Hey, Baby, I’m Terrified Of My Looming Mortality!Commentary • Opinion • death • ISSUE 49•37 • Sep 10, 2013 By Mike Dugan, Construction Worker Whoa-ho-ho! Look at that piece of work coming up Fifth! Slow down, baby. Let me get a good look at you. Why don’t you try me on for size, huh? Check me out. I’m 200 pounds of pure solid man, I’m desperately lonely, and I’m fearful of the mortality that I, like every one of us, inevitably faces!Mmm, I like what I see. Why don’t you walk them legs over here and stimulate my basic carnal urges, distracting me from the vulgar, purposeless death march my life became decades ago? Won’t take you long, honey!Ooh, yeah, shake it! Shake it while you still have breath in your lungs, and the flush of youth in your cheeks, and can believe this world is truly yours for the enjoying and not a wearying burden that pins you down with obligations before you can accomplish anything lasting or uniquely yours.What? Who you calling? You got a boyfriend or something? He can’t love you like I can. Which is not to imply that so-called love, as I manifest it, is anything more than neurochemical and behavioral programming that serves to ward off my cringing despair, however temporarily.But damn, woman, you’ve got a little something there I’d like to get a piece of. Something that sure would beat the nothing I’m creeping closer to with each passing breath. The vicissitudes of fate, not cruel so much as random, can snuff out life at any moment, so whaddaya say?I sure wouldn’t mind having a pretty mama like you to keep me company, even if, in the end, each of us must face the terror of death alone.Ain’t none of us getting any younger, sugar—that’s true per the relentless nature of time, but I mean it more as a dire comment on my options for happiness running out with every minute that passes! That clock don’t stop ticking for no one.Universe’s just gonna end in entropic heat death some day, you know. Can’t nobody prevent it. Might as well stop and lemme get to know you a little. Or don’t; I can’t argue that it truly matters in what is ultimately a meaningless and indifferent cosmos.C’mon, sweet thing, my existential dread ain’t gonna ameliorate itself! How ’bout a little momentary release from the crushing grind of this grueling job that comprises the least uncomfortable life I have been able to build for myself?You don’t wanna send me home to the wife I married too young and never did grow close to. Last night, after dreaming I had died, I awoke in a cold sweat, panicked to realize I was still alive and would likely suffer on for years before finally dying a pointless death.Hey, baby, you know I’m just another anonymous cog in the machine, guaranteed to pass through this world without so much as a mention in a footnote on a lesser page of the big book of existence. But if I could know I was truly cared for by even one person, I could perhaps die in relative happiness, rationalizing the whole charade as a tiny-but-meaningful iamb of cosmic poetry. The woman who packs my lunches ain’t really up to the job, if you get me!Aw, don’t walk away mad, sweetheart! Not mad at me, anyway. Better to curse the blind idiot god who has stranded us here on a tiny, hopeless speck of dust lost in an impossibly vast and unfathomably dark void, constantly aware of the unstoppable passage of time.Your loss, chickie-baby!