by Mark Antony Rossi
My father lies shivering in the bathtub. Immersed in freezing water, his body temperature did not decrease. But my anger increased and I questioned his stand against chemotherapy. This was an undignified manner in which to die. His teeth chattering, like a wounded animal in a snowy forest. The selfish ugly truth was his physical weakness repulsed me. I resisted the reality before my eyes. It was not masculine. It was not my father. It was a goddamned cancer stealing the light from my life. I know it’s selfish but I’m not ready to let him go.
I pulled myself together and remembered it was about his choice and he found dignity in setting the terms. I thought, as his son, I had the right to interfere. But no one does. I stopped the denial and made peace with his lifelong connections to organized crime. In a strange irony, I think he preferred this undramatic death as opposed to others less honorable. I held his hand and he told me a baseball story. I knew the end was near. And I listened carefully, to a story I was sure to tell my son one day.
About the author:
Mark Antony Rossi's poetry, criticism, fiction, creative nonfiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Anak Sastra, Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Brain of Forgetting, Deep Water Literary Journal, Dirty Chai, Enclave, Expound, Farther Stars Than, Flash Fiction, Gravel, Indian Periodical, Japanophile, Journal of Micro-literature, Kulchur Creative Journal, Mad Swirl, On The Rusk, Purple Patch, Rye Whiskey Review, Scrivener Creative Review, Sentiment Literary Journal, Snapdragon, Syzygy Poetry Journal, The Sacrificial, Toad Suck Review, Transnational, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Wild Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ariel Chart, a literary journal.
To learn more about Ariel Chart, please visit arielchart.blogspot.com.
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