I am a dead man walking. That’s not a metaphor, not a promise of a future event the way you usually think of it. I really am dead — and have been for some time now.
I walk the streets of this city. I pass by people on the sidewalk, and they instinctively shy away from me. They see me, they know I’m there, but they always pretend they don’t. I guess I can’t blame them for that. I wouldn’t, either, were I in their shoes.
I’ve walked for what seems like ages. You’d think after a while I’d stumble across a recognizable face, someone from my past. I haven’t. Every face is that of a stranger. Every encounter is new. And cold. So very cold. The people around me shrug me off, like they would an unwanted hand on their shoulder.
I don’t think this is the afterlife. Everyone I meet is clearly still alive. And warm. So this must be something else. But no one seems to know what. Believe me. I’ve asked. There are no answers here. There are no answers anywhere, it seems.
And so I walk. Alone. A dead man walking still.