Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dreams Himself A Prison


A patient, morbidly obese, attached to a fluid drip pole on rollers, comes down to the designated smoking area at the ambulance entrance to the V.A. E.R. in his hospital pajamas begging cigarettes from us housekeepers and nurses, just like a thousand burned-out old veterans have done year after year after year at Fort Humbug, our Shreveport V.A. Hospital.

He's a biker from Jefferson, Texas, a talker, boring us employees to annoyance with his incessant jabbering about his future in Nigeria. He talks, I think, not to communicate with anyone in particular, but to reassure himself that he still has a future. He doesn't, but none of us smokers have the need or the energy to slap some sense into him.

He has a fantasy. Fine. As soon as his ship comes in, as soon as the VA cuts him a big fat check for being such an advanced thinker, he's going to Nigeria to build himself an impregnable bunker for pennies on the dollar of what it would cost here.

He's got it all planned out. Guns and ammo are dirt cheap there. So's labor. He'll build a bunker, giving us smokers a detailed schematic of its dimensions and proportions that rivals the detail in the bible about the holy temple in Jeruselum. Cubits and cubits of detail, until all us smokers stealth away.

What a horrific fantasy, I think, to be hunkered down in a bunker in Nigeria, armed to the teeth, living on MREs, waiting for the attack. This guy dreams himself a prison.
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