Together

by joetwo

I wait patiently in the anteroom

My mind filled with thoughts of what is to come

I hear voices from beyond

Muffled, unintelligible

It sounds heated.

#

The door opens

Out comes a nurse, pushing a wheel chair

Sitting there, I wouldn’t call it a man

It is a creature, baring a striking resemblance

To my old mentor, my closest colleague

#

These visits have a cruel rhythm to them

Belying his gradual decline

At first his eyes are filled with confusion and fear

Mouth flapping, trying to say so much that will not come

As I approach he gets more benign, as if he’s forgotten to be afraid

#

“Professor” I say, “It’s me, Aran”

He looks at my face, grabbing at the broken strands of his memory

“I have a student called Aran” he mumbles

“Bright Boy, He is going to do great things.

But he is only a young man, not as old as you.”

#

The Conversation goes on much like that

Occasionally, on good days

There are flashes of brilliance, echoes of great debates past

An up-welling of passion and intellect

    Causing the nurse to cut our time short

#

It is these times that I come here for

Not what is there now, but what once was

A meeting of minds, of two men of science

Exploring the edge of what was known,

Finding out the possible

#

But we didn’t know did we?

That our passion would end with one of us here

A nervous system in shut-down

“Acute Mercury poisoning” they say

Brought on by decades of ignorant exposure

#

Today was a good day, he even recognised me

But he said something that troubled my thoughts as I walked from the hospital

absent-mindedly rubbing my arm from the last injection

Chelation therapy, Fifty-Fifty chance of working

“You and I are together in this Aran; to the end!”

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