Do you still remember the first time we met? It was in Kindergarten. I was going down a slide and then the string on the hood of my jacket got caught on the banister and I was choking. I wanted to scream for help but I could only stare forward with my bulging eyes and hanging tongue, until the teacher saw me struggling and untied the string so that I could breathe. "Don't be afraid now," she told me. "You're safe."
I didn't see you again, Death, until many years later. Middle School--when people were busy trying to find their partners on the dance floor during P.E., you and I were already locked in a nightmarish salsa no one else could see. I held the cup of water in one hand while you held the uncapped bottle of pills in the other. And the moment I reached out to you to take them, that's when people saw us dancing and pulled me away. "What the hell were you thinking?" they asked me. "Come back and stay with us."
But even though we weren't moving in macabre unison, the musi