She was always fun. No one knew her otherwise. At least those of us
introduced by Walker. Real estate agent and mother to a deaf daughter,
she was a force to be reckoned with, as we say in the south. Dying
you knew her faith in you was firm, undeterred. Your faith shook you free
from this earth, freed you at long last from the words you cajoled to paper,
and later passed before priests for approval. The nurse wanted to call Bunt,
but you were firm. You knew contacting her would be a waste of time. Hers
especially. “No. She understands,” you said in final prayer.
“Drink to me. Drink to my health.
You know I can’t drink anyone.”
Some would say any less. But you know
what I know, and we both want
what we have. So, good night to all.
Even without, this evening has been
an addiction. I count you all as friends
and some as family. I raise an invisible
glass in salute. Full of absinthe memories
and ginned occasions. Overfull at times,
perhaps, but when the ice in the stalls
melted, who could not admire the body’s
power and mystery! So “drink to me. Drink
to my health. You know I can’t drink anymore.”
Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller
“She is squeezing my hand!” My wife.
All these months. Living here. In a coma.
Her cancer oddly keeping her alive. And now
Her hand has taken mine and squeezed it.
Do you hear me? Her hand is alive
and speaking to me. After all these months
today I feel her touching me, her flesh
pulsing towards mine. There Is life there.
Someone home. A person I once knew.
A woman I love beyond life itself. And now
her hand in mine, alive. Can it be
that only her hand lives, and the rest is dead?
Oh God. Say no. My mind refuses the question.
She knows it is me. She has always known me.
The fuller me that she alone knows. Our little
Joke. But her fingers entwined with mine;
this is not reflex. It has purpose. Memory
and meaning beyond. Oh God I am happy.
Not alone with tubes and monitors beeping
and bleating. Her heart beat a graph.
Her breath a redundancy. There is a message here.
Something I alone am meant to understand.
Her life and mine are one. We should die as one.
Together. Let it be. “She is squeezing my hand.” I follow.
Henry David Thoreau (aka Hank the Crank)
So strange this thought. So odd to find these words
wedged in my mind, considering the possibilities.
Especially if I engage them in battle when that battle
has been lost and I must remain here to see the great moose
lumber through the woods, unmindful of my presence,
and ignorant of arcing arrows. “Moose . . . Indian.“
He calls himself a physician, and yet he preaches
now suggesting, no, demanding that I renounce
the Dark One, Satan as he calls him, familiar.
It would be amusing were I not dying and he
wasting his breath and what little time I have left
on this spinning earth. I will not be baited by the likes
of him. Not by him, or others who have nb the past
challenged me in such ways. Up to a point it amuses.
But after a long, richly led life it provides only tedium.
I do wish he would make his own exit, and soon,
so that I might do likewise. I need not his staged directions
to find my way to the light, as it were. Civil to the end,
they will say of me. Always able to act the gentleman.
To be the wit. I will suffer this single last fool and be done
with them. All of them. Now I am satisfied. My life
complete. Let the true farce begin! “Now, now my good man.
This is no time to be making new enemies.”
About the Author:
Richard Weaver resides in Baltimore City where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, and acts as Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit College. He is the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press).