This piece was written by freshman Patrick Naremore for his Language and Literature class.
I noticed death before I met him. Actually I had been noticing him for quite a long time. Ever since I came home to my brother on May 5th 1999, he has been in the corner of my eye. That date is one I won’t or didn’t forget until I will die or died. But when I did come home and told him about my check-up at the hospital, I expected the usual, oh you can fight it through I know you are tough, and the don’t worry and get betters. You know what I didn’t expect though? This period of sorrow for poor old me was relatively short. At least it was short for me, to someone else, however, it is the normal routine month or two of constant worry. What ill and sickly people don’t tell you about is that soon they forget. Soon they carry on with their life and things carry on for them while yours grinded to a halt months ago, a stop in your life that won’t start again. It was only weeks after they forgot about me that I realized the only people that cared for me were the nurses and doctors at my local hospital. But you see, they cared for me, they gave me medicine, they gave me food while I was at daily residence at the hospital, they even asked if I was ok. But there is a difference between caring for someone and caring about someone. To them I was just another sick piece of shit they had to pay attention to and go about their routine while the friend in my eye waved as if he had or was waiting for me. They had the nerve to ask if I was ok… but they don’t know, they don’t know about that death that is in the corner of your eye. You know what I said? I said I was fine. It’s days like those forever long stays in the hospital when you start contemplating what simple words you say mean. Fine, I mean what a word. It gives you vague ambiguity of being normal or terrible. It gives the listener the choice of which meaning is correct. The nurse only walked on like fine actually meant fine. Then once you realize the paid servants never gave a shit about you and your bloody tissues, I make friends with my own head. Maybe that’s what death is, your own head. No that can’t be it because death is real and what is in my head isn’t or wasn’t. Once you get to the stage of isolation from everyone else, and once everything you loved or want or wanted is gone, death moves in like a camera focusing and then focusing away again. No one knows who death is, no one meets him, and they only notice him in the corner of your eye. Now my cough turns or turned into vomit. I start to wish that all those movies you watched as a child taught you the ugly trust about sickness, not the romanticized crap that everyone loves. Wishing that maybe there will be that one day, the day that something improves in your already dying body, I grasped or grasp that it was, or was I? too late. Dying people never tell you about the death in the corner of their eye because its not until its too late that they and I see or saw that what was in the corner of your eye, was or are the few faces I see in hallways passing my room. Death clouds itself into the people that you love standing around your bed while you slowly fall asleep. Maybe they are death. I guess I will never meet death, but I did.