I was cold. So cold.
Yes, there was the old pain, drowning, choking, the wracked coughing. But that was merely routine. It was not that.
An hotel in Pueblo, and there I was. Nothing more. Just myself, and I was nearly naked. So light and immaterial. Oh yes, a thick nightshirt. I do not mean that. Everything of myself beyond my pathetic body was gone.
Perhaps it was autumn. Of course, it was really just May. But think of a leaf - green, transforming light, its stem attached, its life strengthening it, flowing through that tiny rod, the strength of the tree flowing back. Ah, but autumn comes - slowly at first. The tree is still strong, but the leaf turns a little, at the edges. A brown friable transformation, a little of its life gone, a little of its ability and purpose lost. And the air gets colder, the sap becomes less inclined to reach the leaf so readily. And the brown portion increases, consumes eventually all the green, its core last of all, that rib that attaches it. And one night, in an angry wind, it tears itself away. And the leaf is blown away, useless, so light, breaking. And...
It awakes in a bed, in an hotel, in Pueblo, so very very cold. And even the heating bite of the tumbler of whiskey just calms the throat and lungs this time, reaching so far, but no farther.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 236
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Nulli Virtute Secundus