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It Isn't Called Death

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Canofceleri
  • Canofceleri

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#1

Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:13 PM Edited by Canofceleri, 09 August 2011 - 07:19 PM.

It Isn't Called Death



They tell me I have eleven months to live. I tell them I donít believe them. They tell me pretty soon Iíll be with my wife up in heaven. I tell them itís not my time yet.


A pack of cigarettes, a drink of cola, and a lottery ticket. My smoking has killed my taste, but by God, I can still sense how a fresh cola from the bottle tastes down my pipes. In the bottle just like the old days, just like how it sípposed to be. And my oldness has gone and taken most my eye sight, but by God I can see just right every time this damn old lottery ticket tells me I still ainít a winner.

So I go home to the house I lived most my life. I toss the paper across the room and sit where it was on my old recliner. I smoke my cigarettes and I drink my cola and I read what that lotto ticket says to me and it tells me what I been told my whole life: I ainít a winner. Iím a loser. Iím old and bitter, my wifeís died, my only sonís died, my parentsíve died, and every night I smoke a fresh pack, suck down my cola, scratch away an extra buck, and fall asleep watching the 6 oíclock news. I might as well be dead and I should be dead and these doctors are telling me Iím gonna be dead, but I donít want to die. I want to live, and I donít understand why.


So the next day comes, Iíve slept much on what the doctors have told me. Doctors are doctors, theyíve gone to school which is more than I can say for myself. Iím up already so I might as well come to grips with the fact that pretty soon these days wont keep cominí. I jump in the shower and just about kill myself trying to clean behind all these tucked away wrinkly old corners of my dying body that didnít seem so tucked away and wrinkly at all about twenty years ago. I meet my routines and I call a lawyer about a living will and all that since Iím gonna die. Iím a pretty knowledgeable person myself, but I swear it I had no idea dying was such a legal process.

ďSo youíre leaving your house to a young couple who lives in the same neighborhood?Ē he asks me as if thereís something wrong with that. So I just figure Iíll tell him about the people so he can better understand, I tell him about how they nice people and how they baked me cookies when they first moved in the neighborhood and about how they always leave little cards for me on the holidays and how every once in a while when they see me on my porch they come up and make talk with an old man who has nothing left. But this lawyer still donít get it. ďBut Mr. Dodson, havenít you any family? Anyone in your bloodline who you can leave your house to? A house is a pretty nice inheritance, donít you think itíd be more appropriate to leave it to a loved one?Ē he asks again with that look, like heís trying to explain this to a child. Now, Iím a nice person and it takes a lot to make me cranky towards people, but I tell him up and down that I donít like being talked down to like Iím a child and that I know exactly what Iím doing. Besides, I tell him, Iím an old man with no one left and nice peoples, family or not, deserve to be treated nicely.

I leave that lawyer cold, but I sleep better tonight because I know I done right.


I wake up in a cold sweat. The sheets stick to my old body. My eyes take a lifetime to get in focus and then I realize how beautiful this is. My room is bathed in a blue-like light. From the moon, I guess. And the colors get all tangled up in the branches from the trees that stand by my house and everything in the world seems to just creep in through the open windows of my room, and all the darkness and moonlight and color just crawl up my walls leaving just the ceiling white. The shadows keeps me sleepy and the weak breeze keeps me a tad cool, but comfortable. This is life, I know now. And this feeling is filling me up and I just canít deal with it in a grown-up way. I canít describe it and I donít want to have to deal with it anymore. I just canít! But at the same time I canít get away from it and I just canít die! I just canít die! But thatís what they telliní me is happening and this life is beiní taken away from me just I start understanding it!

They tell me I have eight months to live. I tell them I hate it. They tell me pretty soon Iíll be with my wife up in heaven. I tell them to get away.


A pack of cigarettes, a drink of cola, and a lottery ticket. My smoking has killed my taste, but by God, I can still sense how a fresh cola from the bottle tastes down my pipes. In the bottle just like the old days, just like how it sípposed to be. And my oldness has gone and taken most my eye sight, but by God I can see just right every time this damn old lottery ticket tells me I still ainít a winner.

So I go home to the house I lived most my life. I toss the paper across the room and sit where it was on my old recliner. I smoke my cigarettes and I drink my cola and I read what that lotto ticket says to me and it tells me something I ainít never been told my whole life: Iím a winner. What? I rub my damn old eyes to see if I read right and let me tell youÖ itís right. I jump up so damn high I donít know what Iím doiní! I know the cigarette that just fell from my lips and the cola bottle that just flew out my hands is ruining my recliner and the carpet but I donít give a hoot! Iím a winner!

I race to my phone to call the lottery people and damn near forget the ticket on my way! I get on that phone and call that number and tell every line Iím transferred to how happy I am by screaminí and shoutiní which is prolly why I keep getting transferred!

ďHello, sir?Ē they ask, ďHow much have you won?Ē and Iím drawing blank. I didnít even think to read how much the damn ticket says Iíve won! ďFour million dollars,Ē I say and I donít even realize how much money that is until after Iíve said it. FOUR MILLION DOLLARS?!

I tell you, I run down to the store and by a carton of cigarettes and a whole case of that cola I like and run back like I just took fifty years off my life! It ainít a few days later till those nice lottery people are handing me a jumbo-sized check in front of all types of news people and cameras and Iím gonna be on TV.

ďWhat will you do with the winnings, Mr. Dodson?Ē a man asks me. Well, gee, I havenít put much thought into that. I have, butÖ not really. And then it hits me, ďIím gonna buy me a house on the beach!Ē and I just blurt that out in front of all the cameras. But thatís what Iíll do. Iíll buy me a house.


They tell me I have five months to live. I get on my knees. They tell me pretty soon Iíll be with my wife up in heaven. I beg for my life. I ask for a second chance.


After the government taxed my winnings, I walked away with just enough money to get a house on the beach built specially for me. Itíll be done in a few months, the contractors say. I have to say, even though my illness is taking me away from all this, I am lookiní mighty forward to having my very own home on the beach. It will be a very big house, which is good Ďcause I never really had that. Iíve lived in the same old house, that was in a good neighborhood until after the 1960s, most my life. Modest, two bedroom sort of house that is good that Iím leaving since my wife died and I donít like beiní there as much anymore.

Itís gonna be big and blue and itís gonna sit on the rocks right before the ocean and every room is gonna have great big windows and itís gonna be very comfortable and spacious. Iíve already ordered half the stuff goiní in it too. Hell, itís wishful thinking, but maybe I wont die as soon as they say Iím gonna and then Iíll have more time to enjoy it. Just maybe itíll happen that way.


They tell me I have two weeks to live. I tell them I canít change it. They tell me pretty soon Iíll be with my wife up in heaven. I ask them if they can.


My home is finished. But it isnít much of a home. I look at the ocean through my great big window and itís endless and depressing. Its colors are muted and not vibrant how I thought theyíd be. The crystals of salt in the water was supposed to glisten like new blood as they split open the ends of the waves, but instead they just dead. This place is furnished, but it ainít full. Itís empty. Itís dead. Itís pointless. Whatís a dead man like me need a huge place like this for? To remind me of how alone I am? Iím out in the middle of nowhere with no one or nothing to save me, nothing to help me through this time. The ocean which surrounds me tells me of my destiny. It is finite.


The day is almost done, I sign the papers that say who gets my house if I die. If I die. What a joke. Iíve got just more than 700 dollars to my name, how ridiculous is that? I go home and go to sleep and maybe I wont wake up.

The night is half over and I my eyes snap open and take no time to adjust. Iíve got no money left, but what can I do? For God sakes, youíve got almost no time left and youíre just going to lie in this fancy home?

I throw some clothes on as fast as I can, time truly is an issue. I run against the ocean tide for what seems like five hours before I make it into town. What infinite youth has my inevitable death given me? All I know is I got $742.38 in my billfold and Iím gonna use it. I wait on a bus until it comes the next morning, and I board for a long trip alongside a bunch of other common folk who probably just didnít buy a three-million-dollar-house-on-the-beach or die at any moment either.

I never been to New York before. I always wanted to because my family is originally from there, but moved to the south during the depression when I was just seven. I heard lots about it, but never been. I hear thereís lots of people to see and things to do there. A lot of common people thatíll talk to you. So thatís where Iís goiní, to New York City. It wasnít till someone sittiní next to me asks me where I was goiní that I thought about it a little differently.

I took a momentÖ and I say, ďIím goiní home to my wife, I just gotta make a quick little stop along the way,Ē and I says this real serious-like, with a very intense mug on. The man asks me, ďWhere does your wife live?Ē I tell him she lives very close by, and a smile that I canít help comes on my face. And my heart fills up with this feeling I ainít never felt before. But something tells me, itís good.


I arrive at New York a few days later, but it didnít seem like a long drive at all. I walk off this damn bus and I am so happy. New York is so damn cold, but I canít help but feel so warm. Itís warm because thereís so many people, and I hear that a lot of people beiní so close together makes things really warm for yah. It is almost exactly how my old family described it, but not really. But itís great just the same. They described it a little differently than I would, but weíd both be describing the same thing, I reckon. Itís just a little bit different to everybody, I guessÖ but for me itís really nice and I have lost my ability to dislike.

They tell me Iím going to die now. But I know that thatís impossible. They tell me pretty soon Iíll be with my wife up in heaven. And I tell them that thatís alright.

gta phil gta
  • gta phil gta

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#2

Posted 08 September 2005 - 11:24 PM

Interesting piece, certainly something different to anything I've read before. I quite liked it myself, it's a nice, short read with a message, just makes you think about it for a little while as you read though. The way in which you tell it though, as always, is just amazing ... the way you bring the character to life.

Good job, Cand. smile.gif

Canofceleri
  • Canofceleri

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#3

Posted 09 September 2005 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE (gta phil gta @ Sep 8 2005, 19:24)
Interesting piece, certainly something different to anything I've read before. I quite liked it myself, it's a nice, short read with a message, just makes you think about it for a little while as you read though. The way in which you tell it though, as always, is just amazing ... the way you bring the character to life.

Good job, Cand. smile.gif

Thank you. Definitely not eloquent, but eloquence would have destroyed the believability of this first-person narrative since it's spoken through an uneducated southerner. And it's only a rough draft.

I'm working on something else though, something a little more vivid and ultimately a lot better. It's a short called "Erotom", which I will inevitably post later on to little or no feedback.




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