I AM NOT SICK he said that day in the emergency room
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with tubes running out of his arms like the tentacles of an octopus
I just have a little heartburn and I am not sick
I AM NOT SICK he said one day as the doctors measured out vials of red from his veins while scratching their heads and flipping through
the silver file with his name that was growing thick
WHERE IS MY WIFE he asked many days later as I sat by his bed in the room with four other veterans all wearing street clothes and plastic bands
on their wrists and my only answer is a shrug and a casual hair flick
THESE ARE STROKES the doctor said as he showed me the films with the black and white areas and traced the lines and the curves of the brain of the man in the room who is wondering why he is there and insisting that he is not sick
WHEN DID YOU GET HERE he asked for the tenth time with as much surprise as the first and I answer with the same tone as before as I play along pretending that I had just arrived but all the while I can hear the clock tick
JUST THROW ME IN THE RIVER he said I DONT NEED A LIVING WILL he said as he turned his head and sulked and I sat there with nothing else to say or do and he turns to me and says OH WHEN DID YOU GET HERE and I smile as I feel sick
YOUR FATHER IS ON LIFE SUPPORT they said that morning as my heart fell to my feet and the air rushed out of my lungs and I am left with the choice I never wanted and I want someone else to pick
And here I sit many years later with my regrets and my wishes and thoughts and never knowing which was the right choice because he never said and I still don't know and I am still feeling sick.
All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream....
Edgar Allen Poe