On the Deathbed

When I was little, I used to think the deathbed was a special place they moved you to when they knew you were about to die. I thought the sheets were black and there were skulls on the posts. What do you think it would look like?

When my father was dying, he had the disinterested look of a junkie. He did not care I was in the room, all he could see was his dying moment. It made me feel angry, because I flew all the way back to the Old Country to see him out of this world, but he barely noticed my presence. He acknowledged me like you acknowledge a person taking the seat next to you on the bus. Just a quick glance, a courtesy, from one city dweller to another. Seemed out of place in the stinky old hovel.

When he was done, I put on my hat, ready to leave. His young wife was crying, drowning in her moment. Barely noticed me getting up.

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