Vol. 2 (continued)

More from my second volume of Present Tense. These excerpts have not been published or seen. This is from the time I visited my dad in the hospital, just before he passed. He was very sick. End-stage cancer.


Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em


Lung cancer. He smoked for over 45 years. Sometimes 3 packs a day. Sometimes a pipe. Rarely marijuana.
He is laying in bed in a hospital room. I walk into the room with my mother and sister. He’s in a gown, head shaved and Sharpie marks on his scalp. That’s where they focus the radiation. That’s where the brain tumors are. There are several marks. There are other places in his body that have cancer. Leg. Stomach. Chest.
He’s uncomfortable. He starts to squirm. He rolls onto his stomach, props himself up on his elbows and knees. My mother rubs his back. She whispers softly in his ear. She looks scared. So does he. This is the most vulnerable, tender moment I have ever seen them share. The pain passes.
He looks at me and asks me to buy him a pack of cigarettes. He hands me several dollar bills. I agree.
Our philosophies were in agreement on this day and many to follow. The world is a brief, harsh place and you find pleasure where you can.
I was not going to deny a dying man his last want or need.
We are on our way to my grandmother’s funeral.
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2 thoughts on “Vol. 2 (continued)

  1. What I love about this (and all the other installments from your ‘Present Tense’ collection) is the simple narrative style that plainly presents the facts and does not try to manipulate the reader’s feelings. If anything, I find myself falling farther and harder into pathos to fill the emotional space you’ve left for the expanse of the reader’s own empathy. My condolences for your memories, but kudos for your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, Hon. that’s cool that you are left with that. that wasn’t my intention, but i understand what ur saying and i think that’s a cool by-product of what seemed like a straight-forward style idea. my only thought behind it was–write as if it’s happening now. because that’s how PTSD memories seem. like it’s happening all over again, right now! lol thanks for the massive compliment. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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