Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I dreamed last night that he was dying.  His body half its original size shrunken under the sheets like a dried out Patagonian mummy.  His eyes were yellow.  Liver disease, the doctors said.  Too much alcohol.  Cancer of the jaw.  He could not speak.  He did not try.  The tremble that took over was like a death rattle.  He did not have much time left and we, the survivors, sat around his bed.  Each of us locked in our own minds.  This death thing.  It is happening to him, not to me.  And when his brother climbed onto the bed beside him and tried to hold him close one last time, I saw the wet line of urine seep down his trouser legs and I knew that the brother too had lost control.  The brother could not cry but his body leaked out tears.  We, the bystanders, reeled back.  We could not bear to see.

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