A Man Doesn’t Need Much To Cling To Life

 

Written by Bogdan Dragos

 

A lone ant

crawled into his hair and went across

his forehead to

his eyelid

 

He woke up

Sand all around him and wood above

 

But this was so far

from hell

Hell was a thing of the past now

 

Now he had her by

his side

 

She was still sleeping

in her rugged sleeping bag

 

For the past few days

they slept under the cabin

to avoid being ambushed inside

 

He knew she wouldn’t be by his

side

for long.

The infection in her

mouth was really getting out of control

putting her one outrageous fever

away from death

 

This was the world today

A warm wasteland full of predators

and no medical help of

any kind. Kill or be killed. Law of

the jungle. And so on

 

He liked to believe he

adapted

 

Too many didn’t

 

His luck stood in not having that much of

a fine life before the disaster

 

In fact

life was actually better now

in some aspects

 

For one

he had a cute companion by his side

 

A man really doesn’t need

much to cling to life

 

She awakened a few minutes later

from another one of her fever dreams

All sweaty

Breathing heavy

Reaching out for his hand

 

“Do I smell?” she asked

 

“What?”

 

“I said, do I smell?”

 

“Well, yeah, we both do. Just look at…

where we are. How we are. But hey,

one thing you can be sure of, I

really, really don’t mind.”

 

“You sure?”

 

“More than sure.”

 

“Good. Then hold me.”

 

He moved closer and circled her with his

arms. Buried his head in

her hair. “We can go inside. No one

came tonight either. It’s safe.”

 

“No,” she said. “Hold me for a bit longer.

This night… I had the worst of

them. Worst nightmare. A boat came

here on the beach. With saviors. They weren’t

even pirates. But actually good people.

They rescued us.

And among them… there was another woman.

A healthy, pretty one.

And the two of you fell in love. And I

lost you. And I killed myself. Threw

myself over the board. And drowned. My lungs

were burning.”

 

“Wow,” he said. “What a silly dream.”

 

“It felt so real.”

 

“You think I’d leave you for another woman

just because she’s healthy and pretty? After

all we’ve gone through?”

 

“Look,” she said, “my husband left me for

another woman

even before my gums and tongue started to

swell and rot. When I was still

healthy and… somewhat pretty.”

 

“Well… I’m not your husband.”

 

“Sorry,” she said. “I… shouldn’t have brought him

into the discussion. And you’re right. You

are… the most… You’re all I’m still

alive for, really. And I know

I won’t be alive for long.”

 

“Don’t talk like that,” he said

 

“It’s true. That’s why… I want you to know

that these past days…

I’ve been praying. For God not to send

us any rescuers. I prayed not to be

found by any other humans. I hate all other

humans besides you. I know it’s incredibly

selfish of me but… We’ve enough

provisions here to

survive… You know, in my case, for the rest

of my life. It’s all a matter of

days, really. I want these last days to be

spent with you alone.”

 

They made love there in the

dirty sand

and he didn’t mind covering that rotting

mouth with his

 

By the time she died

her belly

was quite swollen

 

And he made his peace

with the fact that he’ll never get

over it

 

Text © Bogdan Dragos

*

 

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5 Responses to “A Man Doesn’t Need Much To Cling To Life”

  1. ldinlove

    When you scrape away the glitter and lies, you are left with the truth – dirty and ugly as it might be be – it’s the most beautiful thing you’ll ever feel.

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