To whom it may concern,
It used to be that when your reason left you, or rather, when your children or executors or what have you decided that was the case, you were run to an asylum and laid in a white bed until your eyes rolled back in your head and your soul rolled up to the clouds, or down, to someplace less respectable. Now, in this, the 21st century, wonder of wonders, they bring the asylum to you. It’s called hospice. I’m laying on a white bed in the living room, crisp hospital covers up past my waist, writing this on a bunion-yellow legal pad. In the next room the nurse is reading some Harlequin romance novel with a cover to make Venus squirm in her clam. She’s waiting for a little amber light to flash on the monitor by my bed, which will mean I’ve passed on and she can pack up her things and go wait for some other old fool to quit burdening society.
It’s an odd thing, watching someone watch you die, or rather, watching someone grow increasingly exasperated that you haven’t died yet. She’s been here over a month and brooded her way through a couple dozen of those books and a few others, less trashy, which she seemed to be reading out of obligation. I’ve been reading myself — old philosophy mostly. Started with a survey of the pre-Socratics and just finished The Republic yesterday. I kid myself that I’m a late-to-the-game intellectual, but I’m also reading these books because I know it makes my nurse embarrassed of her glossy, Thor-covered drivel. Her name is Quintessa, which is an awful name.