Death is Part of the Contract, Mr Jones

by OWAIN GLYN EVANS

It was difficult for Ben to avoid thinking about his own death. Now that it was booked for the approaching Monday. The thought provided no relief, and stirred no fear. It was the cause of, and solution to, the ultimate problem. It was a thought that, to Ben’s petty comprehension, meant he was still alive but didn’t want to be.

Death is part of the contract, Mr Jones. You will most definitely die.

In this way Ben had never attempted to understand the labyrinthine nature of his existence. His was a life of futility and paranoia; the possibility of the Minotaur behind each impending corner.

There are reasons for dying, and there are reasons to stop living. They are different things.

This was the extent to which Ben philosophised his existence. He was no Hamlet. He could think, and consider, and argue, and question, but still he would remain unassuming and undeserving of what he felt was beyond him. Beyond any reason to live.

All people stop living, Mr Jones. But those who come to us don’t just stop living. They die, and they die the way men are supposed to die. In glory and commemoration.

Ben had objectified thoughts which remained deep and subjective to most. Ben wanted to die. The Sunset Corporation could arrange it for him. He would convince himself that death is the most human part of life. There can be nothing inhuman in what they were doing.

Like Spartacus, or Davy Crockett. You are one of them, Mr Jones. Yours is a death worth celebrating. Your life won’t just end, Mr Jones. You will die a hero of men, a hero of life. In your death is your life.

But ultimately, Ben Jones just wanted to die.

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