When the Devil comes calling, regardless of the name he’s using and what he looks like, turn him down flat. Unless your name’s Johnny, you can’t beat the Devil. In ‘Escape Clause,’ the Devil offers hypochondriac and professional worrier Walter Bedecker immortality, invincibility and the retention of his current physical attributes, more or less, in exchange for Bedecker’s soul. Bedecker tries to find the Devil’s loophole. After all, if he Bedecker lives forever, he doesn’t need a soul. Finding none, the Faustian bargain is struck.
The problem is that immortality and invincibility make life dull. Bedecker does everything to find a thrill to get the sense of living again. Drinking poison, getting hit by a bus and a subway, and everything else fails. Without the possibility of death or harm, life becomes unlivable and boring.
Mortality is what gives humanity its edge. The adrenaline rush that shows we’re still alive accompanied with the compassion knowing that others are just as likely to die as we are help us create a world where people are able to live up to their potential if they choose to. Sickness contrasts with health. Happiness contrast with sadness. These contradictions are what allow a person to have a full life.
Enjoy the good times, and bless the hard times. Each of them together are the stuff that life is made from.