The Man Who Died of Nothing

“Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.” So said Redd Foxx. Which prompted this little item:

A strange epitaph on the fading tombstone, barely legible on the aged granite. It begins, “James Roberson beloved husband and father died at age 93.” No, that’s not the strange part; that would be the two words which followed: ”of nothing.” Such an odd thing to say on a tombstone—or anywhere else for that matter. Roberson, the founder of America’s most successful health foods company, had neither an acute nor a chronic illness that could cause death. No, it really was nothing that ended his life. He had a preoccupation with nothing. As time passed, he tired of most things that brought joy to others. Reading good books lost its appeal. Seeing plays at the local repertory theater no longer held his interest. Walks in the woods waned. Even visits from the great-grandchildren left him unmoved. He enjoyed nothing. He even lost interest in the foods that had been so much a part of his life and his company’s growth. In time, eating less and less he wound up eating nothing for breakfast, nothing for lunch and nothing for dinner. In the end, lying in bed, he died of nothing.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to an actual person is coincidental and unintended. It is wordplay, not intended to be a commentary on any clinical issues of depression, anomie, etc. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to seek competent treatment for friends or loved ones who exhibit such behavior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.