Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 20

“ All of us are broken and have sinned .”
He nodded , wiping his tears .
“ We yanked this poor boy into the bed of the truck , right next to the rope — he seen the rope — and took him back to the hollers . He was so afraid he even peed hisself . That poor boy , he knew what was gonna happen . He knew we were gonna …”
He stared at the floor , his eyes wide and fixed . “ I just got lost … I just got lost .”
“ We all get lost sometimes ,” I said . “ Nothing ’ s ever black or white , there ’ s always a hint of gray .”
“ I never married , I couldn ’ t after that . I couldn ’ t even hold a job , I tried , but I ’ d quit or git fired or drift on to the next place . I been punishin ’ myself my whole life . I didn ’ t do it , but I stood and watched … so I might as well a done it .”
He pushed the button on the morphine pump , then pushed it again , and again , and again .
“ I shoulda ’ said somethin ’, I shoulda stopped it . But I didn ’ t … I didn ’ t …” His words slowed . “ I done bartered all I can , it ’ s up to Him now .” Soon he was in an opioid slumber .
The room was quiet save the hissing of the oxygen , the rhythmic cadence of the morphine pump , and the rumbling snores of air passing over his swollen tongue .
I wondered about his story ; was it true , or was it some made-up tale meant to strangely impress ? I believed it was true ; most deathbed confessions are . I also believed an adolescent need for acceptance had displaced his reason and morals .
As I turned to leave , I thought of my best friend Robert who , severely depressed , hanged himself when I was 14 , his tongue hideously swollen from the pressure of the bed sheet noose . And then I thought of Don ’ s tongue , similarly swollen , and how , in an irony borne of a single night , was not unlike the tongue of an innocent young boy brutally hanged during the racial tumult of the 1960s .
Paul Rousseau is a semi-retired hospice / palliative medicine physician . His work has been published in Intima : A Journal of Narrative Medicine , Blood and Thunder , and The Healing Muse , just to mention a few . He lives in Charleston , SC , with his three dogs , but longs to return home to Arizona , a place he left after the death of his wife .
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“All of us are broken and have sinned.” “I shoulda’ said somethin’, I shoulda stopped it. But I didn’t…I didn’t…” His words slowed. “I done bartered all I He nodded, wiping his tears. can, it’s up to Him now.” Soon he was in an opioid slum- ber. “We yanked this poor boy into the bed of the truck, right next to the rope—he seen the rope—and took him back to The room was quiet save the hissing of the oxygen, the the hollers. He was so afraid he even peed hisself. That rhythmic cadence of the morphine pump, and the rum- poor boy, he knew what was gonna happen. He knew we bling snores of air passing over his swollen tongue.  were gonna…”  I wondered about his story; was it true, or was it some He stared at th Ȱ́́ݥᕐq$ЁЁхЁѼɅ䁥ɕ$ٕ)ӊ$ЁЁлt݅́Ք쁵Ёѡͥ́ɔ$ͼٕ)͍Ёȁх+q]ЁЁͽѥ̳t$ͅq9ѡéٕȁ)ɕͽɅ̸)ݡєѡɗé݅́ЁɅ今t)́$ɹѼٔ$ѡ՝Ё䁉ЁɥI+q$ٕȁɥ$ձeЁѕȁѡи$ձeЁٕݡ͕ٕɕ䁑ɕ͕͕ݡ$݅̀а)$ɥЁ'eեЁȁЁɕȁɥЁѼѡЁ́ѽՔͱݽɽѡɕɔѡ)$չ͡d͕ݡ$eЁа͡Ё͔ѡ$ѡ՝ЁéѽՔͥɱ)Ё$ѽ݅эͼ$Ё́ݕлtݽܰɽ䁉ɹͥг ݅)ЁչѡѽՔЁչ䁉х)!͡ѡѽѡյѡ)ɥѡɅյձЁѡ̻ )͡Ё )AհI͕ԁ͕́ɕѥɕѥٔͥ!́ݽɬ́Չ͡%ѥ)ɹ)9Ʌѥٔ5 QչȰQ!5͔ЁѼѥܸ!ٕ́ ɱѽM ݥѠ)́ѡɕ̰Ё́ѼɕɸѼɥ齹ЁѕȁѡѠ́ݥ(