Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Confronting Death

I was in a large hospital. It was gray and blue and there was a siren wailing in the background. People flooded the halls at the sound and started making their way towards the elevators to go I did not know where. The crowd frightened me and I didn't want to follow them to what I was sure was a cattle call to the slaughter. I found a man standing at the end of the hall, he was holding a mop.

"Where are the stairs?" I asked him.

He walked around the corner and stood in front of a door nodding towards it with his head. I opened the door and went down the stairs to the first floor. People were following me, obviously I wasn't the only one who didn't want to follow the rest.

This floor was as busy as the last, except people had more of a sense of mission to them. Several officials stood at the ends of the hall, directing the young adults into various elevators. I looked around desperately for an exit but there were no windows and no obvious way out. The black man was there again. I approached him slowly so as not to draw attention to him or myself.

"Where is the exit? How do I get out?"

The man looked at me, then looked around to see if anyone was watching. An official to our right was observing us, listening to our conversation. He looked me dead in the eyes to communicate his meaning.
"I was always a fan of death," he said. He looked at me and then past me at the other end of the hall. He started mopping in the opposite direction, and I started walking in the direction he insinuated.

I came to a door which had a label on it that said, "Death."

I didn't want to go in, but I knew that if I was going to escape I would have to enter. The people who had followed me were obviously nervous but ready to go where ever I went.

I took a breath and stepped quickly in. It was a long and narrow room. On my right was a conveyor belt that was colored a sterile blue. I started moving quickly. Ahead of me on the floor I saw a group of discarded fetuses. I looked passed them and tried not to think about it. There was nothing I could do. Ahead of a me, large transparent bodies were being regenerated. Their skin was clear and looked fragile to the touch. Blue and red veins were grafted and organs fluttered beneath it.

At the end of the machine was an old woman, sewing what looked to be something organic in her hands. Behind her was the way out.

No comments: