Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2298 : Sometimes the fire just burns

That morning, as she sauntered into the clinic, the air was darker and there was a potent warning in its ring. She remembered she had shrugged it off, "she did not want to be reminded of the inevitable."

She had met the junior doctor on his way out, and he had given her the tired look, and said "Dear, make the most of him. He wont last."

"What do you mean, he wont last? You mean days, months or years?"

"My dear lady, hours is more like it."

She had never been stabbed before, but she had just discovered what it felt for a butcher's knife to be thrust into one's heart.

She had gasped and gulped, and then eventually clasped the doc's hands. After a pause she had asked "Does he know?"

"Lady, they always know. I have seen a thousand ends in this hospital. And every single of the patient has known their coming reckoning, even if they were brain dead unconscious. Our souls know it. Even today - its really him knowing it, that signals to me, that the event is in order soon."

She steadied herself and then walked into the room. There he sat languidly on the bet, his arms tired and sloppy. His head supported by two pillows.

As he sensed her, he perked up a bit, and then smiled and said "Ah my lover is here."

"Really, old fucker, at this age, you still want to romp, is it?", she asked with a hint of smile.

"I could try. Maybe I need to tell myself that I wont go..... till I actually come." saying which he guffawed like pig who had not been in its best health.

She laughed and said "Chauvinist pig. The girl never matters right? She can be coming or going, who cares right?"

At this point in the chat, she held his hand and asked, "How are you doing, loverboy?"

"Dealing with a raging issue.", he smiled as he said it.

"Be serious. Tell me whats up."

"You are funny, I just told you whats up, and you ignored it."

"Ok....", she said and slapped him lovingly..."how do you feel?".

He regained his seriousness and said "A man has to do what a man has to do. He has to go when he has to go."


"Yes. Good riddance. I can't deal with his painful liver anymore. Better to rot in heaven, than have a riot in this cesspit of a hospital....", he said with a smile.

She looked downcast for a few moments, then asked him "Anything that you really want? Now?"

"You know I have hardly felt an attachment to anything, other than my camera and possibly some books."

"Yes I know that."

"I want you to try and use my camera. Not because it is mine. I mean not because of the sentiment. But I hope it will give you new eyes to see the world I am leaving behind. I hope that when you finish your experiments with it, what you will document, will conclusively tell - that I left the world in a little better place, than when I joined it. That has always been the singular goal of my life."

He added almost like a plea, "Will you use my tired old camera?".

"Yes", she said with a silent muffle.

After another long pause she asked, "and what else bud?"

"Nothing else. Really nothing."

He paused and strained to think and then added "Actually..... you remember the chart paper outside the kitchen. Yes the giant one covering the wall, where I would scribble thoughts and ideas. Almost like notes to myself."

He waited as he saw her nod, and then added "You fought with me so many bloody times because  you said you never ever understood the notes. They were cryptic and they riled you. And when on somedays I would replace the chart with a new one, you would be delighted and buy me dinner, but then again, soon enough the new one with its new scribbles would rile you....."

"Yes, I know. I saw it today morning. It has not seen you for over a month....and it has some 100 odd random scribbles. I really don't know what they mean. I do know you eventually used them in your poems."

He laughed and mildly guffawed. He said, "The only thing I will regret that I did not complete what I wanted to write and expand on those little unfinished notes. I so desperately want just one more week, and I promise I shall have another 200 pages written down. My final swan song.....but I now know thats a pipe dream."

He looked down almost broken by his own thoughts. After what appeared minutes he said, "Can you courier that over to me, wherever I go?"

She smiled and said "You can be serious?".

"I am. I want that going down with me."

Saying that he had held out his held. She had softly clasped his palm and held him tight for the next 3 hours, as they spoken about the world coming to an end.

By the end of the day, he was gone. They had him cremated the same night. She had been too numb to either cry or to grieve.

In the early hours of the morning as the embers still flickered, she had trudged back home.

She had prepared a hot cup of coffee and was stirred by its intense aroma. She inadvertently noticed the chart outside the kitchen wall. She tried reading. Could make no sense.

Carefully, she removed what appeared to be almost 36 sq feet worth of chart paper. Rolling it up was quite an effort.

She then dragged it to the terrace of the house. Walking back into the kitchen she returned with a box of matches. She lit the two ends and center of the whole paper.

The paper flickered, twice the flame died, but eventually all that remained were the black char and ashes. She collected it all, and then lovingly poured it over his favorite collection of cacti in the garden.

As she poured water on the plants, she said aloud and smiled "Loverboy, your courier is shipped as promsied. Track it using these plants."

She looked around. Nothing else in the world had paused. It was another boring day. The sun was rising in the east.

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