(Contains strong language)
I sit on my cot, listening to the sounds that tumble about in the hall outside my cell. I look up startled, as the cell door slides open and a man in black enters. He carries a small book that I assume is a bible. I stare at him blankly, with disdain .
“I am Father Russell” he says. “I am here to issue the last rites of the church?”
“What the hell for” I reply. “Ain’t gonna change nothin. You think God gives a fuck about me? That’s just bullshit man.”
“God loves all his children” he replies. “Would you like me to pray with you?”
Pray! Pray for what. It’s a little late for that ain’t it? I’m outta here and ain’t nothing goin to change that. I don’t need your prayers.”
“Very well then”. I’ll be down the hall if you change your mind”. He gets up and walks to the cell door and summons the guard.
“Wait a minute. I ain’t holdin with that prayer shit, but maybe we could just talk”.
“Fine” the priest says, returning and sitting on the edge of the cot. “What would you like to talk about?”
“How the fuck would I know” I spit out sarcastically. “You the man with all the words. Why don’t you say somethin .”
“Do you have family” he asks softly.
“Yeah, I got a wife and some kids. Or I did. I guess I don’t no more. As far as they’re concerned, I’ve been dead for a long time.”
“They love you.”
“No they don’t. They don’t need me. They forgot about me the day the door slid shut. They don’t never visit. Never. They moved on, that’s what they did.”
“‘People don’t turn love on and off. Oh, they may hide it, or deny it, or even try to run away from it, but it’s really hard to stop loving altogether. Tell me, do you love them?”
“I don’t think about it. That was yesterday. I’m tryin to deal with today. I got enough to worry about without draggin all that shit up. In a little while, ain’t goin to make no never mind. I’ll be outta here”.
“Maybe your wife just didn’t want your kids to see their daddy in here. Could be she has told them the good things about you that made her love you in the first place and doesn’t want to spoil that.”
“Then she coulda come alone. If she wanted to come she woulda. No. I fucked up bad and she said screw that..”
” We all make mistakes. You made yours. You can’t expect her to be perfect either. God didn’t make any of us perfect.”
“There you go with that God shit again. I don’t need that. Where I’m goin I ain’t gonna be seein him anyhow. You can bet on that.”
I hear activity outside my cell. Four uniformed guards and a man in a business suit stand outside, staring at us.
“Are you through father” the man in the suit says. “It is time”.
The priest turns to me and says “I will pray for your soul.”
The men enter the cell, telling me to face the wall and place my hands behind my back. I feel the handcuffs slip around my wrists. Strong hands grip me under each arm and steer me toward the door.
“Would you like me to walk with you” the priest asked.
“That’s up to you” I said. “If you wanna, it would be OK, I guess.”
We approach the lighted room at the end of the hall. I enter and see green painted walls and a large glass window. It looks like a mirror, but I know on the other side are people here to watch me die. The only furnishings are a large chair and a small table. They lead me to the chair and remove my cuffs. As I sit down, two of the guards begin to strap my arms and legs to the chair. Then a restraint is placed on my head. A white coated man enters carrying a steel tray containing an array of instruments. He approaches and examines my arm and, after selecting a vein, swabs it with alcohol and inserts an intravenous needle, before taping it in place.
The man in the suit approaches and asks if I have any last words. I feel all the anger and fear of a lifetime well up inside me. “Yeah” I say. “Fuck you. Fuck all of you”.
The man simply nods his head and I feel a hood being placed over my head. Darkness. Total darkness. I am alone. So alone. My thoughts race. I think about what the preacher said. Maybe she is out there, behind the glass. Maybe she cares. I hear myself mumble “I love you. Kiss the kids. I am so sorry. Holy Mary Mother of God. Pray for us sinne……