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Timothy P. Monaghan
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gruesome.jpg
Art by Christopher Lee Stine 2010

A Gruesome but Effective Solution

 

Timothy P. Monaghan

 

I have three problems: number one is morphine. I don’t like it; in fact I hate it, but currently my prescription is 250 milligrams a day. I used to take ten grams a shot, every four hours, if needed.  That was at home. If I had to go to the emergency room (ER) I had a note from my doctor giving my diagnosis, and simple directions: start an IV then slowly pump in ten grams. 

 

Before I had the note, the ER would give me around 50 to 100 milligrams of morphine and when I started asking for grams, they asked me to leave. So my former neurologist wrote a note.  The note was like a miracle: ten grams, no questions. They’d hook up a monitor to observe my heart rhythm, inject the morphine, expecting me to go into cardiac arrest but instead I’d uncurl, let go of the death grip I had on my right eyeball, and ask to be released.  Life was back to normal.

 

Ten grams did not get me high. I’m not an addict. Ten grams of morphine eased the pain.  Thus, my second problem—pain. Ten grams of morphine felt like a hand yanking me out of a storm of pain. My pain is from cluster headaches. It feels like a bushman, an expert at precise throwing of very sharp spears, and he shoots a spear into my right eyeball. The pain hits without warning, hits suddenly like the flip of a switch, and the first surge of pain knocks me off my feet. Then waves of pain lasting about six weeks. 

 

          Problem number three is a loaded .357 magnum pistol lying in front of me. I should have bought a small .22 pistol; the 357 is a heavy cannon and is hard to aim. 

          The root problem is my new doctor and his delicate feelings.  Even though my chart says I’ve been getting ten grams of morphine for years, my last doctor retired from the practice and the young doctor who took his place said, “Can you imagine how I’d feel if you went into cardiac arrest?” because he prescribed ten grams of morphine.

 

No kidding. His exact words. Modern health care. I should imagine how he’d feel if the ten grams did something it never has: cardiac arrest.

 

          OK, the last wave of eyeball spear-pain has receded. I aim the .357 as best I can, inside my mouth! Problem solved. I can hold it steady by biting down on the barrel, push the handle down and to the left; the bullet will exit my right eyeball region. 

 

Excellent.  I think ten grams of morphine would feel better than a .357 slug but I have considered the sensitive feelings of Dr. Winters. He did not prescribe the slug. The safety’s off, the barrel’s in. Bite down, grab the trigger with my thumbs. . . .

 

 

 

          The explosion was loud.  The Bernsteins were first out in the hallway.

 

          “What was that?”

 

          “Like a cannon.”

 

          “It was not a cannon.  I was in the war.  I know cannons.”

 

          “The expert, you were a cook!”

 

          “A cook doesn’t hear?  Look, that young man’s door is open a crack—”

 

          Phyllis Bernstein screamed a movie-scream. Half the building heard, after everyone had peeked, and talked, there was lots to discuss, a confusion of opinions. They peeked and talked for ten minutes; someone brought out crackers and wine. It was a traumatic event. 

 

Finally, in the tower of Babel, “Who called the police?”

 

          No one.  They were upset.  He was such a nice young man, “very sensitive.”

 

 

 

This publication is my fifth published story.  I’m an attorney practicing patent law in the suburb of Washington DC.  For some reason a number of my stories deal with suicide and shotguns.  My wife caught me with a shotgun barrel in my mouth swiping away at the trigger guard with my foot.  “It’s research for a story!”  I pleaded.  (see: mozartsjoy.blogspot.com).  I think she believed me but I can’t find my shotgun.  I’ve also written a mystery novel.  The lead detective is suicidal (see: tim-s-novel.blogspot.com) but I may have to experiment with a different method of suicide, for the lead character.  Me? I’m very sane and stable -- Timothy P. Monaghan

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