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Unleash the beast

published: 2010-10-05

“The beast is moving,” said a friend. Somehow, I remembered it as “the beast is unleashed.” It moves, it is unleashed. That beast.
Shakespeare once wrote that jealousy is a green-eyed monster.
If jealousy is a monster, then ego is a beast. Once unleashed, it will roam around and destroy everything it sees for fear of being exposed.
My sister called today.
“You are in the newspaper!” she said. Her voice was light with excitement, fluttery with pride. I giggled, “you actually read the newspaper?” I said as a joke. But truly, my sister has more important things to do than read a newspaper.
“How did it go with Cindy?” I asked.
“It was really good,” she said, “lovely.”
This means Cindy is now dead. My sister has been nursing her for the past two years. Cindy had been fighting the inevitable, stretching her time. Her disease had spread to every possible muscle you can imagine. She could not speak. She could not eat, drink nor breathe by herself. Now, Cindy has given up.
This is my sister’s work. To nurse people in their home. To help them die. If necessary and so desired to prepare the body of a deceased for the coffin. To do so while the deceased’s husband leaves the room because, “it’s pretty harsh to watch someone put the lifeless body of your wife in a coffin.”
“So how are you?” I asked my sister.
“Fine,” she said, still cheery, “listen I have to go pick up the kids. Are you doing all right?”
“Fine,” I said but somehow my voice never sounds as convincing as hers.
I hung up realizing I’ve never seen someone die before.
Heel beast, heel. Go back to your cage.

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