There once was a young woman who was walking to work. As she made her way to her job, a long black hearse drove up slowly next to her, matching her pace. This made her nervous and she anxiously watched it from the side of her vision. The driver leaned out the window and called to her in a slurred, almost drunken voice: “Do you need a ride?” She turned to look at him got an unpleasant shock: the hearse driver’s face was incredibly hideous, pallid and deformed, with one eye noticeably higher than the other. She demurred, frightened by his appearance and unwelcome suggestion. “Are you sure…?” he asked haltingly, emphasizing every word. He gestured to the rear of the vehicle, which contained the coffin. “Room for one more,” he invited. Now profoundly disturbed, she hurried away to her job. She seemed like just the type of woman to blow a little event like that completely out of proportion and go on and on about it forever, even though it was no big deal, much like my ex-wife. The woman spent the day in a sort of distracted state, troubled by the morning’s events, and was glad when work finally was over. It’s uncanny how much this woman resembles my ex-wife, Kathy. Kathy had the same irritating tendency to concentrate on something minuscule like her husband’s innocent habit of going out to a bar for a few drinks after a rough day at work, or while still at work, or sometimes before work, rather than appreciating the thousands of selfless things he did for her. Instead of focusing on the infidelity and the jail time, why not look at how he continued to have sex with her despite her putting on twenty pounds after the baby, or the many hours he devoted to fixing up their car, which looked great with new spinning rims and a three foot spoiler, if he did say so himself. The woman worked up on the ninth floor and when the elevator came it was almost completely full. She hesitated a moment before stepping in. “Are you sure you don’t want to come in, honey?” asked a familiar voice. “There’s room for one more.”

The woman gasped. It was the hearse driver from this morning, eying her with his lopsided, baleful gaze. I’m sure the guy couldn’t help the way he looked though, just like I couldn’t help it when I was laid off for that shaking incident at the daycare where I worked. But this woman seems like she’s pretty intolerant of stuff folks can’t help, just like “someone” I used to know. And by someone I mean my ex-wife, Kathy, the woman I was married to for fifteen years until she left me, until she ripped out my heart, flushed it down the toilet, plungered it back out, then tore it into a hundred shreds and left me a desiccated husk of a human being. Now thoroughly spooked, the woman backed away stuttering, “I-I think I’ll take the stairs!” The hearse driver nodded, and the doors slid closed. Then they reopened. The hearse driver wrung his hands for a moment, then took a deep breath and said: “Listen, Kathy, I think you should reconsider this whole ‘separation thing’ you’re doing to your loving husband Larry. Maybe you should think about giving your husband Larry a second chance. He said he was sorry for repeatedly backing over your crystal figurine collection, that it was done in a regrettable moment of anger and he definitely promises to drink less during the day,” said the hearse driver. Another moment passed. “A lot less,” he amended. The Kathy-like woman didn’t say anything, but she looked like she was really thinking it over, really reconsidering her rash decision to move down the highway to her Aunt Estelle’s. The hearse driver gave her a sinister, tight little smile, retaining his dignity until the doors glided shut, then he burst into wracking sobs. Why won’t she just quit her foolishness and come back to the man who loves her?! The woman had only taken a few steps down the stairs when she heard a chorus of screams followed by a deafening crash. She hurried downstairs and discovered the elevator cable had broken and plunged all the passengers aboard to a grisly death!

The hearse driver’s warning had saved her life. Maybe he could also save her marriage. For god sake’s Kathy, please come back to me! There’s room for one more in the bed we used to share in our trailer. There’s room for one more… in my heart.