Inspired by Chuck Palaniuk’s Postcard from 1986 in Fugitives and Refugees….

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star...” I stop when I see my son’s sunken face wincing. We hear a man shouting from another room, “fag, cunt, nigger, fucking kikes.” I try to remember where I stopped. I’ve been singing this song for hours; it no longer has words to me. It’s mediation. It’s me breathing in and out, watching my boy struggle to breath.

A nurse runs into our room to apologize for the shouting. The patient has overdosed on drugs and they cannot give him anymore until they clean his system of whatever he may have taken that night. The shouting continues, “fucking fags.” With every shout my boy winces. He cannot tune it out. His final moments in this world will be filled with this hateful dribble from some fucking asshole who is throwing away his life when my baby struggles for pain filled moments of his. This man who I used to rock on my knee is the most loving, honorable, respectful child whose only sin was to love. He will die listening to pure hate stream from the mouth of a junkie down the hall.

“how I wonder what you are…” the man screams again,”fucking cunt nurse, where is my goddamn nurse.” I struggle with the desire to stay and sit through this shit with the desire to make it stop. To give my child a moment of peace.

I stand up and grab my handbag. I walk to the door. The boy who drove me here, who I assume is more than ready to drive me back so that he can clock out of for the night follows me. I walk down to the screaming mans room, the door is cracked open. He must know I’m hear, his ranting becomes enthusiastic, he has an audience. The young man who has followed me here stands by the door. Wary. I can only imagine his thoughts as I sit next to the screaming man. I could not hate more than I hate this filthy creature on the bed. My eyesight blurs with rage. “Cunt,” he screams, “get the fuck away from me.” He lies naked on this bed, raging against the straps that are there for his protection. I look at this creature in disgust. My baby is in pain. He is worsening this for him. I open my handbag and take out a safety pin. “Get away from me. Fucking get away from me, he screams.” I don’t say a word. I don’t make a sound while I ram the safety pin into his leg over and over. I make sure to get no blood on me, blood is killing my child, it won’t kill me. The man is begging me to stop, stop the pain, fucking get away from him, “crazy cunt,” get away. I continue to drive the pin into him until he stops. Until he shuts the fuck up.

The screaming stops, I drop the pin into the hazardous waste collection box and walk back to my son’s room. The driver follows me; he shows no sign of shock, no judgment. He’s clearly seen worse.

I open the door and prepare to start singing, but there is no point. My boy is gone. His body is clearly lifeless lying on the bed. I feel nothing.