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Steve Davis

 

   

Plague

 

It’s true, I inhale vapors of the plague every day. Every orifice I was given to inspect or preserve life, takes in the ubiquitous virus, and my mind and my heart and my lungs boil with the illness.

My skin shows the wear. Even the shape of my body has degraded. There is paunch were I used to be thin. I am emaciated in areas, where I used to have muscle. My spine seems to be curving in on itself. I’m a product of de-evolution. That’s what this sickness does. It gives you the mind and body of an ape. A jaundice-skinned sparse-haired ape.

I watch the news. I look out the window. No one seems to care. They walk around pushing strollers and taking their garbage to the curb. But they’re all dying. They’re watching each other die. They don’t even care.

The media encourages the illness by speaking close to the ape level. And it keeps getting closer. Someday only grunts will come from the television and radio and by then this society will be grunting along, forgetting that there was ever another way.

I fight every day to retain my soul. A soul in a soulless place. A place of filth. The women are beautiful and bra-less—perhaps they wear nothing but what is shown—but they don’t stop. They flutter by, announcing their beauty, but it is an evil maneuver. It is a starving man being forced to stare at a fine buffet. All of the succulent morsels are reserved for others. The meat and skin and nourishment are paraded by your cell. You cling to the bars, taking in the sight and smell—begging with your eyes—but it all passes by.

That is one of the ways they fight the soul.

I can defend my body, by limiting my contact with the plague-infested citizens. I can defend my mind against the onslaught of ignorance that the television tries to numb me with. I have even retained my sense of humor. It may be a cynical and dark sense of humor, but any sense of humor is proof of the soul.

The other day the television said: A common household product is killing thousands throughout the nation, and you could be next. Details at 11:00.

I can’t remember a time that I laughed harder than that. I really think I laughed for 3 days. I would forget about it, then I would remember and start laughing all over again.

Then there was another time I was watching a nature show. At the end of the show they asked for viewers to write letters, about what they would like to see. I sat down and wrote a letter, with a false name of course.

I wrote: I am very interested in procreation. Could you have a show graphically re-creating dinosaurs having sex?

It was hilarious. I kept the letter for a couple of days so I could read it again, off and on.

I retain my sense of humor. I retain my soul. It’s just me in this soulless pit of damnation. I am wilted, beaten, almost crippled. I haven’t made eye-contact with the rest of the creatures in years. They are even more beautiful today, than they used to be. They are beautiful and fit, despite their infections. They don’t fight the disease like I do: They inhale it, calmly—even pleasurably. They accept it without question. They allow it to envelope every facet of their beings. Still, they walk around with energy and a glow about their skin, and the permanent grin of ignorant bliss.

There is someone at the door.

"Go Away! Go Away!"

    

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