Smoke on the Water

pic of mist on water

The song, or rather just the first line of the chorus, had been going through his head all day. Repeating and repeating. He wondered if this was some new torture the liver cancer had dreamed up for him or if it was just his own brain tiredly trying to tell him something.

He settled himself on the toilet, using the newly installed grab bars for support. Changing his adult diaper while sitting down was easier than trying to do it while standing up and he had already been caught twice by another flow while in the middle of a change. Sitting on the toilet was safer.

This part of the end game was humiliating. But at least he was no longer pissing his pants. Or worse.

Smoke on the water…

He had never given much thought to the way he would leave this life, but if he had, he would not have guessed this. He had survived a lot of crazy, dangerous shit, but here he was. Finished changing himself, he  tossed the used diaper into the lined pail now kept in the bathroom and steadied himself to get to the sink and wash his hands.

He took his time getting out of the narrow bathroom and used the walls, counters, and furniture to get into the kitchen and poured himself a beer. His wife hated that he still drank, but an occasional beer at this stage couldn’t make that much of a difference. Okay, if he was honest, it was more like three or four a day, but he had no intention of giving it up. Everybody was entitled to go to Hell in their own way. Or if they weren’t, they ought to be.

Smoke on the water…

The dog was at the screen door with a tennis ball in his mouth, so he went outside to sit on the porch steps and throw it a few times until the dog stopped bringing it back. Beautiful fall day. The breeze smelled of sycamore trees and the nearby creek. There was a buzzing sound in the background and he looked up to see the wasps had started a new nest. Damn them. He’d have to get the wasp spray. But not now.

Crazy thing that you’re on your way out and still you have to deal with crap like dogs who want to play catch and wasps building nests in your porch. Shouldn’t everything just go on hold until you were gone?

Smoke on the water…

Sometimes he wondered if his wife would be able to manage this too-big property by herself. He just hoped she wouldn’t leave him before he died. He’d sure as hell given her plenty of reason in the last few years. She would be better off without him, and he had told her so, but he was too selfish to let her go.

He listened to the birds a bit and looked at the pear tree, which was swollen with fruit that needed picking before the squirrels got them.

He didn’t want to die now. But he wasn’t sure he wanted to live, either. Mostly, he kind of wanted things to go on pretty much as they were, though he would be glad not to have to wear diapers.

He grabbed the porch railings and levered himself up from the steps to go inside. Little House on the Prairie reruns were on soon and he didn’t like to miss them.

Smoke on the water…

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