Whitman: “Oh, ancient friend, humor me. I have been immortalized in a field of nothing, surrounded by the highway on all sides. The occasional passerby seldom comes within earshot, much less comes close enough to read my name. Give me something more to hear besides the bustle of traffic. Tell me how immortality has treated you.”

Enkidu: “Alas, I am afraid I have not much to offer. For I too have been immortalized in a forgotten place. Uruk has long been vacated, it has been centuries since I have heard the voice of another living soul. I feel as if I am in Hell. Forever bounded by the agony of nothingness.”

Shade: “I do not mean to interrupt, but my friend, you know nothing of the horrors of Hell. Loneliness is but a slight inconvenience compared to the agony I witness every day. Scores of men, not so unalike from you and I, burn eternally. Every morning, I am passed by those who are destined to an eternity of walking. By night the same tired souls pass again, tortured by the monotony, never allowed to rest. Do not speak of that which you do not know.”

Whitman: “I know of the type of suffering of which you speak. I was bounded mid-step; forever preparing to move forward, yet frozen, unable to continue. The eternal anxiousness is a Hell I would not wish upon my worst enemy.”

Enkidu: “Your suffering is nominal. You have been immortalized such that you can gaze out on to the Walt Whitman bridge, a great structure erected in your honor! Every man, woman, and child who passes over this bridge reads your name. Myself, on the other hand, have been tacked on to the glory of Gilgamesh. My story is not one of my own. Forever trapped in someone else’s story, I now sit abandoned and alone.”

Shade: “Let us stop from comparing our varying degrees of Hell. For despite our suffering, we all approach a final rest. It is true that all die twice: once when their body becomes rotten, and once when their name becomes forgotten. We all have yet to die a second time and therefore have all yet to experience the afterlife. Do not worry my brothers, for sure as the sun will burn out with time, we will as well. Fear not, for I will see you in Hell or I won’t.”