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Essay on Creative Writing: Death and Liberation

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Death and Liberation
The sweat on my cold palms glistened like glitter as I traced the path of my lifeline with my weary eyes. The waiting room was motionless while the crisp air conditioner in the hospital building pounded through the relentless eighty degree spring. A crinkled newspaper on the stand next to me was outdated and torn, as if someone has brutally thrown it aside during a monetary loss of the calm tide.
Can you use Febreeze to push the scent of death out of the air? Or will you end up with a mixture of death and “fresh spring linen” afterwards? Where do the flowers in the hospital room go when the patient is dead? Do they wash the body bags they use to wrap up the cadavers? Can you scrub memories out of your mind like you can scrub dirt out of a bathtub with lye and hot water?
I began asking myself trivial questions. Do they steam clean that ugly gray carpet, or do they use the state’s budget to rip it off and replace it every few years? How much of the hospital’s budget do they spend on tissues for the tears of families? Kleenex or a generic brand? Does being familiar to death make you immune to death’s effects? My brother used to work with chefs in restaurants that told him they’ve cut so many onions, their eyes were immune to tears while prepping for dinner. I wondered if it worked the same way with death.
So many thoughts flew through my mind and I became the goose that flies north in the autumn. I was the moth that was denied the luxury of dying in her own terms—instead, I fluttered into the small crack of the fluorescent lighting. I panicked and flew frantic disorganized patterns, constantly striking against the lightbulb and the plastic casing that trapped my curious attraction to the light. Is it exhausti...


... middle of paper ...


...ng room bothered to look up—it was all within the norm.
I walked out into the blasting spring heat, feeling the tears evaporate from my cheeks. I sat on a curb outside of the hospital and buried my sobs into my shaking palms. A homeless man with grey hair wheeled his cart over to me and had the audacity to ask me if I had a spare cigarette. I threw him a five dollar bill from my pocket that I was saving for the overpriced vending machines and told him to get away from me. He said “honey, that’s all I’ve ever been doing” and wheeled his squeaky cart of belongings down the hill. I stared at his back as he walked away, wondering what was that supposed to mean.
And at that moment, I felt the most profound sense of jealousy towards that man. What a luxury it must be, to wheel yourself away from the situation—like a liberated dove that escapes the careless owner’s cage.



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