Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Human Worth (FICTION)

With my death, how many families will be shattered? Let me count. There will, of course, be my parents. That's one. My husband will too be a bit sad. He's young and good-looking, though, so there is every reason to believe that he will soon recover and remarry. God only knows what kind of a wife he's going to bring home to my children and what she will raise out of them. That's two, three and four. There is also my dog. Oh sure, in the beginning, someone or other will think tenderly of me and walk him for my sake or throw him a bone. But in the end, all sentiment will run out. That's five.

On the corner of my street, there is a small bakery. The shop is owned by a lovely elderly couple, Joe and Fran. Their children are horrible scum, who deserted their parents in old age. I help where I can, including watching the shop for them on the weekends, buying groceries and odd jobs around the house. That's six.

I work in an office, the same office I've worked in for fifteen years. My boss doesn't remember my name - I won't put him on the list. But I've got a co-worker, Becky, my friend. She's a mess of a person, going through her fourth divorce. She's got five kids, all from different men, three cats, a snake and a parakeet. I help keep her feet on the ground, knock some sense into her now and again. That's seven.

I've got an ex-boyfriend, Dan, hanging around. We dated back in high school, for three weeks. It was nothing special, but Dan fell in love, and can't seem to fall out. He knows that I'm married, but he comes by on birthdays and special events with a bouquet of flowers. My presence sustains him. That's eight.

Everyday, as I walk to work, I smile at people I pass by. Often, they smile back. I like to think I've made their day somehow better, their lives a bit happier. There are countless of people there, not to mention all of the potential to meet more in the future. Those are the people, the families, that will be shattered if I die. That is the price of one human life. Are you sure you want to have that on your hands?

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