She Lay Dying

She sits and waits on the sofa that has harbored many moments. Her eyes stare blankly at the walls, the television, and the family. She lay watching with a stomach distended and skin turned yellow from failures. The body has been wracked with disease. Dis ease. A cancerous cancer.

She’s waiting now and her eyes tell me she’s questioning. Is she questioning? A life slowly set to rewind like a pencil in an old school cassette tape. Her life was full with every moment lived. A loving relationship that lasted forever. Two competent and grown children. Many successful careers under the belt providing for a family, a home, cars, boats, and adventures.

But she’s staring now because the moments have passed. The only moment is now and what has happened before is a flash in memory. She’s not eating anymore. She’s done with eating. She will not be returning to the table.

An extra decade tacked on by modern medicine. An extra stretch of life fulfilled thanks to science. The regularity of being microwaved, injected, spliced, and diced has held the body together for another round.

A full life. Like a lot of lives. Filled with stuff. There’s lots of stuff, but it all ends the same. It all ends. Some of us get to stare, to wind down, to watch the garbage decompose while we are still within it. So, those who can now stare at all that is. And they wonder how, what, why, what for?

This tiny little life. This little stretch of road filled with jumping and jiving. The race to get it all done before we find ourselves on the sofa as we turn yellow and fall to pieces. To await the next text message from Mr. Death.

She stares in wonder and in agony. Or is that just us? We never know what it’s like until it’s just us. Maybe she’s happy. Maybe she’s content. Perhaps she’s come to peace. After all, modern medicine provided the time to write the final chapter in full with no questions asked. A lot of people don’t get that chance. There isn’t always a final chapter.

So, maybe it’s just us watching and having the harder time. As death is far harder on those who are left than those who have left.

Top of the Mountain

On the Mountaintop, by The Artist D, February 2017

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