Dec 28, 2015

We stand around his bed, working out the details of his extraction from the hospital.  He has finally decided that he's had enough.  Last night he tore the catheter out of his neck that enables a connection to the dialysis machine, which he's been a slave to for more than a month, three days a week, three or four hours at a clip, and always as though the prey of an ambivalent and inept dracula.

And still he goes on.  The pacemaker demands it.  But now by withdrawing from dialysis, he has committed to a quick end.  The kidneys will shut down in a week, or less.  And just now, even with fresh blood he does not look well.  His face suggests 'The Scream.' Head thrown back, mouth open. You think of Munch's inspiration: "One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord — the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream."

Perhaps, the cinematographer is filming just such a scene right now: like a scene from The Deer Hunter, but more ghastly even, a true metaphor for his abhorrence of what's been done to him, of what goes on each day....  The nurses have surved him well; the doctors not so much, particularly the one in charge who had him come down to his office, in September... Or was it late August.  The 'managing' doctor is a small wiry man, with an air of

Nevertheless, the case worker is confident: "This is a great man, he has brought happiness to many people. You never know where people go in their minds." The case worker is a chubby butch with a Brooklyn accent and a camp counsellor's demeanor.   She offer a long monologue about visitations with the dead. "My guardian spirit is my mother, of course," she begins, "and whenever I see a butterfly I know she's around."

I wondered if the cinematographer could hear her.  His bushy eyebrows twitched, which they often do when he is trying to suffer fools.

"It's important to ask the patient, if you can," the case worker went on. "Of course, sometimes, you can't, it's always delicate, but sometimes you can ask how they imagine they will be reincarnated. I know someone who said they would come back as a moth and they did!"

Said as though reappearing as a moth was like coming back as a fabulous prince.

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