Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Smell of Death


It’s about midday. I have no watch; no need for one. My mind is as good as a China watch these days. The door to my room opens. Someone enters and distracts my racing mind. I’m now sure its midday because that’s when the first visitor of the lunch hour comes in. I turn around to face the door and there stands a familiar face. I can see it’s a lady but I can’t tell who she is. She is standing there looking at me with glowing eyes and flashing an angelic smile; so warm and wide that it can save a dying soul… well, except mine. She’s holding a bouquet of flowers with a card attached on it. She walks over to my death bed and takes a seat right next to it. She places the flowers on the table. 


She holds my cold hand between her palms and squeezes it so hard I can swear I hear one of my bones crack. With the sweetest of voices she asks;

“How are you feeling today daddy?”

It hits me that the lady is my daughter; my one and only beautiful daughter. I’m losing my sense of recognition these days such that even my wife and daughter have to introduce themselves to me. 

“How are you feeling today daddy?”

How am I feeling? Does she understand that I’m dying? And how is a dying person supposed to feel? A little bit dead? But of course she expects me to say ‘better’. That’s what every visitor expects me to say.

“How are you feeling today daddy?”
“Better. I’m feeling better.”

I say the magic words to her to please her. She thanks the good Lord in a prayer and leaves. Feeling hopeful; hopeful that her dad will soon be on his feet and walk her down the aisle on her wedding day which is 2 months away. I can picture her calling her fiancée and friends to give them the good news; news of my improved health. And they will wine and dine till dawn. 

I pick the flowers and smell them. DEATH.
That’s the smell of everything these days. DEATH. 

“Get well soon daddy. You will overcome death.”

The message on the card. Wise words. Very encouraging words. I will get well soon sweetheart. I will overcome death. I will die; this is the only way to overcome death for me. Death for Death.
I smell the flowers again. They choke me. Too much death smell. The smell chokes me. Death chokes me. I can feel myself drowning away. I’m overcoming death.

“How are you feeling today daddy?”
“I’m feeling better. Actually, I’m feeling well. Completely well.”
“Get well soon. You will overcome death.”

The card drops on my chest. The flowers on my nose. Too much death smell.