Jake and the Man

Nothing on the floor but dirt, roaches and him. The carpet was stained beyond repair, food, beer, piss and shit mostly. That would have to be replaced in a few weeks when they finally got rid of the tennant. Three weeks at the most, probably one or two, it wouldn't be long, now.

"Jake" stood guard. The smell that nearly knocked me over didn't bother him, he circled his master, protecting him from the intruders.

"Easy Jake," said Richard from the floor. Eighty pounds, bald, yellow and brown underwear and nothing else, no blanket or sheet to cover him, no pillows or other comforts, spilled warm cheap beer next to him, some old smokes in an overflowing ashtray,Lynard Skynard cranking from the Sylvania Hi-Fi in the corner.

"I got cancer," he said.

"A lot of people have cancer, sir."

"Poor souls."

"We have to get you to a hospital."

"Been there, ain't going back. Me and Jake till the end," he grinned from his spot on the floor. Jake wagged his tail and enjoyed the massage from the bony hand between his ears.

He wanted to get back in bed, where the remote was, and the piss bucket, and the warm 12-pack.

"If shit didn't stink I wouldn't bother to get out of bed."

"I'm not leaving you here."

"The fuck you ain't"

Jake eyeballed me suspiciously when I moved toward him. The dirty little terrier had some heart, I'll give him that.

"What am I going to do then, let you die on the floor?"

"Put me back in bed and let me die there."

I got him onto the bed, gathered some pillows and blankets, put his beer in arms reach, moved the piss bucket closer and fed the dog.

"Turn that up!"  he said when Freebird came on. "I love that song!"

I lifted the cover to the console, saw the eight-track in it's place next to the turntable, found the volume knob and turned it up.



  • Carylyn H. Mcentee says:

    You are a good man, Michael. Even if you did make me cry…….

  • I've just had a good sob, this is so incredibly sad and with all of my heart I wanted to go clean-up that guy.
    How awful this world is, when folk are left to die without care. You are a good man Michael Morse.
    We had a few great guys come to this house when the chips were down for H and medical aid was quickly needed, but my heart breaks for those without this care. Thank goodness this man at least had the love of his buddy Jake and someone like you that turned up to give him back the things that were most important to him at the end of his life, his beers, his music, it's life with a capital L I suppose.
    Blessings old friend.

  • Jess Harkins says:

    I may not have ever met you Michael, but can feel the love so strongly from my corner of the world!  Love is more than an emotion, at times it is action, and other times, simply being there.  Thank you for exemplifying love at it's most basic core.   You are truely a Blessing~

  • mrmacs says:

    Respect your patient, make them comfortable, and follow their wishes. Can't beat it. 

  • Pat Blackman/Grandma Muggle says:

    Life at it's  worst and humanity at it's best..  You gave this man dignity Michael even though it seems not a dignified way to go it was HIS way to go.  He made the choice.  You did what  you could do to give  him comfort and that is the greatest gift he could have been given.  Respecting one's wishes is seeing his humanity and showing your's.  Bless you.  You're a good man Michael Morse.  Be well Love, Pat..

  • michael says:

    Thanks, Jess, Mrmacs and Pat, love hearing from you!

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