By: Jehangir Saleh
Written: June 7, 2005

•How is it that the Imam or the Pope hold their responsibility – how do they wake up in the morning and go to the bathroom, and shave? How does the Imam sleep with his wife? What does his wife think of him?
•A silverfish crawls across the ceiling. I want to kill it, but am afraid to touch or see it’s carcass. I hate silverfish. Sometimes I close my eyes and try to will them to all die on the spot, wherever they are, like the fundamentalist wills to anyone who does not believe.
•No one has every told me they didn’t want me to die. When I mention it, usually in passing, the response is usually to change the subject, be positive. Occasionally, there is an awkward silence where the other person seems to consider their own morality. But no one has every looked at me as said, Gee, I’m really sorry. I don’t want you to die.
•I cried a lot when my cat died. He was a street cat, never wanted to be trapped in the house. At the end of his life, he was shedding fur like a decrepit rug that was stain from years of raising children. He had bloody patches on his skin that looked like vomit stains. During his last days, he kept coming to my doorstep and waiting there. I don’t know what he was waiting for. I often wonder if he knew he was going to die. My sister didn’t think so, but surely he was conscious of something.
•The hospital smells. I hear all the nurses complaining about it. I can’t know myself because I have lost my sense of smell. I can only try to remember what things smell like, and I imagine a combination of sanitation products and dirty, sickly bodies.
•The worse part is to be out of options. In countries where doctors can prescribe suicide pills, most of those prescripts go unfilled.
•Suddenly my parents who all their lives are uncreative, suddenly imagining options that everyone knows to be impossible. But it’s the only way for us to stop feeling trapped – to feel we have choices, even those, if you really stop and think about it, you’re already on your set course. And you’re going to die. I’ll pause here while you try to imagine ways of proving me wrong.
•I am scared to tell this story. Because it is about me. Both of us know that once it is started, it must somehow end. At least one of us knows what the end will be like.
•Fragments, at least at this moment, seem so useless.

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