Two CNA’s two black girls in floral scrubs enter the room where Marcus sits with his bible.  That’s when you notice his roommate—an old white man.  He sits on his bed looking at his hands.

CNA 1

Time for your shower, Willie…  It’s Tuesday.

WILLIE

 I’m not dirty.

CNA 2

Don’t matter, Willie.  On Tuesday you shower.

WILLIE

See my hands?  See?  There’s no dirt.  No dirt underneath the fingernails…  Is my wife coming?  She never liked it when I had dirt underneath my nails.  Said it reminded her of her grandfather and she’d always laugh…  Is she coming today?  I want to show her my nails.

CNA 1

You’re divorced, Willie.  Remember we helped you sign the papers?  Remember the lawyer came to visit?  You’re with us now.  Come on get up—it’s time for your shower.

You hear a ringtone.  CNA 1 pulls out a cell phone.  She has long fingernails—painted.  But you don’t focus on her hands the way she has to tap her fingers on the cell phone.  You focus on her eyes looking at the phone.  Every time she blinks you notice the flutter of her false eyelashes.

CNA 1

Girl… it’s my daughter again.  She poked me.  Probably because I posted on her wall.  For her birthday…

Willie’s hands are shaking now.  He’s been looking at them too long. He crosses his arms and hides his hands under his armpits.  His gown untied his hands underneath the gown.  CNA 2 is trying to lift him from the bed into a wheelchair.  She grabs him from behind by his hands his arms crossed.  It takes a rocking motion for him to stand on wobbly legs. His feet without socks in his slippers.  She guides him to the wheelchair.

CNA 2

You gonna see her after your shift?  It is Christmas.

CNA 1

Girl you know she’s up her boyfriend’s ass.  That’s all she talks about on Facebook.  That’s why I posted on her wall.  It’s hard enough having a teenager born on Christmas Eve.  She always says she’s coming over but she never does.  Not since she moved in with him.  And as far as I know she still ain’t talkin’ to her father.  Not since he kicked her out.  But that’s his fault.  He should know she’s just a teenager and in love for the first time like he don’t remember how he used to come to my window and keep me out all night…

CNA 2

What was your comment?

CNA 1

Oh girl, let me just read it to ya—this is what she said yesterday for Christmas Eve for her birthday:  It’s a wonderful life.  Maybe just one day one moment the clarity of it.  This making all the other times their just sacrifice for a moment that you remember a hope of the future… 

CNA 2

She’s just young, Rasputia.  Lord knows I thought love was all you need…

Marcus has not looked up from his bible.  The CNA’s are ignoring him anyway.  His shower day is Wednesday—tomorrow.  This the day he plans to kill himself.  This the word you see come in focus as you see the pages torn out of the bible and the papers he’s replacing them with papers hand-printed with an exact and scrupulous scrawl—the word he made heavy with ink at the bottom of the page he’d drawn the image of Tantalus—Tomorrow.

CNA 1

Well now here’s what I wrote back today:  Every moment counts.  Live each moment each day that way.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  And remember I’m the woman that squeezed you out…  What you think, Medea?  You think my hypocrisy knows no bounds as a mother?

CNA 2

Girl, how you supposed to remember yesterday?

She’s got Willie in the chair.  His hands are still under his armpits.  He walks the chair without the help of the CNA moving his slippers.  He makes his way slowly in the chair towards the door towards the hall.

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