Conversation With A Ferryman
Seering pain, unlike anything I’ve ever felt. I look down to where my hands clasp around my stomach. The last time I saw these, they were holding my insides that just happened to be on the outside.
Someone cut me. They cut me deep.
But when I look down, there’s nothing there. There’s no wound or blood. My clothes aren’t ripped or soaked in a mix of blood, bile and faeces. Everything is how it was before I was disembowelled.
And despite awaking in agony, the pain has gone.
I don’t feel a thing.
A voice says. I hadn’t even looked at my surroundings. I’m on a boat, sloshing back and forth against a darkened ocean. A large man in a black trench coat and hat sits before me, casually and rhythmically rowing.
“Where am I? I was stabbed. The last thing I remember was the agony I felt before everything went black.”
The man doesn’t stop rowing. He makes me nervous.
“Have you ever heard the idiom; no longer in pain?”
What’s that supposed to mean? That’s something people say when someone was in pain and died, isn’t it?
Am I dead?
I don’t feel any pain. I must ask.
“Am I dead?”
He nods stoically.
Thanks for letting me down gently, mother fucker.
“Welcome to my boat. I’m the Ferryman and it is my duty to take you to your final destination. Here, like there, your pain means nothing. It is but a moment of something you once felt in another life. Now, your life begins anew with the end of what was.”
That’s why I don’t feel any pain.
“I was disembowelled. My guts were spilling into my hands. I remember the blood, but I don’t feel anything. All that agony, all that pain, it means nothing?”
He stops rowing. Finally.
“It meant your end.”
Something in him seems to change. For a moment, there’s something different in the eyes of this monstrous man.
“What happens in that life, stays in that life. The pain you endure is much like the pleasure; in this journey or your final destination, none of it matters. Those who have suffered violently are the same as those who have not. You are no further enlightened by your previous existence or experiences. All that matters now is where you go.”
He turns around and takes a seat, grabbing at his oars and beginning to row once more.
“Where am I going?”
“I do not know. It isn’t my purpose to know or decide your destination. My duty is simply to ferry you there.”
“Whether you suffered or not is of no consequence. The end is always the same and it matters not.”
“But you should never fear the end.”
“Because the end is where we meet.”
“And I will send you on your way.”