Strange Colloquies Once Removed

Thanatos by Jean Francois Bouron

…. “So?” Thanatos’ avatar asked of the would be, self-perceived, potential human immortal.

“Yes, I think so” replied the might-be-immortal, “but it will be a very long time before we find out. Actually, forever one would assume, unless, of course, I’m wrong” (obviously a double entendre).

“I see” replied Thanatos’ avatar somewhat incongruously and ironically given the absence of visual sensory organs in his absolutely pared back skull, but in the temporal space between the beginning and the present that had not ever really posed a problem. Incongruity and irony had been his longtime friends, not to be lightly discarded, perhaps not ever to be discarded, whatever “ever” might be.

The present was the border, a moving target never hit, at least not yet. The beginning, an esoteric concept long since become a pragmatic quagmire. “The end”? Who could know.

“Why do so few words start with ‘q’” pondered the might-be-immortal while Thanatos’ avatar wondered whether immortality only applied to one present at the beginning. Had he been there he wondered, he couldn’t recall. He knew the might-be-immortal had not.

Thanatos’ avatar pulled a Rolex designed infinity sand glass in the shape of an hour glass (of course) from a fold in his robes and checked it. “Interesting” observed the might-be-immortal. “Where might I get one of those; I expect I might be needing one as time goes by, especially after the demise of my species”.

“Hard to tell” replied Thanatos’ avatar, “it involves a crossing of infinity and eternity, a perpetual generation of sand and its perpetual disposal, otherwise it would be somewhat unwieldy. It may be that two would be impossible and I expect to be needing mine for quite a while”.

“Interesting” observed the might-be-immortal. “Will you still exist if the living amidst the cosmos vanish, are you coterminous with life? Should I eventually expire, would you do so as well? Would our expiration be simultaneous or would you linger, lonely and without purpose for a while?”

Thanatos’ avatar pondered the questions stirring uncomfortable; actually, he hadn’t ever considered that aspect of his own existence, the possibility of his own demise.

“It might turn on whether or not the possibility of a renewal of mortal life existed” he whispered, both to himself and to the might-be-immortal. “On whether life is a destructive infection to which the multiverse had been subjected and which it has been my function to cure, and whether having finally cured it, enough antibodies will have been generated to avoid its repetition”.

An uncomfortable sensation formed in what would have been the pit of Thanatos’ avatar’s stomach had it had any digestive organs, any organs at all really. Pondering on his own mortality and on the consequences of a successful conclusion to his own mission had never really occurred to him. Suddenly, Thanatos’ avatar found himself hoping that the might-be-immortal’s apparent delusion might in fact prove accurate.

For the first time Thanatos’ avatar found himself wondering what if anything followed the end.

The End.

Or is it?

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at and much of his writing is available through his blog at


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