Dying to Quit

The dead have it easy, everybody knows that. The dead have it easy, that’s why the living envy them. Brian wasn’t dead, so he was on his knees, wiping down the button, wishing he was dead.

‘It must be so great being dead,‘ he thought, peering in through the thick glass, ‘having every body work for you,’ he sighed, reminding himself how many more years he had on the clock before retirement. ‘Twenty-two more years then I’ve got some poor soul outside wiping my button, and then who’s laughing?’

Brian had been counting down to his day of retirement since his first day on the job four years ago. Though, being a button-wiper was still a real step up from his last job, body-fluid-remover. He owed his good fortune to his brother-in-law, Yardrite, who was on the hiring board. He hated that he owed his brother-in-law anything, because he hated his brother-in-law.

And speak of the devil, there he came walking into the chamber.

“You still coming over tonight?” Yardrite was a peculiar dresser. He mixed colors and fashions in ways others would never dare dream, let alone, realize. Today he had on a sharp red one sleeved L-shirt on top of a pair of orange balloon pants. Casually formal is how Brian would classify Yardrite’s ensemble. And tacky, incredibly tacky.

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Brian smiled, showing off a healthy dental plan. “Should I bring anything?”

“Just you and your lovely wife, whatshername.”

“Oh, I just got a divorce.”

“Ok, good thing I didn’t bother learn her name.”

“Yeah, when the marriage contract was up for its weekly renewal, neither of us were in the mood for signing.”

“It’s always good to follow your better instincts.”

“My better instincts are telling me that I’d better get back to work finishing wiping down the last three chambers so I can get off so I can come tonight,” and not wanting to end on such an obvious sexual innuendo, Brian added cliche, “work is play.”

Yardrite chuckled. “Thanks for making me look good,” patting Brian on the shoulder. Brian hated the shoulder patting more than anything else Yardrite did.

“Yeah, well, thanks for the opportunity.” The only thing Brian hated more was the sound of his own voice sucking up to his brother-in-law.

“You’re welcome,” Yardite said, giving Brian another shoulder pat. Yardite then dismissed himself, leaving Brian alone with the dead.

You think you’re so big, you say you’re welcome after I say thank you?’

Brian set to work wiping down the next button, looking through the thick glass at the dead man inside.

“Lucky bastard,” mumbled Brian. He had been raised not to mock death, but hope to reach it, still, he found the older he got, the more resentment he had towards the dead. “Having fun in there? I know you’re not really dead, you’re just faking. You can tell me, between you and me, what’s it like?”

Brian was too preoccupied with his own death to notice the finger twitch of the dead man in the button. Little did Brian know that the dead were about to rise to answer any and all questions he might have.

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