This was some woman’s son, well into his fifties now. He seemed distant, isolated from the reality of his situation. The nurses fluttered in and out of the room, unbothered. They whisked past the officers posted at the door, securing any sentiment they may have held, under white latex gloves. A young advocate sat close to the edge of a chair, not far from the bed. He leaned in close to decipher the strained whispers from his detained elder, contemplating a defense. It was like struggling to catch a breeze from the backside a rock. The elder said that he had spent most of his manhood inside of a prison. He had embarked on a career that was the easiest for him to reach, one that entailed the small-time trade of weapons and street-wide narcotics that he personally tested. He was still dealing with the professional hazards and all the other perils that he inherited by circumstance. And he had found himself in this position again. He shook his head.
Somewhere outside of the room, a group of officials was loitering on the glossy hallway floors, becoming inpatient about the length of time this entire affair was taking. Inside, the younger of the two men was feeling quite helpless. The man in front of him reminded him of an uncle. He tried to read on the elder’s face any awareness of his impending demise. If the man knew that the sickness would take him, he did not show it. He only spoke about his family. His sons in
who did not know what had happened to him, and who, he mused, would likely not
care to know. A sister he had once been very close to; a younger brother that
had just died. The elder would soon join those that had gone before him. The
advocate and the nurses exchanged the knowledge in their glances. The advocate
sighed as he looked over at the painted white bars that made a wall in front of
the hospital windows. He observed the elder’s roommate reading the comics in the
other bed, as if he were the only person in the room. An official suddenly
appeared at the door and inquired if the two men were finally prepared. The
advocate nodded. He wondered in which facility the elder would eventually die.
He breathed hard, gathered the papers on his lap, and readied himself.