Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Lugubrious Game

Dak Blitz nonchalantly raises a joint to his purple lips, takes a drag.  The chemicals diffuse into his blood stream.  He exhales a burst of charmed blue smoke while perching on a black, cast iron bench.  The sidewalk expanse upon which the bench rests is lightly rock strewn and sparkles underneath the shoes of passersby promenading along the treed parkway.  Denizens intermittently call upon the victual vending carts parked on Crescent Boulevard on this summer evening languorously drifting into vernal twilight.  Dak unbuttons his ebony suit and caresses his business emblem tie placing it at a more suitable hang after a day of enterprise.  A breeze flows through the trees above rustling the leaves an apropos metaphorical picture of his mind.  The enlivening and enchanting auricular modes are heightened amidst the mellow neuron glow burn. 

Across Crescent Boulevard, an ivory ambulance laced with crimson lettering topped by silent, rotating, lurid lights pulls into one of the hospital center drives and stops.  A navy blue clad operator jumps out of the passenger side and officiously clambers to the rear doors and opens them.  Two more operators, also clad in navy blue, jump onto the pavement through the opened hatchway, turn, and mechanically withdraw a gurney with a woman strapped down and immobilized.  The mollified, frenzied shrieks intertwined with dejected sobs reach the distant Dak as he takes another drag from the modest zig-zag papered joint, eyes afire with leisurely electric intensity.  His focus shifts then, driven by a cosmic narrative force, to the early crescent moon casting a lambent silver glow and hanging like a pendulum blade ensconced in the womb of the incipiently dimming azure expanse. 

The ambulance operators robotically escort the screaming, crestfallen, irate, and hysterical woman through the automatic glass doors reflecting the quotidian prosaic park scene into the bowels of the bio-hazard receptacle adorned halls of the hospital complex.

Dr. Windglow, a severe glare to his face adorned with gentle eyes, enters the stall of the woman three months pregnant now that she appears to have regained some semblance of equanimity after her tumultuous entry.  Her arms and legs are still strapped to the gurney as she looks up with a vehement expression on her face with distant fogged over eyes at the approaching doctor.

"Ms. Calloway," the doctor chimes with grave, measured calm, "now that you have calmed somewhat, I wanted to remind you that birthing more than one child in our world today is no longer permissible for obvious, pragmatic reasons.  The old regime recklessly brought the current situation about with it's policies of egregious, unmitigated economic growth and the resultant explosion in population.  In order to rectify this, I am compelled to operate and carry out the new policy of involuntary tubal ligation when the birthing limit of one child has been exceeded - as it has in your case."

The expression on Ms. Calloway's face persists.  Her eyes fade, falling into a subjective abyss, then alight anew once the words hit bottom, blazing with the same intensity as during her abrasive entry into the hospital.  She expectorates at the doctor standing just out of range.

"Ms. Calloway,"  Dr. Windglow continues, mindful of the action, and instinctively stepping closer, "your maternal instincts are right where they should be.  However, when large scale technological advancement renders these drives into something resembling a cancerous disease when left unchecked, action must be taken.  I think you can come to an understanding of this and you must remember that the child that you have already birthed still needs you." 

The woman glares rapiers at the doctor and attempts to free herself from her restraints and enters into an uncontrolled, spasmodic frenzy.  Dr. Windglow steps out of the room calling upon sedation personnel to prepare Ms. Calloway for a tubal ligation procedure and departs into the endless labyrinthine halls, lit from the gloomy photons ejected by phosphorescent bulbs, to a new destination to attend another patient.

An obstetric nurse beckons his attention as he arrives, "Doctor, the patient, Mrs. Carmen, has successfully given birth to a newborn that is awaiting euthanasia.  The injection has been readied and awaits your hand."

Dr. Windglow steps into the birthing room, the floor still fresh with drops of blood and other amniotic fluid, and his eyes fall upon the placid face of an exhausted but alert woman.  She speaks to the doctor in a quiet, barely audible voice, "The baby was an accident.  My husband convinced me to have an illegal tubal reversal surgery.  I was too weak to come in to have an abortion as I rightly should have when I was pregnant.  He compelled me to hide the pregnancy from the public eye by isolating me in the house.  The entire neighborhood knows we already have one child.  He wanted to pass it off as an adoption through black market paperwork.  He is part of the revolt against the new birthing directives.  Right before I started to go into labor I opened the gun safe in our house and took out a pistol and called my brother.  He is much more in tune with the necessities of the new regime.  I urged him bring me to the hospital while threatening my husband to stay out of the away at gun point.  He will just have to understand when I return home.  This is just something I had to do.  I was not ready to secretly rear an illegal child with the world as it is today."

The doctor casts a pensive, sympathetic expression her way and in an equally, low and quiet manner replies, "You did the right thing Mrs. Carmen," and exits the room readying himself for the euthanasia procedure.  As he approaches the operation room, he can hear the distant cries of the baby emanating from a room down the hall.  When he enters, a nurse, only eyes visible above a surgical mask, hands him a pair of sky blue silicon gloves amidst the clamor.  The doctor applies the gloves to his hands and fingers a mask from a container on the wall amidst the onslaught of wails from the doomed, symbolically cancerous new born.  He approaches the table where the tiny bright red newborn is squirming and crying with reckless abandon.  He picks up the needled syringe and wields the tool while the nurse gently and firmly grips the baby's arm to assist the doctor in administering the stilling, righteous injection.

Dr. Windglow, adroitly inserts the needle with a noticeable change in the the pitch of cries from the newborn knowing that the initial shock of the birth has yet to subside and applies pressure to the piston.  Within a few moments of removing the needle the room is quieted.  The sounds of the doctor's shoes contacting the linoleum floor is the only thing that can be heard as he paces to dispose of the needled device and at the same time peremptorily speaks to the assisting nurse, "Please transport this cadaver to the cremation facility now."

He then removes his mask and gloves, properly disposing of them in their designated bio-hazard containers, and walks out of the room towards the lounge for a much needed reprieve, some coffee, and a few moments to himself.  Dr. Windglow finds himself in the center of the room, coffee in hand, staring at a painting called, The Lugubrious Game, depicting scores of horrified people evading rampaging skeletons at the bottom of a gravity well pit and a sky strewn with shimmering stars.



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