yearzerowriters

A fusion of Scrooge[McDuck] and how the poor die [Issue 4]

…a fusion of Scrooge and how the poor die.

 

                                     Written by Daisy Anne Gree

‘I count the coins every night and every day because it is the thing that makes me happy…when I no longer value those coins, that is the moment to end.’

Scrooge McDuck, speaking at the G8 summit in Calcutta, 1998.

 

I watched the man that lay in the bed opposite mine. I guessed he was some kind of eminent doctor, because the other doctors on the ward kept coming over and telling him how much they respected him. He had a wife and a mistress who seemed to come on alternate days. He was fussed over, but all he kept saying to all of them was that he couldn’t move his bowels. People would come over and commend him on his accomplishments, and he would answer that he hadn’t taken a dump for days. The guy hadn’t crapped in nine days.

Two days later, I watched him die. As he was drawing his final breaths, he called for a priest. They found a priest in the hospital chapel who came to read him his last rites. The priest recited and his wife cried. All of the moments in his life boiled down to that last thought, the final thing to go through his mind at death’s door. And when I looked into the guy’s eyes, I could tell that the only thing he could think about at that crucial moment was that he hadn’t had a shit for eleven days. And that was that.

The ward was quiet after they wheeled his body off. He’d been the only other patient in my room. The moonlight filtered through the blinds, casting orderly shadows on the linoleum floor. I stared at the space where his bed had been. The space started to darken until, eventually, I could make out the outline of what looked to be a large robed figure. It walked towards me, hand outstretched. It was then that I noticed we were in a cemetery and I was standing near a grave. The headstone was engraved with my name and underneath it said,

“None of it mattered at all”

I sat down on the cold grass and thought about this. Then I was back in bed, looking at the door as the nurse entered to inject me with something. I’d lost track of what meds they were pumping into me.

“Merry Christmas,” she smiled.

“I took a shit this morning,” I replied.

I leaned back against the propping pillows. The sound of Christmas singers filled the hospital hallway, and I told the nurse to make sure they didn’t come into my room.

“I would’ve thought that with David’s death, you’d become a little more appreciative of your own life.”

“His name was David?” I asked her, “I just thought of him as the guy who couldn’t…”

“Yes, yes,” she interrupted me sternly, “his name was David.”

She turned to walk out, and I caught her by the hand.

“Why’d you think that his death would make me glad to be alive?”

“It always makes me reflective, you know? About my life so far, and about death,” she said over her shoulder as she made her way out of the room.

I wondered what my last thought would be. Everything boiled down into one utterly vulnerable moment — just like David. Fuck it, I couldn’t even bring myself to call him David, when in my head he was constipated and nothing more. What would that last thought be? Not about love or wealth or kids or parents or Christmas or last rites or good deeds or accomplishments or sex or eating or laughing or fighting or plotting or going for a fucking walk and seeing the sunset. No. None of it mattered at all, because you were only a string of thoughts, and that last thought took precedence over everything else. It was everything you were and everything you’d be remembered for.

One thought to sum it all up.

One thought.

One

thought.

I really needed to take a piss. And that was that.

               

Additional note:

 

[‘I shouldn’t count those coins because they don’t mean anything, not really…but I should count them because they mean everything to me, and if I don’t have those coins then what will my character be? I will still want them and desire them, and I will have to start counting them again…and I know I will never be happy with those coins and my money bin, but I am happy doing it, or perhaps I am able to delay the thoughts that question whether I am happy or not as it seems far more important to count the coins and build my money bin than question my happiness…but it won’t mean anything after I’m gone, will it? Quack, quack…I’ll never be gone though, not really, because in my mind I will always be here as I have never been gone before, so when I do die, I will still not be gone as I will no longer be here to understand the concept of gone.’]

 

Scrooge McDuck, ‘Interrogation of the real from outside the money bin’, taken from ‘Scrooge McDuck’s big adventure’, 1991

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