Early Sunday morning, well before dawn, I was out on the back roads, driving along and delivering newspapers. I was listening to a BBC news program on the truck’s radio. I wish I could talk like that!

It’s a vulnerable position to be in. What if I had a flat tire, or engine failure? It was cold out, so I just hustled along, hoping to end the route by getting home so I could sleep.

As has happened before, a figure slowly materialized above the stack of bulky Sunday papers over on the passenger side of the bench seat.

“Hi, Larry! I’m Charon. Do you mind if I put this barge pole behind the seat?”

A gnarly wizened man wearing a Tyrian Purple watch-cap. He peered at me. I’m getting used to such visits!

“Yeah, go ahead. You have a dog with you, it seems! Three heads?”

“Cerberus is my buddy these days. He won’t bite! He is many thousand of years old and his teeth aren’t much of a threat now.”

One head of the dog looked at me. That head seemed alert and ready to bark, another yawned as if bored, and the third one seemed to be asleep.

“I’ve heard of you — so how’s business over at the Styx?”

“Truth to tell, Larry, it’s getting kinda old. So many people dying! I’m tempted to send some of these folks to meet Saint Peter! Let him decide where dead souls should go!”

“Yeah, I can understand. So what are your criteria for judging souls?”

“Well, their record comes along with them, and I peruse it. I have to say that most humans are scum! How to fairly judge such irrational creatures?”

“Well, don’t ask me! I’m just glad that I don’t have to judge them! What is your opinion of the current candidates for the coming American presidential election?

“Oh, don’t get me started! Why is it that such fools try to run for office? Great material for comedy and parody, but give me a break! You benighted humans need a new FDR!”

“Well, maybe so!”

The mythical figure faded away and I listened to some virtuosic guitar improvisations by Django Reinhardt.




Filed under Eos Stories

4 responses to “Charon

  1. Joan

    Oh oh..Larry. Your sunset- sunrise painting deity visitations seem to be yielding now to more serious ones. You know, the gods who deal with the ultimate worthiness or unworthiness of man.. Like where to escort man’s soul if indeed he has shone any evidence of having one. I don’t really think Charon was bothered by this back in his day.

    The poor dog, seemingly now shorter in tooth and bored with being a party to what to do with dead humans, might be more concerned if his fellow animals had a stake in the afterlife…but that’s another story. Maybe Disney’s “All Dogs Go To Heaven” could deal with that. Doubters can sign up with

    Sooo then, since your ‘no politics or religion’ rule on the blog has been broken, I might as well get in more trouble by attempting an answer to “Why is it such fools run for office?”. The answer, of course, is that fools will elect them. We seemed to have learned nothing in these last years except to forget how we got into this economic state in the first place. I was surprised to hear on a TV Ad, that Claire McCaskill was responsible for the crash of our economy by supporting the stimulus plan designed to try to prop it up after it fell. How was this done? Time travel?

  2. There really hasn’t been a rule, but by nature I tend towards tact.

    I mentioned your somewhat slighting comment about sunrises, etc., to Eos while I was out on the route. She didn’t take it very well. Her eyes blazed with passion and her hair seemed to writhe like a nest of snakes:

    “Damn it, Larry, you tell that woman Joan that sunrises are indeed a serious matter! See if Brentwood gets any good ones in the foreseeable future!”

    I should have snapped a photo of her!

  3. Darrell

    Charon . . or Caronte . . . does better in Monteverde’s Orfeo. Great basso:

  4. Joan

    Ah, Larry. I was of the impression that you were the one who referred to the sunrise painting crew as minor deities..Still, I can see where my referring to the woman as non-serious would rattle some celestial cages. My bad. Women always want to be taken seriously.
    I think Brentwood has already suffered from their ire, however. Today was wet and gloomy. Please don’t call up any snow gods, ok?

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