Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Conclusion to "Tragedy T.V."

Quote of the Day: "So kill your health and kill yourself/
And kill everything you love/
And if you live you can fall to pieces/
And suffer with my ghost."
-Soundgarten, "Burden in my Hand"

So here's the premise: The narrator has created a hit reality T.V. show in which all the stars are people with terminally ill diseases. He has fallen in love with Cherisse, and does not know she has an allergy to mangoes, while she does know. Unknowingly, he feeds her mango, and here is the conclusion to my story:

By the time we even realized that Cherisse was having an allergic reaction—she was so quiet, so graceful about it—both of her lungs had collapsed and she’d begun to drown in her own mucus.

The cameramen swarmed upon us as I stood in a panic. Our determined medics pushed through the throng, carrying their red medical bags with white crosses on the sides. A huge microphone brushed the side of my face as somebody forced it past me. Surrounding Cherisse with the audio/visual equipment, the tourists, the medics, and the other contestants, I was back at my father’s side. I had known the exact moment he’d died. He was there, and then he wasn’t. We’d felt his life exit his bedroom and a stillness took its place like a cool breeze.

I watched Randall, awkwardly standing on his toes and craning his neck to find the source of the commotion, and I thought how he kind of looked like me, in this confused state of wonder. I imagined Phil Lawrence, waiting at his desk for a confirmation of Cherisse’s demise before popping the champagne. Dan carefully sat on a step away from the crowd, looking winded and not in the least bit surprised, a look that suggested he’d seen it all before. He became my grandfather, watching the death of his own son. Then Lucy shuffled up next to me. She wore an expression of astonishment on her shrunken face, and she became my little sister, who had looked up to me with watery eyes as soon as that moment occurred, as soon as Dad slipped away, and said nothing. She just gave my hand a small squeeze and turned her eyes back to the corpse of our father.

A cameraman stood next to me, his hat turned backwards, all of his focus on Cherisse’s demise taking place in the middle of the frenzy. Bill approached, red-faced and glistening with sweat, and he forced himself beside me without even an acknowledgement of my presence. He gripped the cameraman’s shoulder and said, “Please tell me you got that.”


At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was awesome. Great writing.


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