Two Salesmen.

Death. I, we, sell death. A plot. Some hole in the ground. The final resting place. That’s what we do, he said to his co-worker. People come to us in their deepest time of need. A loved one has died. Heart attack, stroke, murdered on Austin Avenue. Something, he took a drink from his rocks glass. You can tell by the look on their faces if they loved the person or not. You get a real sense of how the relationship was. The worst is dealing with the parents. Some kid dies of cancer. A teenager killed in a car wreck, the salesman stirred his ice. And what do we do? We offer tissues. And a contract. Some financial agreement. You think that gives them solace? It does not give them solace.

For solace, they should go to a priest, the partner said. That’s not our job. I mean. I can only give so much, the other man nodded.

Right. You want comfort? Hire a hooker. Don’t come see me for that. Come to me to bury your dead. I’ll laugh with you. Cry. But, I will not comfort you. I will not get myself attached, they clinked their glasses together.

They looked up at the TV. The Cubs were losing again. An old man at the corner of the bar lit a cigarette. Coughed a little. Clapped his wrinkled hands. Let’s go, Cubbies, he yelled. Let’s go.

Probably be seeing him next week, the salseman said. Carry him out of here on a stretcher, the old man yelled at the TV again. Son of a bitch. He can’t die soon enough.

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