Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Next Bed

He said the doctors wanted to give Susan
some information about...
about dying.

It was an information session.
He spoke clearly and loudly to the woman
who lay silent except for the pinging of warnings.
Her family stood around her. They had heard this already.

We are asking for your decision.
(I listen to what I am not meant to hear.
The word "you" stands up and bows,
flits out of the room like a butterfly.)

We want to put a tube through to your stomach
to give you nutrition and liquid. Without nutrition
you will die, but there are certain risks, risk of
airborne infection and... We would try the tube for
three months then ask for your decision again. It's your decision.

(Again the butterfly "you" hovers in the room.)

Now as to what will happen, without the tube
there will be the torture of hunger pangs
which you can avoid by withdrawing water as well.
Without fluids the brain immediately excretes
endorphins which eliminate pain.
Your liver will fail and the poisons will let
you to slip quickly into terminal lastitude and.

Speaking to her and allowing the woman to respond
with a signal which reaches over the great gap between
what she hears and what she can say, he extracts
Susan's wishes. I want the tube inserted, the stomach tube.

(The word "I"glows like a tiny laser light which breaks the air into
dots of red plasma.)

The representative of healing speaks the words Susan sends him,
so Susan would be. She wants to be. The package of Susan
will try to create a miracle and the family standing around all sigh,
hope for a miracle.


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