Dorothy Parker’s short story ‘Arrangement in Black and White’ influenced my work, 
Dying Words of a Hospice Patient, ‘Forever’.

I’m on the . . Sure, I’d like to talk, uhhh, have a seat.

That’s right, Jeffrey Anderson. Thank you very much.

I just gave names to the church, so people will be blessed, when I am gone.
Thought I was going through the gates three days ago,
but here I am, still. You never know.

So, what do you do here?
I see. You volunteer to comfort dying people.
Three years? Hmmm . . . Do you work?

Why are so many of your . . .
All over the wor..? What are you,
a doctor, lawyer . . .
Ha Ha Ha . . .) That’s funny.
Ha Ha . . .
You would be whooping it up
if you were an Indian chief.

and waking up the dead.

Oh Jesus, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to . . .
I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to Jesus.

Jesus, I know once it’s out there,
you can’t reel it in.
We won’t be talking about the dead,

So, what are you?
American. That’s funny. I mean what are you?
I see you are a man. 
Ha Ha Ha . . .
Are you trying to kill me?

Wait a minute. You’re all of those things?
So, you’re like a big mutt, right?

When you walked in,
I thought you were just a light skinned Negro.

Did you say Jewish? Holy Father,
how do you feel about that?

You know that the Jews kil . . . .
A Muslim? 
You’re trying to kill me. They let you work here?

Wha . . . Are you saying that Jews and Nigg . . . Negroes die in these beds?
Oh, Jesus . . .

You say you want to pray with me. 
I only speak English!

Take a breath. Right! 
Thanks. That’s better. Thank you.

You’re right. We are speaking in English.

I don’t want to pray right now. I have been praying
for days, and here I am talking with a Jew Negro Terrorist
Scalp Taking madman. Did I leave any body out?

Wait a minute. Am I already dead, and you’re the Gate Keeper?
Oh relax, I was just joking.

So if I push this button, this red button, whose going to appear?

The nurse? You sure?
Uhhh . . . Maybe I will chat with you a while longer.

Stomach, bone, and brain cancer.
Joking? No, I am not joking. No one wants to come in here.
The smell. How can you stand to be in . . .

You don’t smell anything? That can be a convenient attribute.
Even the doctor holds his breath and leaves before inhales.
He goes back and forth, back and forth. Visiting me takes up most of his day.

Talk to me? No one talks with . . .Wait a minute . . .
You are the first one to sit and . . .
Who are you, really? I know the drugs have kicked in,
but I am not having a good trip right now.

Breathe, Breathe, breathe . . .
Oh thanks. You’re good Mr. Volunteer.

OK, I still want to ask . . .
Why are so many of your people, colored people, up to no good?
Wait a minute!!! You are going to tell me about history? 
I was a history teacher for 33 years in the Public School system.
History? Here’s some history!

There were no Negroes or Jews here in the beginning. They came after.
Just Indians, and they died off, leaving America to White people.
Whites built a prosperous culture. Along the way we helped everyone we could.
When we bought Africans here, they couldn’t speak English. Four hundred years later,
their descendants still can’t speak proper English. Who can you blame for that?

What do you mean, get past blame?
You never heard of boot straps? What more can we give you? You people have got to make your own way. You’re always looking for handouts.

Whaaat? Listen! Don’t believe everything people tell you. I know American history.

Cristus Atic Who? He was a Negro? 
There were no Negroes back then. Just Slaves, Niggers and Coloreds. Well;, maybe there were a few.

It doesn’t matter what we call you. It’s still all colors. All those colors. You’re like a rainbow.
I’m White. Being colored is too complicated for me.

OH OHHH OHHHHH . . . Jesus Jesus Jesus . . .
No, it’s alright. I’ve been here before.

Another false alarm.

Here’s one I could never figure out.
Yes, I’m breathing. I’m OK now. Thank you Jesus.

Between you and me, I have been ready to ascend, a long while now.
Why am I thanking him. Ha Ha Ha . . .Just joking! He is always listening.
He knows I said that with a Wink Wink. Am I sounding crazy or what?

I’m not? Good! 
I must still have some faculties left, or is that facilities?

Faculties, right.

Here is something that has bugged me for . . . a long time.
Years. A lifetime.

Oh believe me, I’m not shy.
American Negroes are so, . . . so brazen.
What do I mean?

I mean everyone else is a country American.
German Americans, Jamaican Americans, Swiss Americans,
Spanish Americans, Egyptian Americans and even DRC Americans. 
You hear what I am saying here?

Then these show-offs come along and put a whole continent in front of their American. Always showing off.Look at Michael Jackson and uhhh . . . those basketball players.

It’s true! Music and spor . . .
HA HA HA . . .
Good one! I forgot that one.
Peanut Butter on Wonder Bread.
Ha Ha Ha . . .

Are you sure I am not already . . . 
I am pushing the button. Nothing.

OK, this is like the Twilight Zone.

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe . . .
Got it. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks . . .

So, Mr Volunteer, how long are you going to sit with me?

Say that again!
For whaaat?

‘Forever . . .’