people procrastinate is because they are lonely. If they have to do something that isolates them, such as studying, doing homework, etc., they will avoid it because they want to avoid the loneliness.

    Knock, Knock! Suddenly there is a tapping at my door. I have no idea who could that be. I am not expecting anyone. It’s probably a salesman. I don’t want to answer it, I can’t even get myself out of bed, let alone answer a door.

    Knock, Knock! Again, damn they are persistent. Did I invite someone over and forget? Do they know me? Is it a girl? I wonder if she is good looking?

    Curiousity starts to spread its grip across my consciousness. I feel the urge to know who it is. I feel microscopic bursts of nervous energy making its way around my arms and legs. My consciousness is readying itself for movement, getting ready to make commands, pilot the ship, fire up the engines.

    Knock……Knock! I rise up, throw my feet on the floor. The blood sloshes around in my body like milk in a pitcher, but I try to steady myself so as not to let any go over the top and spill on to the floor.  I find the slippers by my bed, slip them on and shuffle to the door.

    There is a peep hole to see who it is. I put my eye to it. Blackness…. The lights in the hallway must be out again. I say out loud “Who is it?”

    “Death, sir”

    “Death?” I reply. “Are you sure? Has my time come already?”

    “I am afraid so”

    “But I think I am still very young”, I retorted. “I am still only thirty-four and I should have many more years to go before I die.”

    “Well, its more like you have thrown your life away, rather than you coming of age or maturing, or anything like that, sir”, said Death. The voice was much more friendly than I expected. I had imagined that Death would be much rougher and overbearing, but he sounded more like a clerk at the store, just doing his job.

    “I see, well can you at least answer me this question? I was just laying in my bed when you knocked”, I reasoned. “So how could I have died?” The pitch of my voice rose as I finished my sentence, I suppose I was starting to feel a little panic.

    Death said, “Well, you stopped living. You stopped doing things. You just laid in your bed all day. Did you know you can lose the will to keep on living? That happens to people sometimes.”

    I wanted to keep fighting with Death over this matter, but what was there to say? Death had a point, I was not the person I was before. I had many disappointments in life and I was avoiding doing anything because I just did not want to keep running into the same problems and hurt feelings again. But I did feel like I still had hope. I still had a desire to be successful in something, the hope that I could turn things around.

    I took a deep breath.

    “Did you want some extra time to think about it?” said Death curtiously.

    “Well, if you wouldn’t mind?” I answered.

    “Alright, I’ll be back later.”

    “Thank you” I said. I tried to be gracious.

    Then I went back to bed and laid down.    

        Copyright 2007 Mark Powers, All Rights Reserved.