He erased the word ‘cancer’, backing over it with the repeated, urgent taps on his keyboard. He couldn’t even look at it.
It wasn’t death that bothered him, that becoming nothing that he had witnessed in his patients so many times. There was little to that: you were and then you weren’t.
It was the process that bothered him, how one went about it. And even as he had smoked cigarette after cigarette, sitting in the tiny Chicago office with its linoleum floors and fluorescent lights, his one small vice in tending to the needy, he had hoped for a good death.
Now, though, the prognosis was in, and it promised his worst fear; a lingering death, long and filled with pain. He had cursed the guns that made his job on the Southside a daily struggle. And now he wondered how he would get one.