The Solution Is Not Working
Personal visit after breakfast by The Man himself. Dr. Creed, eyebrows a-flutter, glum.
“When can I get out of here?” I asked.
“When your blood-count stabilizes, you’ll be able to go home and rest.”
“When can I lose this albatross,” I pointed to the machine, my ball-and-chain.
“Give it a couple of days.”
“You asked me about transfusions. Are you going to give me a transfusion?”
Eye brows in overdrive, he paused, sighed.
“The Solution is not working. I’m sorry.”
“What? Then what?”
“Perhaps you’ll go into remission again. . . “
Will it. Will it. Will it.
“Or perhaps not. It’s possible you’ll slowly waste away. . . “
Will it? Will it? Will it?
“Anyway, there’s nothing Medical Science can do at this point. You’ll have to be strong. Find something. Some kind of. . . I don’t know. . . ‘faith’ to hang on or something. I’ll check on you tomorrow,” Creed decreed.
Will’t. Will’t. Will’t.
Overhead hospital television ran 24/7. We moribund watched old movies entertainment comedy. Cartoons. We watched news. Fire Bush the Featured Story. Video clips of him and assistants conducting ceremonies for large audiences (hundreds, thousands) of Missing Young, VD’s, and other denizens of The Big Park. Many Missing Young now greened their hair. The Green-haired Young. No longer missing, with Fire Bush, they were ‘found.’
The News identified Fire Bush as a charismatic ‘cult figure’ with growing influence among The City’s disenchanted young.
The Mayor arrested Fire Bush for allegedly inciting thousands of Missing Young to be missed.
Big Media hounded Fire Bush, whose lawyer contended this Free Speech; Free Will; Freedom of Religion; Freedom to Gather Publicly, and Freedom to “Freedom to” test-case might go to the highest court in The Nation.
Fire Bush did not “instigate or instruct” Missing Young to do anything. He spoke, The Young listened. He was not responsible who listened, nor would he follow new Statutes required Missing Young be identified and turned into the police, though failure to comply with said Statutes could lead to fine and/or imprisonment. The Lawyer planned to sue The City for suppressing Fire Bush’s freedom to announce and follow his own beliefs as a Free Citizen of The Nation.
The Nation Victorious
Emergency Broadcast irrigated all networks of the Victorious Nation, flushed even the new and relatively pristine data-plumbing of the Hospital’s not-so-closed circuit communication-education-and-ordering-pay-per-view-only TV.
The Leader announced completion of The War.
The Enemy, fearing absolute and total annihilation, had desperately sued for peace.
Within months, most troops would be home. Parades, Celebrity media events, and countless expressions of National congratulation would commence immediately, and continue until the last hero returned to kiss the sacred ground he/she had traveled such vast distance to defend (many, of course, would be returned to participate in various clean-up maneuvers, but not until being re-united with loved ones and photographed on their knees).
Announcements followed Emergency-Announcements followed by Updates followed of course by Expert commentary.
I observed my hospital-mates’ reactions. Nothing. Not even a raspberry or sarcastic limp salute. That The Nation defeated The Enemy thousands of miles away meant nothing to these men who would soon leave The City and The Nation for permanent residence in Necropolis. Turnedd away from the cheering, happy citizens screaming “We’re Number One,” at cameras. My place was here, among the thoughtfully resigned, rather than “out there” among the mindlessly resilient.
The Summer’s War had long ago grown boring. Another Big Media curiosity, another circus. Nevertheless, I was glad that Plantwoman would be safe, that she would not drop bombs on Enemy Children, nor would the friends, relatives and countrymen of Enemy Children have occasion to drop revenge on her.
Otherwise, The War meant nothing to me. I wanted nothing.