DEAD LIKE ME (2003 - 2004) is an American television dramedy about grim reapers who "live" and work in Seattle, Washington.
01/31/10 | Television

Dead Like Me

by Thomas Patrick Levy

You can’t pretend you are not dead like me.

I spent the afternoon with you while you pretended to be pregnant. In your yard I tried to be a doctor. I didn’t know that we would die. At night I slept easy.

Once, we went through the woods and threw rocks at the river. It was snowing in a way that made the water look drinkable like a slushy. You told me you wanted a boyfriend and I didn’t think about your belly. Instead I imagined myself slipping on the bank, falling into a warm bath.

In your garage we tried to sell your father’s tools. No one would buy anything else. The tools were all they wanted. We didn’t make much money. I hadn’t learned to barter. In the evening we crossed the street and whispered to each other on the playground. I climbed the walls and looked down at you, blending into the gravel like a magic eye. I could hear our parents through the fences.

Once I went outside early to watch your mother walk the cul-de-sac in her yoga pants. She was always walking in the morning and you said it was because she had to keep herself pretty. She taught a class at the Total Fitness twice a week.

Once I promised that I would meet you in the morning. I tried to pretend that I couldn’t hear my phone. I remembered that the Natives said you could record the sound of a plant dying with tiny microphones. One wore a bright vest while speaking to us. Later, he played the drum he carved from a tree and I thought you might forgive me.

Not all the Natives are like this. One lives in a junkyard, DISTURBED tattooed across his throat. I haven’t been to prison. He tells me to cut my hair and when he does I wonder what you would think of me like this, sitting in the garage on a step ladder, the scissors of a convict trimming my sideburns.

I wonder what your mother would think as she numbs her legs the morning I come down the stairs to go away.

Still, sometimes, I look at pictures of you. You do not look the same but this is because you are dead like me. Like the plants, we’ve made noises you can only hear with tiny microphones. No one has recorded this, they will never know.