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Jessica by Joe Moler
I looked out at New York, soaked with rain that washed down the dirty gray buildings. Jessica said a couple of days ago that she'll come around at nine in the morning to clean the apartment. I lay in bed, very sick, not knowing how hard this day will turn out for me. Got to get beyond this sickness or go to hell once and for all and never return to this god forsaken planet, loaded with human pain and suffering. I lit a cigarette, even though I was not supposed to – orders of the smart asses in white coats who are allegedly taking care of my health. They couldn't care less for my health! All they want is to stuff me with more medication just so that they can get more money from my health insurance and prolong my suffering for as long as possible, or at least for as long as my insurance will cover the costs.
The rain is falling, the apartment stinks of tobacco and alcohol, mixed in with the smell of piss coming from the half-opened bathroom door. The coffee has gone cold, I pour a bit of Cognac into it just to warm it up a little, and watch through the wet windows at a city that's getting a shower on a cold spring day.
There's no sign of Jessica. That lady pretending to be a good Samaritan is already starting to get on my nerves. A few days back she fell into a ditch filled with water, two weeks ago she got stuck in an elevator and waited for the building superintendent two full hours, and then went home, all exhausted. Something always has to happen to that bothersome old woman. Why in the world is she playing at being a good Samaritan when she can't help herself, let alone others. She's 60 years old, used to live alone, bedridden for many years, and when one morning a miracle happened and she got back on her feet and got her health back, she made a promise to herself that she will spend the rest of her life, what was left of it, helping other bedridden, gravely ill people like myself. Whether she forgot that promise or forgot that she was supposed to pay me a visit, or whether she kicked the bucket in the meantime, I didn't know. These old ladies don't care much for cellular phones, nor would they know what to do with them. All there was left for me to do was to wait.
I forgot whether or not I took my medication this morning. My head is spinning – I don't know if it's the Cognac or the pain, the high blood pressure or the exhaustion. Fucking illness. That Ms. Jessica has a habit of saying, "Mr. Joe, sickness is a sin, or the atonement for sin. When you atone for your sins, you either overcome your illness or you die and go straight to heaven. Sickness is a good sign, my dear; it means God wants you to repent for your sins in this world and not the next, where repenting for them in purgatory is much harder and lasts a lot longer. You are just like me, God's beloved, my dear, and should cherish all your pain and each hard day you have, for it cleanses your soul of all the terrible, pent up sin which stifles it and threatens to drag it down to the depths of hell."
To the devil with it, why doesn't God send me some younger women to clean up my room and toilet, even if it means being sick for a few extra days, instead of this good natured old lady who keeps talking about death, sinning and hell.