Monday, March 24, 2008

only a cough

Not the shallow, sharp spasm of earlier years - smokers cough!!
Now, it comes from a deep place. Slow and prolonged yet vigorous huff, like blowing out a candle.
Mouth wide open, trying not to wheeze.
Bring up that awful, heavy clot of phlegm and put it in a tissue.

an actor, sitting in a wheelchair, feet now cold - numb
an oxygen tank at his side.
He knows he can still smoke cigarettes……….
if he keeps the oxygen nearby and has someone to push him around in his wheelchair to the house of his son and grandchildren only blocks away.
Gone are the days of roundball, to soar and, spinning to the bucket, laying it in over a shoulder and speeding backcourt to jump high blocking a shot.
sit down at the top of the stairs.

How alone can you get?

Those moments with my beloved, during the night while choking and gasping.
so constant and loving and smart. But no one is smart when it comes to this!
Moments of mutual disappointment.

What is a lung?
a sponge
imagine a kitchen sponge after twenty years.

Do what you can!
Take all the photographs and manuscripts and children's drawings and birthday cards and lift the 100 pound sack into the trunk of the Cadillac.
Take a rest.
Drive very fast to the city dump and heave the bag as far as you are allowed.

To what a nonsense of misery the human spirit can be reduced. It is not the nicotine. It's about compulsion. I am compelled to ……….
It all ends in a plasticine tent. Blurred visions and muffled voices saying goodbye!

1 comment:

Jerry said...

This is chilling and haunting. A wonderfully done piece.