Expiration Date

"We all come with an expiration date, each of us. But we ain't no milk cartons – it ain't stamped on us so's we know when it's gonna be. Think that'd just make it real simple? So's we just know from the start when it's gonna be? Do what we wanna do until that day? Know the best time to take that getaway cash and enjoy them last few years, if you know what I mean. Given we's lucky enough to make it that far, and our parents's lucky enough."

He took a moment to think.

"Or would that just make it more complicated? Like 'cause you know when it's comin', you spend your whole life runnin' from it. Tryin' to change it. Like you run and run and run away from that day, stay out its way, and bam! You smack into it anyway. And while you do all that runnin', you wonder the whole time whether you can even escape fate. Whether you wastin' all that time doin' all that runnin' – time you could spend doin' somethin' real. Yeah, maybe if you accept your expiration date, maybe you enjoy your life at least a little bit."

He stopped for air.

"Been at this job a long time. Only way a guy like me keeps at a job like this a long time's to believe we got nothin' to do with it – whose expiration date comes when. Otherwise we start thinkin' we got some control over it, and boom! Just like that comes our own expiration dates."

He cocked the hammer, pointed the gun.

"But enough about me, let's talk about you. Your expiration date could come tonight. It's up to you."

*source of gun image: freevectorstuff.blogspot.com


  1. I always wondered what my death day would be, you know like the inverse of a birthday? we count back down from that...

  2. Heheh! A philosophical hit man?
    I think it's a good thing that we don't know our expiration dates, I think the knowledge would bring more problems than anything else.

  3. Love the twist in the end! You know sometimes I think it would be good if we all lived to a 100 and just went to sleep on our 100th birthday and never woke up again - but then as your philosophical gun man said, would we spend our days thinking about that time?

  4. Fabulous! This reminded me a bit of Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction. Nicely done.

    BTW, have you ever heard of the Machine of Death anthology? It's a collection of stories about a society where a machine will tell you *how* you die, but not *when*. It's free on-line if you want to check it out.