Thursday, November 11, 2010

Part 17



Ah, the ongoing saga. 18 months since I touched a drop of alcohol. I'm kind of proud of myself. The majority of the time I don't miss it. Still after mowing the lawn on a hot day sometimes a beer would be fucking excellent. This accomplishment means something to me and those closest to me however to the universe it means less than fuck all. It keeps throwing things my way to test my determination - Death, disease, autopsy reports, injuries. Let me tell you folks sobriety isn't easy, there's much more to it than not being able to sing "Cracklin' Rosie" with conviction. Anyway Enough drama.
My sister Tania wanted me to rant a bit about a recent visit we made to Canadian Tire to pick up patio furniture and a BBQ. I think I will leave that until next time. I have to be in the right frame of mind, and a piece devoted to one of the final signs of the decline of an empire, lack of pride in workmanship, will require a hefty tirade.
To be honest I can't put myself in a frivolous state of mind at this time, the results of my dear friend Andrew's autopsy came back recently, and though not for public consumption, they have put me into a dangerous place. A place that has me once more trying to find reason in chaos, justice and fairness in a world where none exist. A world where a widow, a fatherless boy, family, and friends can find no solace in knowledge. A world where love, in the end, is meaningless save for whatever lessons it provides along the way. What follows is a very short piece that has been on my mind for awhile. It is for Susan, and for Candace, with a tip of the hat to Alan Dean Foster. It is called.........

Requiem


Cloudy, distant, his mind and the pain seemed to be in two different places. Intellectually he understood that’s what morphine does, tricks the brain into perceiving pain differently. He was trying to hold on to that intellect, trying to walk the tightrope between lucidity and just plain stoned. He knew it wouldn’t be long, he had to push his morphine button more frequently now. He realized what this meant, things were getting worse, and also understood the consequence of continued high amounts of morphine. Maybe if he hadn’t developed such a high tolerance for drugs in the first place he wouldn’t be here now. If my Grandma had wheels…….

He turned his head, she lay in the fold out bed beside his, sleeping. She had refused to leave his side. She was the one pure thing in his life, and the only true regret he had was to be leaving her. A sudden pain in his midsection made him wince, he pushed the button.
Awhile later she sat beside him holding his hand. Periodically she would run a cool cloth over his face, she knew how much he liked that. He drifted more now. Speaking seemed to require a lot of effort, and he didn’t know if what he said made any sense. Now he would nod his head almost imperceptively, and she would push the button. He tried to stay focused on her, on her beautiful face. He was determined it would be the last thing he saw. He hated that she should see him like this, hated having to go, and hated the part of him that was glad that he didn’t have to be in her position watching her go. The room began to grow brighter in increments, his world began to go from color to black and white, then just white. He squeezed her hand with all the strength left in him, and smiled……..

The doors swooshed open in front of him, and he stepped onto the Bridge. The gold shirt and appropriate insignia fit well, he decided. Evidently his crew thought so as well, if one were to go by the admiring looks that greeted him as he strode towards the Captain’s chair and settled himself into the command seat. As soon as he nodded toward the helm, Lieutenant Sulu responded crisply.


“Maneuvering thrusters and impulse engines at your command, sir”.


“Weapon systems and shields on standby”, Chekov reported confidently.


“Dilithium chamber at maximum efficiency, Captain”, a broguish report came from engineering.


His swivelled his chair to take in his surroundings. His science officer sat at his station monitoring something in his viewer, he of course had betrayed no emotion upon his arrival. He looked for a tall, blonde yeoman with slender legs. She wasn’t here yet, but that was as it should be. She would be here in time.


Uhura swivelled slightly in her chair. “Dock control reports ready for departure. Yard command signalling all clear on chosen vector”.


From where he was standing between the command chair and the lift, the ship’s chief medical officer grinned wryly. “Same ship different day”.


He turned to face the viewscreen. “Mr. Sulu engage thrusters. Take us out, let’s see what’s waiting for us out there”….


THE FINAL FRONTIER







-James Saito