Dying but It’s Something Else

I say, Dad, quite honestly, fuck the snowplow

Sam Lipp, Headless (Acéphale). 2021, oil and pencil on steel box. 11.5 × 11.5 × 9". Courtesy of the artist and Derosia.

When your time’s up your time’s up and that’s how it’s always been. My mom used to say just throw me out on the slag heap. It was pneumonia with both her and her sister, maybe the family’s got bum lungs. But your grandfather was two days before his ninety-third, so there’s some longevity there too.

With your brother and the dog, just promise me you’ll keep an eye on him, you know how he is, and maybe it’s good for Bitsy he’s out of work, but only if they get outside, only if she gets some exercise and they don’t just sit around all day eating junk. Banana pieces are fine and carrots if you cut them up — with a baby carrot you can’t just cut it in two the long way, it’s minimum four short little chop-chop pieces, tell him that. Chips, you can break off just a little piece of one, break it into six or eight pieces and that can last an hour.

The riding lawn mower’s fifteen years old but good as new, and I just got that snowblower, and I don’t want neither of them in the trash. The snowblower, I ain’t telling no lies here, it’s barely been used, so if you sell it, get at least 300. That’s half what I paid. List it at 450, but with an “or best offer” and take 350, 300. Anything less, to hell with it, give it to charity, get a receipt, write it off at 500.

I know we don’t know if I’m dying, this is all just in case.

Honey, you want me to say I’ve got Corona. I don’t know why you want that. I don’t know why it matters.

I know you and your brother think I was tough on you. My mom, she just had to reach over her head. She kept a yardstick above the entryway to the kitchen. She didn’t even have to take it down, she’d just reach up and we’d all go Oh noooo! And you bet you we behaved.

She had a tough life. There was love there, and sometimes she showed it wrong. I hope I’ve been good to you. I’ve always tried.

[cough hack huff huff huff]

But it’s not Corona. It’s some sort of pneumonia, you know. Do we even need new words for pneumonia? You got to think it’s these dang blang big things but you always believed Democrat politicians, no matter how much I show you it’s exaggerations and lies and just using new and scary words for things we’ve always said, to control the people.

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