Final Bow

December 13, 2007
By Korri Schneider, Shakopee, MN

Glorified and embellished, he's read all about the tales of poetic demise in his fictional genres. It's difficult to figure out which is worse: realizing he's been lied to, or having to call a ceasefire between himself and this charade of immortality.

His composure is weakened with each beep of the monitor, every dosage of medication. It laces his brain with the bitter residue of nostalgia -all the things he never was and never will be again. Or really, it might just be the tumors carving their lethal abodes into his marrow.

Time is no longer a measurement so much as it is a hindrance. What he wouldn't sacrifice to escape this tube-ridden, half-lidded mode of survival. It's not the pain that sets his nerves on edge; it's the waiting.

The finality of it all is so daunting, so overwhelming that he could choke on it this very second, rather than four months from now. It wouldn't matter if it killed him physically, just as long as it devoured this mounting tension that rattles his mind.

Somewhere between shuddering and second-guessing, he drifts off into the realm of slumber. It is here that he encounters a crossroads. To his left stands a stone altar, embossed and flecked with metallica, and to his right, a tree of indistinguishable specimen. Before he can decide which figure to approach, he feels a burden of nothingness exalt itself above his head, hovering patiently, intently.

And for the first time, in an unmistakably long time, he opens his eyes. He really open his eyes.

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