by Ares Demertzis (Aug. 2006)
good morning is that you it is morning isnt it no it must be night its still dark outside where are you dont try to conceal yourself i know youre here i have always been able to smell your presence that offensive perfume of yours that inevitably betrays your sickening proximity was it my worthless heart or your obscene and inconsiderate footsteps that woke me shatzie it was arrythmia again wasnt it one of these days my miserable and useless heart youll be sorry just remember you stop you remain stopped even if you later change your mind and start beating again it wont matter this isnt the first time ive warned you do you understand what mean eh so as for you my lord is this yet another cynical prank of yours two ears two eyes two hands two feet and only one heart an imperfect design an obvious blunder on your part isnt it well i must admit you did provide me with two testicles that was very thoughtful of you if only for symmetry i suppose although personally at this moment in time i would have preferred only one in exchange for two hearts but you obviously didnt want it that way thats why i suspect your priority is more in favor of reproduction than longevity eh well shatzie did you wake me because you want to talk ah perhaps you have come for me is that why youre here I will be brave i wont make a fuss this time i promise im so tired I will go with you quietly no so you didnt come for me are you sure come on be truthful you dont have to lie to me you know you wont hurt my feelings i always knew this moment would come sooner or later but this isnt the moment right well if you didnt come for me today can you tell me when can you at least give me a little hint please please please im begging you oh im sorry i made you uncomfortable but you must understand why this question so disagreeable for you is so important to me the final hours will be very very precious im still here are you listening to me im still here im still here theres no doubt about that eh each morning with these words i greet the beginning of a new day when i discover to my elated surprise that im still alive for me its simply the affirmation of my monotonous and inconsequential existence a little personal joke that I have for years had the privilege of practicing see this button one click of this button and the entire medical staff of this miserable place is supposed to come running anxious to save my life but no one will come no matter how many times i ring the night nurse that disagreeable bitch will ignore it ignore it completely that is if she hears it at all over her snoring you know i think she must be working two jobs a day job and this night job because all she does out there on her watch is sleep well its probably just as well the so called night duty doctor that pompous youngster would just do me in anyway he would kill me with his ignorance you see he is actually an automobile mechanic yes an automobile mechanic disguised as a doctor with a fancy diploma that must have cost his parents a bundle all doctors are really mechanics you know you take your car to a mechanic and tell him the engine stops for no reason he examines it carefully and comes to the conclusion that its the battery so he charges for the inspection and sells you a new battery but it turns out it wasnt the battery after all now he speculates that its the spark plugs and he changes them charging you of course but no its not the spark plugs must be the carburetor he announces categorically and thats how it goes with doctors also lets try this lets try that so if you dont die while theyre tinkering with you obviously youll recuperate i wonder how many innocent people this young so called doctor has sent to the great beyond eh before you woke me shatzie I was dreaming well at least I think I was dreaming perhaps that was reality and this is my dream my nightmare my martyrdom to tell you the truth reality signifies an actual verifiable occurrence i suppose thats the substantive difference between a dream and reality but often i wonder arent they simply two sides of the same coin today in this place my dreams are more real than my supposed reality when i am what i think is being awake like now right now this very instant being in this insufferable place i hope i am dreaming and will soon wake up wake up in the world of dreams no i hope to wake in the world of my reality ah that other world that other side of the coin is a place of magic you know i am a young man there full of life expectant of a glorious and perpetual future without hurry without fear because there is so much life still waiting to be lived its a world full of the unique awareness of discovery that singular novelty which marks the commencement of existence in that dream i am beginning life in this dream i am finishing it which reality would you choose eh there as if for the first time once again for the first time i can experience all those extraordinary sensations that have ceased to amaze us marvels ignored having become commonplace and ordinary barely perceptible with the passing of years we have forgotten the miracle of their remarkable magic the fresh scent of newly cut grass the aroma of wet earth after a summers rain a soft breeze filled with the fragrance of wild flowers in that world i feel once again the emotion of that first kiss from unfamiliar lips succulent moist exotic improper yielding lips that fill me with a curious unfamiliar desire making my heart beat deliriously is that why old folks nap so frequently at whatever moment, and in whatever place sometimes in that world im a young boy i can slip into that dimension in the blink of an eye is it a fourth dimension i have heard something about that although i dont know precisely what it means have i discovered the entrance to a fourth dimension i dont know i doubt that i would be so lucky that i would be so privileged considering how unfortunate i have been in this life there in that fabulous breathtaking world i can fly going around and around and around on the merry go round reaching out yearning to catch the big brass ring that brass ring that everyone else is also aspiring to possess around and around and around in the air flying listen can you hear it listen lalala tarumrumrum lalala lalala tarumrumrum lalala ah what a marvelous time that was i can see my mother waiting standing on the pavement smiling watching me going around and around in the air flying she is so proud of me around and around and around in the air flying she is so beautiful my mother so young and so beautiful around and around and around in the air flying mommy mommy i love you mommy what was i dreaming or perhaps where was i before i fell asleep again now dreaming the hallucination of this sordid existence i dont know i cant remember isnt that ironic this horror should be a dream and that forgotten dream my reality eh what i do remember of that interrupted dream is that i was somewhere in the desert translating from an ancient hieroglyph a story passed down orally through the centuries until it was finally etched in symbols on the clay tablet in front of me and i in turn inscribed the words with academic precision in my idiom on paper the segment i was translating was a conversation that occurred before the beginning of history on a portion of rocky and untillable farmland i read that the man who had been given this barren plot was angry in the heated exchange of words i discovered one word that seemed of profound significance to me i remember i was attempting to translate the meaning the nuance of this one particular word im an archaeologist or perhaps i should say i was an archaeologist eh i must admit that i should now accept that i am no more than an old man a has been eh well thats how it is an unavoidable characteristic of existence you know what was i saying eh ah yes archaeologist well back then when i was an archaeologist in those days that are now an almost a forgotten dim memory i dedicated my entire life to tracing our origins attempting to discover the transgressions that ultimately fashioned these confused and disoriented individuals we observe today reflected in our mirrors us of course you know my entire life was dedicated to books and teaching i was a translator and interpreter of ancient texts and i remember so vividly that word i accidentally discovered carved on that miniscule clay tablet it was only one little word it formed part of an inscription in cuneiform and the translation overwhelmed me i cant remember the word i cant remember the word but i can still recollect that intense feeling it produced i was filled with an indescribable serenity an extraordinary hope a merciful compassion my unexpectedly enlightened intelligence had discovered the meaning the rationalization for life there is choice in this apparently pointless arbitrary existence and the choice is ours as if we ourselves we humans mere mortals possessed the powers of the deities but you woke me shatzie and so i forgot can you tell me what that word is maybe just this once no
so talk to me didnt you wake me because you want to talk talk already dont you think im entitled to hear your voice we have known each other for such a long time that i dont think im asking for too much we met on the day I was born not formally of course no one introduced us we didnt shake hands but it was understood from the start we would spend a lifetime together in the beginning I was unaware of your constant presence but as the years passed i began to hear your soft insidious steps grow louder and louder tell me shatzie did you walk barefoot all those years on purpose to deceive me in order that i had to strain to sense your closeness of late i am very aware of your following me relentlessly you know my hearing has eroded considerably but i can still easily discern your arrogant saunter with perfect clarity your steps are now so deafening that i am incapable of thinking of anything other than you as a child i measured time in limitless hours as an adult wearisome minutes today time passes in fleeting seconds vanishing never to return recently it occurred to me to perform a calculation assuming the average life of a person to be approximately eighty years and that one passes eight hours daily of those eighty years sleeping there remain a total of fifty two years of wakeful life eh now take into account that of these fifty two years eighteen are inconsequential because they are squandered in reaching maturity in addition approximately ten years from seventy to eighty are also insignificant because they are consumed by failing health and mental decay so eighteen plus ten equal twenty eight years in maturing and disintegrating subtracting these twenty eight years from the fifty two years of wakefulness leaves twenty four years of productive life twenty four years only twenty four years frightening isnt it you didnt incorporate into the equation the one third of your life the twenty six years spent cavorting with morpheus in that world of dreams you know shatzie in all these years i have never heard a single syllable from you i cant stand your insufferable silence all this waiting without a single word i have known you all my life yet you have never spoken to me at least you have never spoken to me whereby i can hear your profound voice your cynical laughter your compassionate tears oh you do cry dont you you will cry when I leave and you cant follow me around wont you when im gone will we ever see each other again or is this our one time affair will you have others after me or will you also cease to exist like the parasite that invades a body only to die after eliminating the host are you listening to me stop this ridiculous silence and answer you elusive bitch time for a cigarette only two left im not supposed to smoke you know emphysema they say with a touch of chronic bronchitis no one has used the term pulmonary cancer though so many modern diseases for which we never had to worry about before we didnt know they existed if in fact they really did exist as the consecrated medical community assures us they say those diseases used to kill us but were simply unknown that they had no name well then wasnt it better like that to live in ignorant bliss if i had never known my mother in law wouldnt i have been happier just joking just joking you know the problem is our insatiable curiosity dont you think ambitious little animals we homo sapiens smoking is the only pleasure i have left i cant taste food anymore or perhaps it just is served tasteless and insipid who knows i cant even enjoy sex anymore although i consider that my youth was sexually more stimulating than that of todays unfortunate inhabitants in my day there didnt exist these passionless things called panty hose only flimsy garters sexy with a touch of lace eh ah life the doctors prohibited my smoking years ago its supposed to be bad for my health health what health this is healthy this is quality of life they tell me one cigarette will take one day from my life so maybe i should also smoke that one remaining coffin nail left in the pack and get it over with reminds me of that joke about this fellow who goes to the doctor and says he has never smoked never drank never stayed up after dark and never had sex in order to conserve intact his precious bodily fluids he asks the doctor what else he can do to have a long life and the doctor asks him what the hell he wants to live for being bedridden distresses me i was always an active man and it is difficult for me to no longer have sufficient strength my knees were the first to betray me everyone said the knees are the first to weaken climbing the stairs was initially difficult later impossible and these innumerable pains small pains uncomfortable pains that begin in the joints arthritis they arent the pains of growing up as when one is a child they are the pains of the organisms disintegration the pains of death they say that we are the only living creatures in the world conscious of our demise although we dont think about it in order to persevere this was my sons dilemma when he was a child he refused to do his homework insisting it was absurd because in the final analysis the world was going to end in five billion years anyway he always worried a lot that boy of mine precocious his mother used to call him but i was never too sure about that tomorrow is sunday at least i think its sunday that means my children will be visiting one day in every seven they remember me that i still exist one day in every seven they visit albeit for a short while when they were little i never abandoned them well sure i was away from home frequently because I had to work i was the economic provider for the family but i was always a responsible father anyway their mother was invariably there to comfort them my children this supposed retirement home to which my children have relegated me and by so doing demonstrated their lack of appreciation and affection is not that at all it is in reality barely a mediocre shack full of old people a warehouse for the unnecessary the undesirable the useless a junk yard a garbage dump for superfluous humans and an inexpensive place at that the sign out front reads happy sunset retirement community happy sunset now thats funny happy sunset indeed bitter sunrise would be considerably more appropriate every morning during breakfast each one of us decaying here secretly counts how many we are at the table to see how many died the night before one two three four five six and by lunchtime new faces accompany us taking the place of those who are no longer one two three four five six no one dares ask wheres charlie and henry george what happened to george shhhhhh better not to know tomorrow tomorrow my children will enter from that door repeating the question that intimate question which is simultaneously curiously impersonal that question that serves invariably as a greeting pretending an absent interest that question used simply as an exercise in civility for cordiality that perpetual ceremony i now find so tiring that performance of an obligatory social ritual how are you daddy is there really any interest in how I am one day of seven there is curiosity about how I am one day of seven there is a pretended concern i always answer im still here waiting to die my daughter responds oh daddy stop with your maudlin humor already sometimes she arrives with the twins her children my grandchildren she thinks that I will be delighted to see them the new generation and all that you know but I tell her my vengeance will come when these children treat you as you treated me my son intervenes hey pop stop being so difficult there is only one advantage that i find in old age that i can say things i never dared when i was younger thats why old people are accused of being grumpy you know old people can be sincere without concern that their comments will offend a friend because their friends are dead and those few who are still living they will never see again anyway in any case those who are molested by my words disregard them you know they simply accuse me of suffering from dementia i dont want my children to visit me any more does that sound like a strange thing for a father to say should i be ashamed to confess it i should feel like some kind of criminal eh however i suspect im not unique in my attitude i would venture to guess many parents feel the same but just avoid expressing what they guiltily believe to be a sentiment society considers unacceptable children are the treasure of humanity they vociferously proclaim i consider this a primitive instinct that still remains with us to assure the survival of the species our continued existence that is more than excessively affirmed today wouldnt you say people have children for many reasons i suppose there is a theory that parenthood is the seeking of a kind of immortality to live on in your children after youre gone but its a limited immortality at best i for example cant remember farther back than my grandparents and i would assume its the same for most people so for two entire generations someone remembers you were around immortality what a grandiose lie there is nothing eternal in this universe you know my childrens visits are an uncomfortable affair we have nothing to talk about i lie in this bed he sits on that chair she sits on the edge of the bed here and we look at each other thats all we look at each other i created them i gave them the gift of life the gift of life the gift of life eh in retrospect some gift wouldnt you say think about it yes think about it thinking about it i would say what a crummy gift you know look around you in the not too distant future this is the gift they will inherit as i remember you never were very generous with us anyway pop says my son the precocious the kid who wouldnt do his homework the guy who never got married never had children because the world will end in five billion years thank you anyway daddy says my daughter the sweetie pie so how does that little ditty go as you now are i used to be as i now am so you will be i have the epitaph for my tombstone and its not that trashy piece of mawkish intimidation presuming a poetic vulgarity have them carve it in the granite i would like to thank my parents for my being here thank you thank you very much mama papa not for my being here enjoying life for a brief period eh rather for being here beneath the ground for eternity sarcasm was always my strongest attribute you know so tomorrow they will be here tomorrow we lived together yet we are strangers like passengers sharing adjacent seats on a bus we occasionally exchange irrelevant superficial commentary just to be polite i look at them they look at me thats it we dont understand one another we cant share each others existential anguish because change occurs with such unbelievable rapidity these days its impossible to maintain reciprocal values we have no idea who the other is there is so much distance separating our individual universes we are strangers sharing some common bond that i cant define other than our being vehicles for successive genetic transmission we perceive different realities i suppose it was always so i have come to the conclusion that it was always so even when they were youngsters and we lived together as a family i am certain now that we occupied isolated concealed impenetrable worlds they would tell me they loved me i would respond that i loved them what significance was conveyed in the reciprocal exchange of this word i was always uncomfortable using it i love you it sounds fragile weak perhaps because it is an expression associated with women as is crying its not a mans word in every idiom there are words that can be classified as feminine and others that are indisputably masculine you know and i am not referring to simple grammar if you dont believe me then ask yourself which sex comes to mind with the words kitchen doll fashion clean if not women and words such as punch argument car sports men dont you think even in their pronunciation onomatopoetically speaking they sound different i love you what a curious word i love you what does it mean effectively i love you how many times have you used it how many times later have you forgotten you said it i love you intimately secretly impatiently presumptuously insatiably i love you imprudently i love you indiscreetly i will love you forever do you love me in the final analysis its only a word right an easy word to pronounce it slides over the tongue with surprising facility it bursts from the lips without accountability a word that makes a sentence that creates a paragraph that ends by being a superfluous declamation an easy word it is deeds that matter i say it was probably different for their mother its different for mothers i suppose thats understandable i guess their childrens flesh is torn from their bodies after all after all it is mitochondrial dna that they carry their mother my wife for sixty years was a wonderful woman so much patience so much love through the good times and the bad i frankly dont know how she was able to do it but these are qualities women have that men are incapable of i can only remember one argument in all those years one argument she bought a king size bed a king size bed for our two little bodies then of course she had to buy new sheets new blankets a new comforter what a waste of money when i asked her what in the world provoked her to do such a foolish thing she said she couldnt sleep at night thinking that i would fall off our narrow bed well i always slept on the very edge of the bed testing gravity i suppose no probably challenging life to hurt me once again and you know what after she bought that expensive and luxurious king size bed that filled the entire room i still slept on the edge and even today on this ridiculous plank they provide for sleeping and also for dying by the way i sleep on the edge after all I have lived through i can guarantee you falling from bed is not going to be what will kill me the king size was an extravagant and unnecessary expense no question about it so we had the one and only argument of our married life and i was right tomorrow tomorrow my children will come you know what will i say to my children when they visit tomorrow what does a dying man say to his offspring what should those final conversations be about i dont have the answer
forgive me i am not being vulgar intentionally i need to relieve myself its the prostrate but at my age an operation is considered a waste of the surgeons talent there finished i will just return this bedpan here under the bed pst pst shatzie are you still here can i ask you a question im aware that its an unanswerable question but its important to me dont tell anybody please keep it a secret will you tell me the truth i have my suspicions you know did he create us as they say or is that all nonsense a superstition this belief in magic that we have dragged along since time immemorial caveat emptor the romans used to tell those considering purchasing some merchandise let the buyer beware should we do the same with god should i believe in divine justice a paradise for the faithful hell for the sinners what what was that damnit you never answer so i can hear you you know shatzie i have never seen your face are you ugly as they depict you come on be sincere have you just like me grown old and fragile or have the years been good to you some portray you as a fearsome ugly grim reaper holding a sharp scythe others as a cheerful frumpy bag of bones although skeletal and tastelessly attired in a long voluminous dress your head crowned with a wide brimmed bonnet decorated with wilted flowers is this you no i dont think so yes i am convinced you are a woman thats for sure of course if we arrived in this world by a woman its only logical that it will also be a woman that removes us but i think youre a young woman a deceivingly shy fictitious señorita being as astute as I know you to be i imagine you wearing an audacious mini mini skirt barely covering tiny panties that you immodestly display taking advantage of their manipulative invitation edged with sensual and exciting lace at the end of your long long thin thin legs and you also flaunt a daring neckline intended to entice the incorrigible foolhardy voyeur inevitably revealing only a paltry droll prank thats why i call you shatzie you know its a sentimental expression of affection tell me the truth shatzie do you use makeup to brighten your pale features like those ladies of the evening do you want to know what i think yes you do well I think youre just a whore no no dont be offended youre misinterpreting what im saying well okay okay would it make you feel any better if i used the word lover well alright then i consider you to be a lover my personal concubine a little slender perhaps your lips somewhat frigid but then no dont get upset just kidding just kidding oh oh oh now I remember you the whore yes you the whore of birkenau that was what they called you the whore of birkenau birkenau that bottomless black hole on the face of the earth thats where i discovered you really were a whore there in birkenau you indiscriminate slut you slept with anybody oh im sorry im sorry ive upset you again i didnt do it on purpose honestly lately im experiencing a disconcerting tendency to forget now that i know that name molests you I will avoid using it i promise ah ah what was i saying ah ah yes birkenau birkenau the camp sounds like summer vacation doesnt it shatzie but it was a concentration camp a death camp you do remember it dont you of course what a stupid question how could you possibly forget we can never forget you were so tired then there was so much work for you birkenau thats where we really became close became lovers really i worked in kanada sorting the prisoners possessions remember twenty five thousand shoes a day and i was forbidden to wear even a single pair twenty five thousand every day twenty five thousand shoes still warm and moist stinking from their owners sweaty feet do you remember i wonder if you remember as i remember i think now that things never were as we remember them memory being such a curious defensive mechanism things were different or we were different or were we different do you remember that first time you touched me i was so frightened so terribly frightened i trembled that entire freezing winter night i didnt want to be thrown into the furnace and i rejected your kind but inconvenient proposition i wanted so desperately to live another day ah shatzie at birkenau when you touched me your hand was so hard and icy cold that i spilled that tiny amount of liquid i still had left in me i understand its normal for a man to ejaculate at that final moment that an indifferent nature in her ceaseless preoccupation with the meaningless survival of the species insists even at the end in a pointless reproductive obsession why pointless because this entire silly globe is doomed to extinction to be devoured by a red giant our sun yes our sun which has for centuries warmed us protected us nourished us in its final agony will devour us scientific truth you know even our entire galaxy will disappear this universe also you will be very very busy then i suppose at birkenau you unexpectedly left me you never told me why was it because i begged you to take someone else from the barracks and spare me to this day im ashamed i said that i still cant forgive my cowardice who will forgive me who will forgive me no no please please not me not me not now take someone else there must be someone else dont take me dont take me i am begging you dont take me Aaaaayyyyy my god why do you inflict so much pain is it because i refuse to grovel before you because im not submissive is this my sin or is my sin my pride my rebellion for being an intelligent creature curious and contemplative can it be you want me to prostrate myself like some mediocre servant submitting to your arbitrary whims without complaint or are you aware of a hidden error i have committed some offense in a forgotten past that merits your extraordinary retribution but being forgotten of what use is my martyrdom my penitence now have i been accused of some sin and you believed it who difames me I am innocent i didnt see anything i didnt hear anything i didnt say anything i dont know anything i wasnt even there when it happened why did you create death eh it is your creation dont deny it of this there is no doubt where is your celebrated mercy your magnificent compassion eh why must i die to reach your promised eternal life yours is a conspiracy against reason they used to say i had to fear you and tremble before your violent vengeful fury on being considered disobedient now they say you will forgive me that you love me is that so prove it yes prove it why do you insist that i assiduously manifest my love i ask myself why an all powerful such as they say you are needs so much protestation so much constant ratification of my loyalty why are you so insecure truly i dont know if i love you because i am so frightened of you how is it possible to love such an unknown authority i have never seen you i have never heard your voice i am a man i am your child that you created in your image or did I create you in mine i watched you that night you know i never told you but I watched you shatzie promiscuous bitch i watched you making love to my friends fondling them your kisses your caresses sighing moaning your fevered bodies burning with passion drenched in sweat embosomed twisting turning thrusting crushed in a repulsive terminal embrace i witnessed everything i heard your obscene sighs i smelled your foul excretions like a jealous lover i observed you feasting with hideous nauseating delight on that old rebi and his young son the boy was so young shatzie and you shamelessly and obscenely took them both after inflicting so much pain without remorse i tried not to witness your vulgarity to respect the intimacy of your performance but i was voyeuristically mesmerized no no please please not me not me not now take someone else there must be someone else dont take me dont take me i am begging you dont take me were they the price i paid for you to save me did you take them in exchange for my life is that why you unexpectedly left me shatzie was i the cause of their deaths or were they previously chosen tell me the truth i cant live with this debt any longer why did you shelter me in that inferno i have no right to exist when so many were extinguished my guilt is unbearable look look at my forearm the numbers the numbers the symbol of cain you never returned to caress me again was it because you pitied my cowardice or perhaps it was because you were so terribly occupied then ministering to those thousands no those millions babies children adolescents women men old people she sick the blind the deaf the lame the innocent the faithful the generous the cheap the intelligent the stupid all into the flames to an earthly inferno so many bodies shatzie so many bodies what an impression seeing so much humanity piled high like rubbish understanding our twisted annihilation rigid silent our mute conclusion although with our mouth open in what was the asphyxiated shout of final anguish hushed for eternity all of eternity this killed my sensitivity shatzie killed the little faith that remained in me who contracted this bestial and bloody vengeance who remained satisfied with your compliance name him out loud dont protect him name him ah shatzie you took so many without my even my once complaining of your insatiable and rapacious appetite eh you see i never was nor am i today jealous of having to share you jealous of having to share you now thats funny my last cigarette one more day going up in smoke if im really fortunate there wont be any more cigarettes or any more days left for me ready any time you are shatzie when youre ready we can go eh you dont have to feel sorry for me anymore im not a coward im not acoward you know shatzie we have been engaged in this platonic relationship for so long it will be an anticlimax when we finally and very shortly i believe consummate our involvement if i were to tell anyone about our chats they would surely consider me a lunatic but i find it comforting talking to you that isnt strange im not embarrassed to admit it after all you have always been the one closest to me now that were having this little intimate chat shatzie somewhat one sided to be sure let me ask you do you still have the patience to wait awhile longer can you be generous and give me some more time there are things i have to do i have promises to keep and miles to go before i but you of course know that perhaps you can pretend that im not here that you just couldnt find me no i didnt think so thanks for nothing you slut you hooker you harlot of course youre a whore yes a whore whore whore okay enough useless conversation lets negotiate lets get down to business well make a deal you and i this is my proposal take it or leave it i will follow you quietly if you give me a little more time if you give me a little more time i promise i wont cause a scandal and disgrace you ah ah where are you going are you leaving so you have to leave already wait make me a counter offer we can negotiate dont go why are you always in such a hurry say something to me before you go tell me youll consider my proposal say something say something you vile faceless repulsive inconsiderate pitiless monster oh im sorry im sorry please dont be offended forgive me im not blaming you and im not angry with you i know you have a job to do its just that well alright i will admit it after all these years im still a little afraid of you isnt that normal
i remember my grandmother a frail old woman she exuded that musty smell of incipient death that embraced her your perfume shatzie the odor you have now bequeathed to me i remember my grandmother stubbornly clinging to life lucid in a martyrdom devoid of the blessing of dementia alzheimers yes the blessing of alzheimers that surprising gift from an unexpectedly benevolent nature for the benefit of the less valiant notwithstanding of course that there is a devastating price to pay nothing is free right shatzie you always present the bill and yet although rational even my grandmothers lifetime of vivid memories that were stored away to be retrieved one by one from the musty box that was the storehouse of her mind to be lovingly experienced over and over again were destined to also evanesce leaving no trace as if they had never been as if she had never existed i dont want to die she would wail in a trembling lamentation ejecting a stream of wet spittle from her soggy lips wrinkled bristly lips that attempted to kiss me with unreserved endearment as i shamelessly turned my face in blatant revulsion offering her my cheek instead some people are more frightened than others some of dying others of growing old hemingway resolved the dilemma by inserting the steel barrel of a shotgun into his mouth somewhat inconsiderate for choosing his wifes kitchen rather than the outdoors which always attracted him anyway and where the fragments of his persona would dissolve effortlessly in the exuberance of nature but it took courage a courage i dont possess and neither did my grandmother he was brave he didnt wait on your convenience to come and fetch him he cheated you of that decision he was the master of his own unalterable destiny they say maria felix also duped you this way of course how could she permit you to humiliate her she the doña the symbol of sensuality of feminine beauty humbled in the same way you subjugated my grandmother they were valiant they were resolute they had an audacity that my grandmother did not possess and which i also lack how many more fearless ones were there how many more laughed in your face eh shatzie it isnt convenient for you to say is it you know this is the first time i sense youre frightened are your trembling i remember my grandmother large patches of bare scalp visible through occasional random scraps of hair across her balding head leathered creased features blotched with folded dark islands sunken cheeks betraying the hollow spaces where teeth once supported the handsome features of her face a face filled with tender affection her skeletal hands shaking ceaselessly like mine do now she was so vain about her hands my grandmother presumptuous of her long thin elegant fingers her small delicate hands like those of a señorita now covered with dry transparent skin ribbed with thrusting blue grey veins she was blinded by cloudy cataracts her vision reduced to vague shadows that floated unrecognizably in front of her so deaf i had to stand in front of her and shout to communicate granny granny can you hear me granny in a wheelchair a transparent plastic tube inserted in one nostril another to the bruised purple cavity of her elbow unable to stand sit or take a step without the assistance of those who shamefully bathed her and aided in prolonging the performance of her decayed bodily functions rotting before a shovel full of earth had been heaped upon her corpse my grandmother i love you granny i love you sincerely not simply with words alone forgive me forgive me i want to kiss you i want to kiss you listen can you hear it listen lalala tarumrumrum lalala lalala tarumrumrum lalala the music oh how beautiful i can see the horses the dragons the lights the colors lalala tarumrumrum lalala lalala tarumrumrum lalala the merry go round the ring the ring i must catch the brass ring but its all coming to a stop whats happening the carrousel is stopping the ride is finished mommy mommy is that you mommy are you my mommy i dont like this dream mommy i dont like it im frightened can i stay with you a little longer in bed please please mommy please please no i cant leave now i still havent caught the brass ring mommy what have i accomplished why am i here i dont have the brass ring im not a winner if im not a winner am i a loser isnt there some middle ground oh this is a nightmare mommy mommy i have to pee is that you mommy is that you is that you shatzie is that you are you my mommy oh oh i can see you i can see you no no please please not me not me not now take someone else there must be someone else dont take me dont take me i am begging you dont take me is this all there is is this all there is wheres the bathroom mommy mommy i have to pee the light the light the brilliant light the sun the sun has risen im still here are you listening to me im still here im still here are you listening to me so you did come for me after all didnt you shatzie you lying insidious deceitful whore what was the word i must remember the word tell me the word tell me the word yes now i remember the word that word the word was timshel timshel gods promise to cain standing on that rocky infertile soil he had inherited alphadthfnaltakputhnkatalaves alphadthfnaltakputhnkatalavestipotaflikalepueneydiki mldnfanslkdifanltlksnflkalnd
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