Walking by a Planned Parenthood, on my way to a job interview, I saw her outside protesting. I thought she was pretty. But more than that, there was something about her that made me want to know her. I could put on a mask of religious zealot for little while if it meant getting to spend some time with her. But she wasn’t as fanatical as I expected. She was very opposed to abortion, but had personal reasons. She had had an abortion when she was 20. Her boyfriend at the time pressured her into going through with it. She felt lost and did what she thought was right. But she regretted it almost immediately. She told me their relationship fell apart shortly after. Since then, she had done what she could to inspire woman with unwanted pregnancies to consider adoption over abortion. I admired her convictions even though I disagreed with her methods. We had so much in common. We were both broke, but didn’t mind our lack of funds so much when we were in each other’s company. The one inconsistency was our perspectives on abortion. Over the next few months, I grew to love her in a way I’d never loved another woman. Then came the morning of December 12th. I had been staying at her apartment regularly, but had not been able to the night before on account of the fact that she was not feeling well. My phone rang. It was her. Her voice was monotone, lifeless – “I’m pregnant”. We both knew we were not in a place financially or in our relationship to raise a child together. Of course there was the option of adoption, but she felt as though carrying this baby for 9 months only to hand it over would be more than she could bare. I felt torn, but scheduled an appointment for her. That afternoon, tears running down her face, she passed through her own picket line. She stopped returning my calls and now we haven’t talked in almost a month.
In the beginning, God created the Earth, a lifeless ball of dirt. It was ugly and uninspired. God drew on the heavens with fire and gas and dust, searching for the key to make this ball of dirt spectacular. Finally, God realized the only way to make the Earth truly beautiful was to put Him/Her/Itself in it. God cut a piece of Him/Her/Itself off and buried it deep within the Earth. As the mass divided, the Earth sprang to life with color and motion, each beautiful little autonomous streak of brilliance a piece of God. At first, the little lives remained attached to the ground from which they grew. But they craved each other, the small pieces aching to be a part of the bigger, the greater, the original. Soon many of the little lives grew legs and began walking around the Earth in search of other parts of the greater. But this separation from God’s creation was never long lasting. The little lives would quickly loose strength, to only return to the ground from which they came. Rebel lives learned that a life separated from God’s creation could be sustained by feeding off the life which continued to grow from the ground. Still, the sustenance only prolonged the inevitable arrival of their return to the Earth. The electricity which flowed through them so abundantly as they first sprang from the Earth diminished significantly as time passed. The great source of sustenance from the ground proved to be nothing more than a clever way of putting off their inevitable return to the Earth. Being away from God and His/Her/It’s creation caused pain. As the little lives spent more time away from the Earth, they forgot God, they forgot their lives before. This led to fear and competition for sustenance. Still, in desperate craving of a connection to God, the little lives roamed the Earth, in search of other little lives who would share in their burden of finding sustenance. Although the little lives had no recollection of God, they had great evidence of His/Her/It’s existence. The different interpretations of the evidence led them to fight and kill each other, believing the act of dying to be one a little life should fear the most. They feared and fought and killed and died and returned to the Earth from which they came only to suddenly remember there was never any need to fear or fight or kill or die.
“It is late night in Hope Retirement Home – 7:30 pm. 2 hours past dinnertime and that bitch still hasn’t brought me my pudding. Nurse Teasel has had it out for me since I first got here. I make an effort to shoot a wad of paper at her at least once a day. I do this by stretching a rubber band between the thumb and pointer finger of my left hand and using it like a bow to launch my paper balls.
A friend of mine named “Walker” tries to come see me on occasion. We met years ago at the VFW. Nurse Teasel says I have to get out of bed to have visitors. I would if I could – if my body would cooperate with my mind. Teasel is always trying to tell me what to do. She says I look like a hippie with my long hair. The women here love my long hair. So do their daughters. Charlie, another patient here, likes to get it on when we can get a moment alone. She wears dentures. I’m sure I don’t have to explain the benefits of her ability to remove her teeth. We share a dislike for Nurse Teasel. Nurse Teasel is always trying to get Charlie to use a wheel chair. But Charlie doesn’t need one. I think Teasel is just trying to cover her own ass. Lawsuits against Hope Retirement Home are common. As Nurse Teasel’s announcement echoes throughout the halls of this sterile establishment, “Lights Out”, I think to myself, “Not this time”. I use my cane to push Charlie’s wheelchair into the corner and out of Nurse Teasel’s sight. Teasel reaches in with her right arm and flips the light switch on the wall into the “off” position.
I wait for the sound of the closing door at the end of the hall and glide the wheelchair back over to my bed with my cane. I climb into the chair and reach for the red tourniquet that rests on the end table and tie it around my forehead to keep my hair out of my face. I have to be quick. Murdock, the night security guard will be making his rounds soon. I hurry across the hall to Charlie’s room. We will make our escape. But first, I’m going to leave a surprise for Teasel. Charlie agrees to meet me out front. A few moments later, I come wheeling out the front door with a great speed. My chair sails over the concrete steps in front of the Hope Retirement Home as the front of the building goes up in a great explosion. My chair screeches to a halt at the bottom of the staircase. Charlie stands there next to me, barefoot, in her nightgown, holding her teeth next to her side…
And that’s it Doc. What do you think?” John Rambo sits across from a man in glasses. Rambo wears a suit and tie; his hair is short. The man holds a pen and notepad with his left hand as it rests on the arm of his chair.
“Well John,” the man says, “I think we’ll increase your anti-psychotic meds. Are you seeing anyone about your arthritis?”
John Rambo: “Yeah. But the stuff they give me isn’t working very well”.
“Clearly”, the man says, “I would recommend you revisit the issue with your PCV. Have you reconsidered the use of a walker?”
John Rambo: “I don’t need one.”
“It could help you get out of bed more. You have to understand how absurd the premises of these dreams are. To think a 66 year-old Vietnam vet who has suffered as significant injuries as you could engage in such strenuous activities…”