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!”