I live on the tenth floor of my building. This sucks. My thighs protest when I force them to climb ten flights of stairs. So I choose to take the elevators. And my elevators….
They hate me.
Truly, they do. If I am in a hurry, my elevator takes five minutes to get to the tenth floor. The elevators are also full to the brim of smelly people whenever I want to go up to the tenth floor. And, since I am on the tenth floor, I must endure all of them. ALL OF THEM! The worst thing that the elevator gods can do is bring one elevator to the floor right below me, and then take it away and make me wait for the other elevator. Grrr.
Also, I’m pretty sure the elevator gods have been spreading their vendetta against me to the other pantheon of random gods. Today, I was walking down a mildly creepy alleyway, which was lit by a very bright street lamp. Which burnt out right as I walked under it.
Translation? I’m doomed. All I can imagine is those 3 creepy Fates from Disney’s Hercules giggling and cackling as they bring their creepy scissors ever closer to my life-string. *Shiver*
Stupid elevator gods.
(Side note. I do not actually believe in elevator gods.)
(But they probably exist. Because they hate me)
Q & A session at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, 16 December 2011
Question: Death is a character that appears in your various works. And she is portrayed in a very different way than most depictions of Death as a character in literature. I was wondering how you came to portray her like the way you did.
Neil: It was — essentially — a sequence of thoughts. I was coming up with Sandman. — I’d gone: ‘Okay, this is going to be Dream. He is going to be the human embodiment of Dream. Not even as a god. But as sort of a powerful primeval force he’s gonna be Dream.’ And I sort of thought: ‘Well, he can’t obviously be the only one of these things there is.’
And I sat down and was looking at quotations. I pulled out my big Bartlett’s Book of Quotations and was just running my finger down, looking up “Dream”. And I saw a line somewhere that said: ‘Dream is the brother of Death.’ And I thought: ‘That’s a lovely idea! “Dream is the brother of Death.”’
I thought: ‘If I did that, if I made Death part of the family, then I’d actually have the natural sexism of language on my side. Because if I tell anybody that Dream is Death’s younger brother, everybody who is reading it will naturally — due to the inherent sexism of language — simply, casually assume that Death is the older brother. It’s how it will work.’
And I liked that. That gave me sort of something … when you’re writing a monthly comic, any place where you know more than the reader is a wonderful thing. So I liked knowing that. And I thought: ‘What kind of death do I want?’ Well, really, I … When it happens to me, I do not want a skull-faced person with a scythe and an hourglass turning up to play chess with me.
I do not want somebody on a black horse or whatever … (on a pale horse!) What I want is somebody who will say: ‘You know, you really should look both ways before you cross that street.’ Who I’d like.
And I thought: ‘Okay, that’s starting to form a person, just somebody fundamentally likeable. Somebody nice.’ And I also remembered a tale, um … I don’t think it’s in the Talmud, but it was some strange obscure Jewish commentary which said that the Angel of Death was created by God to be so beautiful that upon seeing the Angel of Death you would fall in love immediately and so hard, your soul will be sucked out of your body through your eyes. And that is how you die.
And apart from that I immediately started wondering about how blind people die, I thought that was beautiful. And that was wonderful. And I thought: ‘Yes! I like that idea of a death you can love.’ And that really was where Death began. Just the kind of death that I’d like to meet. Somebody sensible, somebody nice.
Neil Gaiman, The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, 16 December 2011