Catharsis

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I lob a jagged rock at the dismal building with every ounce of strength my frail arms can muster. A yellowing window shatters into a thousand tiny pieces. Mother f****r deserved it. I launch another one and it makes a dull thud as it knocks a chunk of loose concrete off the decaying wall. I feel a small pang of bitter-sweet satisfaction. The kind of hallow satisfaction that only comes from destroying something that destroyed you.
“I’m afraid I have bad news for you ma’am” a young, well dressed doctor tells me with that signature oncologist’s sympathy that I imagine they drink from a bottle every morning before they go to work how else could they keep it up each and every day? That tone that means you are going to die and there’s nothing they can do about it.
“How long do I have?” I am startlingly emotionless. I’ve somehow always known that I’d die young. I have this theory that people only get about twenty years of really living and the rest is just meaningless filler. I figure that I like living too much, I’ll run through my twenty years almost immediately and when they’re gone I’ll die. Ten years ago it was almost my life goal to die young. I wanted to live fast, to use my living while I was still young and vivacious and idealistic. My life was to be a whirlwind of adventure and romance and friends and my art. I would die some poetic, tragic, cliché death like in car crash or from an overdose in my early to thirty’s.
“Such a shame” they would say as they forked over thousands for my only mildly better than mediocre photo prints, admiring my work ten times more than they did when I was alive. “She had so much potential and she was so young. Can you believe it?”
“Four months at the most”, the doctor tells me somberly, “and that’s a generous estimate”
Funny how things work; a week ago before I first coughed up blood in the grimy public bathroom, before I was diagnosed with cancer, I had totally come to terms with my inevitable and most likely untimely demise. But now that I know it’s coming. Now that’s it’s staring me in the face I’m furious. I’m terrified. I feel cheated.
I’m twenty-seven and even with my bat s*** plan-premonition thing I should still have at least a good four of five years. And suddenly I want more than that. Not only do I desperately want those years back- years taken from me before I’ve even gotten to use them, the worst sort of robbery- I want another fifty years. I want to grow old and cranky and crotchety. I want grandchildren who ignore me save for when I’m handing them money. I want to sit on my front porch in an ancient rocking chair and yell at the ‘hooligan’ adolescents roaming my future sleepy neighborhood whose names I can’t remember for lack of space in my brain. I want my future god damnit. It’s been stolen from me.
I toss another stone, but my strength is fading. This one doesn’t even make the thirty foot voyage to rotting building: the old manufacturing plant that used to run the economy in our town. I lived not two miles from it for the first eighteen years of my life. As a kid I used to swim in the stream that ran right past it. As a teenager I would sneak out to my secret cave on the riverbed where the steam meets the river with my boyfriend of the week to consummate our love on a squeaky old mattress hidden in its depths. Had I known then that the river was contaminated with levels of some toxin with an unpronounceable name that was known to cause cancer and respiratory failure I probably wouldn’t have done anything differently, but that doesn’t squelch my anger.
The pile of stones at my feet is all but exhausted now, as is my stamina. One rock remains and I give one last forceful throw before nearly collapsing on the dusty ground. My withering lungs struggle to spread oxygen to my pale and emaciated body. I double over as I’m struck by another coughing fit, an increasingly frequent occurrence. I spot blood on the dirt. I hate this. My body is deteriorating before my eyes and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. My fate is sealed and I want a cigarette.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback