This coffee is terrible, it’s nothing like the coffee you had in Vienna, that one time you were in Vienna, you think to yourself as you set down the Styrofoam cup and look up at the news on the hanging TV in the corner. It dawns on you, I’m never going to be in Vienna again. That’s all right, at least I made it to Vienna once, you rationalize just as the nurse comes in all bouncy and full of energy to remove your bed pan and make her little jokes that at first gave you hot flashes of anger, but now make you softly smile, like, ‘seems we had a busy morning, Tony,’ or, ‘mind if I take this? You’re not saving up for a rainy day, are you?’ And you watch her go about her business, her subtle breasts just barely pronounced underneath her blue scrubs. Her name’s Mary, or Marie… You say to yourself, “Mary’s not so bad. I bet she’s a terror in bed. A wonderful terror.” You calculate how long you’d be able to last with her, in your current state, withered down from the cancer, with the last bit of energy you’ve reserved for those type of thoughts. Before you come to a number you notice the president on the hanging TV with images of missiles being loaded on warships and Mary, or Marie, looking at you with a quizzical expression like you’ve been talking Japanese. You wonder how much of this was in your head and how much has been dribbling out of your lips like uncontrollable drool. By the way she fashions a sympathetic grin on her lovely face and squeezes your big toe as she says, “Okay, Tony, I’m going to let you rest a while,” you realize, all of it.


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