When I got up to leave, Death looked sad, and when I went back a few weeks later, he was sitting in the very same spot. I said, “Hey Stranger,” but he didn’t seem to remember me from before. I wondered if it was my hair, how the tendrils now curled like Fiddlehead ferns from its final refusal of color. That day it was all about the two of us, arm in arm, cracking each other up between morphine doses. There was a feeling like swimming together, like I’d known him from previous dives, and he finally remembered it’s me. “I’ll bring you coffee in bed when we get there,” he promised. “Damn, that’s kind,” I said, having contemplated this very thing. He sat there on the edge of my bed, trying not to mess with the hospital corners but scaring away a young nursing assistant who stopped in to monitor my vitals. When she ran down the hall, he said, why do the young ones misunderstand me in this place? Then he unwound a stalk of my hair before coiling it back into its original and perfect spiral.
Brett J Barr is an artist/ tattooist, born in Easton Pennsylvania. He grew up in Daytona Beach, moved to Orlando FL in 1997 and now resides in Orlando, FL. Aside from tattooing at Built 4 Speed Tattoo in Orlando, Brett enjoys many different art forms such as graphite, charcoal, paint, pen and ink, mixed media/ graphic design, woodworking miniatures and studies classical guitar.
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