Fifty-eight: Save Me, Black Jesus

[A story in many parts: Part Nine of Thirteen]

Chapter Six

Bad news. Danella, the big-butted, black nurse just came in and had a long talk with me. Apparently, all the recent activity in my room is because discussions have started about what to do with me. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been out as long as I have. I must be taking up too much room. Danella told me that if I wanted to shake up the discussions I needed to let them know I was interested in living. Give them some kind of sign. It’s the first time she’s talked to me like that, like I was here instead of just in her way. That makes me think this is serious. Of course, being black, she had to go on and on about saving my soul or some kind of foolishness like that. When she got into that spiel I got annoyed and tried to tune her out. But the rest of it? This is some serious guano. Her exact words were “let them know I was interested in living.” Does that mean they’d be willing to yank my plug if I don’t cooperate? Has it come to that? No wonder they were mumbling.

Cutting me off seems harsh. Then again, maybe not. I’m a bit of a problem for everyone. There’re a lot of folks invested in keeping me going and, right now, they aren’t getting a lot back for their efforts. I guess hope and faith can only take you so far. According to Danella it’s up to me; I can do something about it by giving them a sign. I’m not sure what, but if I do I suppose things will stay about the same. Maybe I’d get a bit more attention initially but it would taper off unless I come out of it 100%. If I decide to hang in here, then what? I guess I’m looking at dying. Now that’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to, surprisingly enough. I guess maybe I should have; I’ve had the time. I just never figured on anyone pushing me into it. I’d always assumed it would be on my timetable.

I wonder what happens after you die? Do I just fall asleep forever? That’s pretty hard to wrap my brain around. Forever. What’s that mean? Thinking about it makes my head hurt. Then again, maybe dying doesn’t change anything. Maybe I just hang around and talk to myself. Forever. If that’s the case, how will I be able to tell when I die? Hell, I may be dead already and not know it. But would I hear that damned heart monitor beeping if I was dead? In hell, maybe, if even that exists. It looks like I have a decision to make and I’m not working with a lot of information to base it on. But first, a nap. And if I wake up and I’m still being bombarded with twinkling lights and chirping monitors I’ll assume I’m alive.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

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