Gregson looked at his I-V drip. One drop and then another drop. He was counting the drops. He had fun under the sun, and then he got cancer. He was sitting in his favorite chair, when it started poking him in the back. He didn’t feel a nail or anything sharp, but when he sat down, there it was again. It took him two weeks to figure out it was something inside him, and not the chair. Some detective.
Was this the end of the line? No more mysteries to solve; just the big one that waited for everyone when their lights went out. Gregson mused. What else could he do? Watch TV? Killing time was insane, now that time was all he had. The doctors said 6 months. But Gregson knew it was just a scare tactic to get him to do chemo. He didn’t know which was more frightening, having his own body eat itself or having a certified butcher cut him to pieces and then microwave his organs.
There were alternatives, but they seemed like false hopes. Gregson smiled. He always imagined that a worthy adversary would kill him in a creative way. Like maybe draining off each drop of his blood, until he was nothing but skin and bones; or perhaps, pushing him out of an airplane, seeing the ground grow larger and larger until impact. Having his own body turn on him, that was not something Gregson planned for. Of course, he should have, with his 3 cups of scotch a day and 5 cigars. Plus, he ate like it was his last meal at the all-you-can-eat buffets. That was the price of being a bachelor. No wife. No cook. Just freedom. But now he was facing the end and chemo made him feel inhuman. He didn’t appreciate the sun. He couldn’t taste his food. His manhood didn’t work.
All the things Gregson loved were being killed before he was actually dead. He was reading the national geographic. Flipping through the pages to see if he could spot nudes; it reminded him of being 14, but he couldn’t find any. Political correctness. You can’t read what you want to read or say what you want to say. You can’t even die the way you want to die, or can you? He stumbled upon a rather interesting article. It concerned a lost orchid that was discovered and reported-on by a biologist. Unfortunately, the natives got him before it could be extracted and reproduced. The chemical make-up might cure cancer.
“Nurse!” Gregson said. “I’m checking out.”
“Wait! You can’t!” She screamed.
But Gregson had already pinched the I-Vs from his veins and uncoupled his restraints. He flushed his meds down the toilet and grabbed the nurse’s keycard, opening the door.
“Sorry, but this case could be my greatest ever. It’s a race against time; it concerns life and death, my own. And if I live to see the day…” The nurse’s mouth was wide open. Gregson was missing his pants and giving a speech in the nude.
“Well, never mind. Speeches are overrated, anyway.” And with that, Gregson left for his greatest adventure, to find a rare orchid that could save his life and cure cancer.