Bryan and David watch as the junior football team enjoys Bryan's "plan your own pizza party."

The XY Factor: NBC’s “The New Normal” and the Nature/Culture Dichotomy

Within the last couple of months, I’ve been watching a sitcom on NBC titled The New Normal, which offers a fresh and daring reconfiguration of the traditional family. The show centers on Bryan and David, a committed gay couple, and Goldie, a single mother who decides to become David and Bryan’s gestational surrogate. In every episode, we see not only the trials and tribulations of surrogacy, but we also come to understand how the notion of family is rapidly changing in our present day and age.

Cast of "The New Normal"

Main cast of NBC’s “The New Normal”

There is one episode of this show titled “The XY Factor” that made me think deeply about the issue of the cultural and natural “split” that exists between women and men, and the implications of this split when it comes to gay couples who desire to expand their families. In this particular episode, Bryan and David find out that they are expecting to have a boy. This discovery deeply upsets Bryan because he does not engage in practices that reflect traditional masculinity. Bryan, who works as a television producer, tends to express characteristics that are typically feminine, such as a penchant for fashion, interior design, and pop culture. Bryan’s partner David, on the other hand, tends to engage in activities that are deemed more masculine: he watches sports, he coaches a junior football team, and unlike Bryan, his sense of style style is plain and subtle. Bryan’s desire for a girl rather than a boy stems from the fact that he believes that it will be more difficult for him to connect to a boy due to his so-called deviance from traditional masculinity. This fear of a possible lack of connection also stems from the fact that Bryan is not the child’s biological father since David is the sperm donor.

This episode instantly came to mind when reading Sherry B. Ortner’s discussion titled Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture, in which she posits that women are universally assumed to be more aligned to nature than men are. Due to the fact that culture is generally deemed superior to the nature in the sense that it tries to control and manipulate the natural, it comes to no surprise that women, and all expressions associated with the feminine, are seen as inferior.

Ortner’s ideas allude to theories postulated by Simone de Beauvoir and within the realm of  anthropology in order to highlight women’s association with the natural rather than the cultural. Among these ideas, Ortner points out that woman’s body and its functions (menstruation, childbirth, etc.) manifest women’s “animality” and align them to the natural, while men usually engage in practices that drift away from the domestic sphere and into the cultural sphere. Ortner furthermore posits that even when women tend to engage in cultural practices such as cooking, these practices are limited to the domestic sphere and they don’t extend to the realm of high culture. Ortner exemplifies this notion by illustrating how many women are the cooks within the home, but that men are mostly dominant when it comes to haute cuisine or avant guarde cooking.

Ortner also views woman’s ties with the domestic circle as a factor that associates her with nature. The constant association of women with children is part of the reason why, due to the fact that “infants are barely human and utterly unsocialized” (215), and are thus viewed as natural or animalistic beings. Ortner points out that woman’s association with the domestic context increases their association with a lower order of social organization, while men are free to pursue cultural endeavors because they lack a natural basis for “familial orientation”:

the family (and hence woman) represents lower-level, socially fragmenting, particularistic sort of concerns, as opposed to interfamilial relations representing higher-level, integrative, universalistic sorts of concerns. Since men lack a “natural” basis (nursing, generalized to child care) for a familial orientation, their sphere of activity is defined at the level of interfamilial relations. And hence, so the cultural reasoning seems to go, men are the “natural” proprietors of religion, ritual, politics, and other realms of cultural thought and action in which universalistic statements of spiritual and social synthesis are made. (216)

I was curious as to how the interdependent dichotomies of woman/man and nature/culture manifest in the case of a gay couple trying to start a family via surrogacy. Interestingly, the tensions depicted in this episode offered some very interesting insights when juxtaposed with Ortner’s perspectives. I noticed that the notion of having a boy was threatening to Bryan because he deemed that it would hinder his chances at connecting with his child, especially since he shares no biological connection to the child. Notice that if Bryan were a woman within a heteronormative relationship, this threat would be virtually non-existent, for regardless of the child’s gender, the fact that the woman gives birth automatically triggers a natural connection between the mother and the child.

Bryan takes over David's position as junior football coach in order to align himself towards the male end of the female/male spectrum.

Bryan takes over David’s position as junior football coach in order to align himself towards the male end of the female/male spectrum.

Bryan assumes that if the child were a girl, he would have no trouble connecting with her because he exhibits tendencies and affinities that are traditionally viewed as feminine. However, the fact that he is expecting a boy induces him to believe that he must align himself with the male part of the spectrum in order for his child to love him. In the episode, Bryan tries to achieve this alignment by taking over David’s position as a junior football coach, and he fails miserably. Thus, Bryan finds himself unable to comply with neither the cultural nor the natural demands that are expected from him as a parent.

We may perceive that Ortner’s dichotomies still sustain when applied to a gay relationship, which is why it is difficult to situate Bryan as a man and as a character. But, something very interesting occurs near the end of the episode. One of David’s football practices is cancelled due to bad weather, and he ends up bringing all of the boys to his home. Bryan then prepares a “make your own pizza party,” in which every kid cooks and prepare their own meal (wearing their very own chef’s hats). The party is a success, and Bryan realizes that even though he is expecting a boy, he can still find ways to establish a connection with the child–regardless of whether or not they share a “natural” connection.

Bryan and David watch as the junior football team enjoys Bryan's "plan your own pizza party."

Bryan and David watch as the junior football team enjoys Bryan’s “plan your own pizza party.”

This conclusion to the episode offers some very tantalizing ideas and suggestions. First and foremost, we see boys becoming active agents within the realm of the domestic, and in tandem, we seem them cross into the realm of the feminine and the natural. Secondly, we see that Bryan, rather than “succumbing” to the demands of his alignment between culture and the natural, acts as a mediator within this spectrum, highlighting the ultimate collapse and futility of this divide. By bringing cultural agents into the realm of the domestic, and by at least trying to break ground in the masculine practice of football, we see how a man is able to take part in the project of “creativity and transcendence” that is so important in the feminist movement.

Ultimately, this show offers a lot of food for thought when it comes to issues of gender and family. I shall continue to follow its development closely!

Source:

Ortner, Sherry B. “Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?” Feminist Theory: A Reader. New York: McGraw Hill, 2013. Print. 211 – 220

Jodie Foster

The “Privacy” of the Closet: From Jodie Foster to Manti Te’o

With Jodie Foster’s delivery of her so-called heartwarming yet “rambling” speech, the notions of honesty, disclosure, and privacy became the hot topics of the week. Rumors of Jodie Foster’s homosexuality had been looming in the media for years, and prominent magazines such as OUT even went as far as to posit that Foster inhabited a glass closet–meaning that many were aware that she was “out” even though she had never publicly acknowledged her sexuality. Although I’ll be the first to admit that Jodie Foster’s Golden Globe acceptance speech was somewhat disconnected and incoherent, it was definitely embedded with nuggets of brilliance and sheer emotion. Among these nuggets, there was one in particular that stood out from the rest:

“But seriously, if you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too might value privacy above all else. Privacy.”

I for one can’t even begin to remotely imagine how intoxicating and suffocating Foster’s lack of privacy feels. True, to some extent, nobody living in the 21st century has  an idea of what true privacy feels like. Cell phones make it easier than ever for people to reach us at all moments. We constantly use Twitter and Facebook to let the world know where we’re at and what we’re doing. Even with the creation of websites and blogs, such as the one you’re reading right now, there is a certain degree of exposure that would’ve been virtually impossible a few decades ago. With every word that I publish in this blog, another chunk of my privacy is sacrificed. It’s now possible to Google my name, and immerse yourself deeply in my ideas and my work. I’m well aware of this.

But I’m not Jodie Foster, and I never will be. My ideas are out there for the world to see, but I really doubt that anyone would bother to know every minimal detail of my life, where I’m eating, what brand of clothes I’m wearing, who I’m dating… even if I publicly display this information on a social network. And I think that’s the major difference between Jodie Foster and the non-celebrity: while the average person has some degree of power in terms of what is or is not disclosed to others in terms of their personal lives, Jodie Foster lost that power years ago.

With that in mind, I can see why Foster desperately withheld any information in terms of her sexuality. Realistically speaking, it was one of the few private elements in her life that she was actually able to control.  Sure, people speculated. Other people definitely knew. But without her acknowledgement, the “public eye” was always blinded and unsure to some degree. And despite the so-called hypocrisy invoked with this blindness, I can’t help but envision how Foster found it comforting.

However, Foster was not the only person this week that has had to endure the slings and arrows that the lack of privacy hurls. When teaching my course on Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric today, we discussed the notions of ethics, honesty, and the virtues of rhetorical discourse. Unsurprisingly, the subject of Manti Te’o’s girlfriend hoax became the topic that these notions hinged onto. This hoax has been discussed in length by other venues, so I won’t delve deeply into what happened, but I will say this: my class and I generally agreed that there were too many discrepancies and gaps in the matter in order to make sense of it. I had skimmed through the original article on the hoax published by Deadspin, but I initially didn’t read it carefully enough to notice some of the more nuanced implications of what was discussed.

Manti

This afternoon, while discussing the Manti debacle with a friend while sipping on some coffee, she addressed the rampant rumors that the beloved football player deliberately devised the story in order to cover up a same-sex relationship that he is/was possibly involved in. This, of course, is due not only due to the lack of details and the inconsistencies in the story, but it is also due to several reasons that are pointed out in a blog post published by Andy Towle titled Gay Rumor Mill Ramping Up Over Manti Te’o ‘Dead Girlfriend’ Hoax.

I’m not here to discuss whether Manti Te’o is  or is not gay, because frankly, it is none of my concern. Sure, there are many gaps in terms of the information that has been disclosed to the general public, and there indeed is suggestive evidence that adds fuel to the rumors on Manti’s sexuality. However, what truly disturbs me is the fact that if Manti happens to be gay, he was outed in one of the most unfortunate ways possible. He was stripped of his own right to choose where, when, and who to share this information with. Rather than being offered the opportunity to step out of the closet on his own terms, the door to this closet was obliterated and he was yanked right out of it.

Let’s be very honest here: Manti is not only young, but he is also a prominent football player studying at the flagship of Catholic universities in the United States of America. Now, it is a widespread idea that Notre Dame is one of the most homophobic universities in the country, but I can honestly attest to the fact that this notion is blown out of proportion. Don’t get me wrong, there indeed needs to be progress in terms of how the university approaches some LGBTQ issues, but overall, I’ve noticed that the students, professors, and administrators at Notre Dame are nowhere near as close-minded as people deem them to be. But regardless of this fact, it wouldn’t make it any easier for Manti to come out even if he happens to be gay.

Unlike most of the student population at Notre Dame, Manti is a celebrity. People look up to him, people want to know his every thought and follow his every move. And when taking into consideration the fact that he’s Mormon, well, let’s just say that if I were in his shoes and I also happened to be gay, fabricating an imaginary girlfriend would probably seem to be a more feasible alternative than admitting the truth. True, perhaps this says a lot about the homophobic nature of many religions and of the realm of sports. But even more so, it says a lot about the notion of privacy.When it comes down to it, we have a degree of privacy that Manti will never have. This is very sad, and very true… but it is also quite expected.

Returning back to the notion of Jodie Foster, privacy, and the closet, Patrick Strudwick, a writer for The Guardian, expresses how he was slightly bothered by her Golden Globe speech because she chose her career over coming out years ago, an act that would’ve made it easier for future generations to come to grip with their sexual identity:

It is every gay public figure’s social responsibility to be out, to make life better for those without publicists and pilates teachers. Those who cry, “It’s none of your business! Who cares who I sleep with?!” shirk their public duty, and deny the shame that keeps the closet door shut. Do straight people consider their orientation private? You cannot skip the tough part of a human rights struggle. I long for being gay to be nobody’s business, to not matter, but we’re a long way off. You either do your bit, and in the case of an A-list actor, that means blazing a trail for other performers, or you remain concealed, bleating about privacy.

On one hand, I understand where Strudwick is coming from. After all, if high profile celebrities and figures don’t come out and remain within he confines of the closet, who else will set an example for people struggling with their own sexual identity? How can any change be achieved if prominent gay individuasl refuse to be examples? On the other hand, not every gay celebrity is Elton John, Ellen Degeneres, or Neil Patrick Harris. The journey out of the closet is a very subjective and idiosyncratic experience, reliant on forces that are many times out of the individual’s control. Sure, there is a price to be paid with fame, but does that necessarily imply that gay celebrities are obliged to disclose their entire lives, including their sexual identity? Does staying within the closet necessarily entail a degree of shame?

I believe Ricky Martin said it best when it comes to the notion of coming out: “When someone isn’t ready we must not try to force them out.” This notion applies to every gay person, whether it be a student, a worker, a Latino pop sensation, a star football player, or even an award-winning actress. Coming out is very much a private matter. For some people, it doesn’t get easier to come out. For some people, every person they come out to is a milestone.

Hopefully, there will come a time in which coming out won’t be necessary at all, but now is not that time. And while to some degree, we do need high profile individuals to be brave and set an example, we also have to recall that not everyone is a pioneer–and similar to the issue of privacy, this is something that should ultimately be respected.

Ethics

My Syllabus for Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric – Notre Dame – Spring 2013

Here is the syllabus that I designed for the Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric course that I will teach during the spring 2013 semester at the University of Notre Dame. I think this will be the most daring and innovative writing course that I’ve ever taught. As you will notice, I include a lot of non-traditional assignments that really push students to take advantage of the possibilities of new media and current multimedia platforms. Students will write movie reviews, analyze and create memes, design an original product and create an infomercial for it, and they’ll even create their own audio-narratives. I really think this course will be fun for both my students and I, and I’m sure plenty of effective learning will take place!

I’m using a popular culture theme once again, but this time, we’re focusing on this theme from an ethical perspective. Students will not only explore the virtues of popular culture, but through their writing and creation of multimedia artifacts, they will discover the importance of ethics and virtues in the exchange and circulation of knowledge and information. As always, all comments and suggestions are more than welcome. Enjoy!

Deviant Cover

Sample Chapter of my Young Adult Novel, “Deviant”

What I have here is a young adult novel that I’ve been working on for a while. The title of this work is Deviant, and in essence, it is my ultimate dream project because it combines all of the genres I adore: dystopia, science fiction,  coming-of-age, and yes, romance. The themes of gender, humanities and the arts, and politics are very prominent throughout the entire work.

This novel takes a different approach to the coming-of-age genre. Although it has three main characters, the novel is peppered with preludes and interludes that tell the separate yet complementary stories of other characters. This constant deviance from the main plot serves to highlight the flaws and issues of the dystopic society without compromising the action and budding romance present in the main plot. The prelude and the interludes simply enhance the reader’s understanding of the tensions and problems that the main characters face.

As of now I only have about four chapters left to finish. But what I’m desperately looking for right now is some good (constructive) feedback. In this post, I’ve shared the first chapter/prelude of my young adult novel. It is not the final version of the chapter, and it is still subject to change. Do you think the novel seems interesting and/or worthwhile? Does this first chapter grab your attention? Does it make you want to read more? Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

Deviant Cover

Chapter I: A Prelude

Amethyst

I rest behind the garbage bin, trying to catch my breath. I don’t know what’s more brutal… walking barefoot through the snow, or running through a city in the middle of the night with nothing but a hospital gown on. My feet are blistered. Shades of periwinkle overlap the bruises and scabs peppered all over my legs. I can’t remember the last time I had sensation in my toes. I huddle my legs against my chest in an effort to retain the little body heat I have left. Either I’ll die out here in the cold, or they’ll catch me. Either way, I don’t think I’m going to last much longer.

I take a deep breath, look up, and exhale. A large cloud of steam escapes my mouth. The cloudy wisps tango into the air until they dissipate. If only I were like the steam. If only I can disappear into thin air. I gently turn around and bend on my knees. I wonder if they managed to keep up with me. I grab the corners of the garbage bin with my fingers and I slowly tilt my head to the side. The three figures stand ominously across the street. Damn. I was too desperate to cover my footprints in the snow. I led them right to me.

I blow some steam into my hands, hoping to give them even a few seconds of heat and consolation. It’s useless. My fingers are a sickly shade of purple. I see a darkened alley nearby. Maybe if I make a run for it, they won’t catch me. I grab a crushed soda can near the bin. This is it. I launch the can towards the opposite direction of the alley. I hear the metallic clash a few meters away.

I run. Well, I stumble. I’m beginning to lose my ability to balance myself. My feet are warning me that they can’t handle much more pressure. I feel a beam of light hit the side of my face as I head towards the alley. So much for my distraction.

I head towards the alley and reach a fence. Seriously, a fence? I thought fences in dark alleys were only used to make escape sequences dramatic in action films. The movie’s hero is chased by the villains and he or she dramatically climbs the fence and jumps over it. That’s not happening here. Between my frozen feet and my frostbitten fingers, it would be a miracle if I could climb half a meter. I frantically look around. The windows of the adjacent buildings are also too high for me to climb. I’m trapped.

I sit on the ground, knees against my legs. I lean my back against the cold brick of the one of the buildings. Flurries continue to fall from the heavens. I can hear footsteps approaching. Bursts of bright light invade my pupils. I cover my eyes, shielding them from the gleam of the three flashlights. My back presses firmly against the grimy wall. The rough texture of the brick perforates my skin. Sweat pours down my soiled hair.  My chest heaves back and forth. A continuous flow of steam escapes my mouth. My carnation pink hospital gown offers little protection from the wind and the snow. I always knew that they would find me, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon.

“I d-don’t care w-what you d-do or say. I’m n-never going b-b-back there.”

I’m not afraid. I’m freezing. Too bad my stuttering makes me seem like a coward. I have to show them that I’m not afraid. I stand up. My fragile body shivers and quakes as I try to straighten up my body. I shake my head side to side, dusting off the snowflakes that have accumulated over the crown of my head. I take another deep breath. This time, I pronounce the worlds loudly and clearly without stuttering.

“Did you hear me? I…am never…going back.”

Two of the flashlights turn off; the other points directly at my face. Two men in black suits and cerulean ties grab me by each arm. The remaining light is soon consumed by the darkness.  Even without the flashlights on, I can see their faces quite clearly. It seems that even the moon has a luminous interest in this recent development of events. The moon shining. The snow falling. What a lovely night this would’ve been under different circumstances.

There she is, staring at me with her cold, calculating, eyes—one glows with a yellowish hue, like the eyes of the panther. I can’t distinguish the color of the other eye, but it is much darker than the one on the left.

She loosens up her ponytail. Auburn hair begins to flow freely. Her flawless alabaster skin reflects the moonlight, and her bright pink dress suit, on the verge of a neon tone, could be spotted miles away in pure darkness. She reminds me of those brightly colored frogs that live in the Amazons, distinguished by their dazzling colors that serve as a warning to other creatures. Even animals know not to mess with beasts that don extravagant, bright-colored coats. Who knew that someone so beautiful could be so… menacing. Yet the beauty is a lie. Inside of that captivating shell, all that resides is ugliness. She’s a mummy within a jewel incrusted sarcophagus. I’m not one to be fooled.

“Well, Amethyst, it seems like you thought you could escape the Hub yet again. But as you very well know, nobody escapes. Deviants such as yourself can never leave, at least not until reparations are finalized. I must say, however, that your attempt to escape was quite a… noble effort. Ineffective, but very noble indeed.”

“There’s s-s-still p-plenty of time for me to es-ca-ca-cape.” No. I started stuttering again. The woman chuckles. Seems like she’s amused.

“Did you hear that, boys? Amethyst still thinks she has a shot at freedom. Little girls and their big dreams. Dreams are for weaklings, darling.”

“At least I’m c-capable of dreaming. M-monsters like you never dream.” Even with the two guards grasping my arms, it’s still getting harder to stand by the minute. I can’t collapse on the floor. I can’t let them see any more signs of weakness.

She steps towards me. Her eyes scan me top to bottom, basking in the pathetic visage in front of her. My bloody face. My bruised knees. My shivering body. She must be enjoying this spectacle. She leans toward my face. Her mouth is about two inches away from my own. She softly closes her eyes and whispers, “True. But that’s because monsters inhabit the realm of nightmares. And guess what, my dear Amethyst? Nightmares are still dreams. Cooperate, or I’ll make sure that you’re living a nightmare for the rest of your meager, pathetic existence.” She says this with a demeanor that is both calm and serene. Now I’m beginning to feel afraid. I try to respond, but no words come out of my mouth. Only steam does.

“Denise knows better than to try and escape. She knows that we can repair her” says the woman, still inches away from my face.

Denise. For a moment, I nearly forgot about her. I tried to let her know of my plan to escape. I wanted her to come with me. The Hub, however, is very cautious with its administration. It would be a shame to allow a relapse to occur within its premises.

My mind wanders off to my time in the Hub. I recall the cramped white room with nothing but a bunk bed, a sink, and a toilet. My cellmate was a seventeen year-old boy named Trevor. He was clearly ashamed about his recruitment to the Hub. It could be worse. Enrollment in the Hub was usually one of the lighter punishments for Deviants like us.

He would toss and turn while sleeping at night, whimpering the name of a person that I didn’t know. A person that he refused to talk to me about. When I first mentioned this name, he cupped one hand over my mouth and just stared straight into my eyes. With his other hand, he gently made a zipping motion across his lips. I perfectly understood who this person was.

Trevor and I had known each other since our first year in the Culture and Communication Center. I was seven when I first met him. Our assigned Center is the least popular of all the training centers, and we knew that. Understandably, we weren’t excited to be there, but it’s not like we have much of a choice in terms of what center we are assigned to at that age. Although we briefly talked during the first couple of years, we soon grew apart. Who knew that we would one day be cellmates at the Hub?

The transgression that led to my imprisonment happened about four months ago. All it took was one moment. One moment to obliterate years of work and effort. One moment to destroy a lifetime of possibility. When it happened, Denise and I knew we were doomed. Hopeless. Lost. The Régime doesn’t take these matters lightly—and although it’s been decades since all the cells in the Hub have been full, you occasionally see one or two new faces in the dining hall every month or so. Denise and I were the unlucky ones this time. You can never be too careful here… the Régime is always watching, in addition to listening.

The agent stands in front of me, breathing heavily on my face, with a pocket placed firmly into her hand. I know what comes next. We all do. We’ve been warned about the penalties for multiple transgressions. We all knew the protocol that Hub-Masters usually followed when pursuing an escapee. Knowing what comes next, I looked at her adamantly with a sense of valor.

“Leave…Denise… out of this.” I’m losing my breath.

“Oh Amethyst, just drop the act of courage and valor. You already look pathetic. Do you want to actually be pathetic as well?”

I can’t take it anymore. With all my might, I yank my arms away from the guards and I lunge at her, trying my best to knock her into the snow. With any luck, her head will bash into the pavement. I lock my arms around her, but she barely budges. I must be way weaker than I thought I was. Not even adrenaline can save me now. She grabs me by my hair and tosses me on the ground. I look up and see those eyes. They truly do look monstrous in the moonlight.

I black out momentarily. I open my eyes and notice one of the guard’s boots embedded within my abdomen. The other guard swings his foot. I black out once again. Yes, that’s blood dripping out of my mouth.

I spit out the blood and watch the crimson masterpiece that I created on the silver snow. I lay the side of my head on the red-tinged snow. “I can’t be repaired. I refuse to be repaired” I whisper, loud enough for them to hear me.

The woman gives me a half smile and pulls out the roll of parchment that I was expecting to see. Parchment. How old-fashioned. How traditional. One of my history instructors back at the Center mentioned that all agencies belonging to the Régime use parchment for most of their official documents. It makes them feel as if they were in touch with history. The days when Deviants were nowhere to be found. The days when the entire population upheld the virtues of purity and dignity. Strangely, with my act of defiance, I feel like I have fully embraced both of those virtues.

She unrolls the parchment and reads the proclamation in a stern and cold voice. Even the snow seems warm in comparison to that voice. I know the proclamation by heart—I saw it all the time in movies and television shows repeatedly, all telling the story of people who dare defy the fourth natural law. To add insult to injury, they even made the proclamation rhyme—a lullaby uttered right before our final sleep. It sounds just like I expect it to sound, but with my name and borough mentioned in the first verse. Rhymes used to always calm me down as a kid. This rhyme manages to finish the snow’s job of freezing the blood running through my veins.

Amethyst Jacobson of the South-western Borough,

The Régime has been clear, its stipulations were thorough.

Your defiance of nature, and a will that won’t bend,

Leaves us no choice but to uphold and defend

The revered mandate of the fourth natural law:

your sacrifice will bring order and peace to us all.”

As she finished the proclamation, she kneels down on the floor and pulls out a syringe from her pocket. She pulls out a vial with a rose-colored liquid and fills the syringe. I don’t even feel the needle piercing my flesh. I never thought I would die this way. I always thought I’d be old, surrounded by my loved ones, dying in the warmth of my bedroom.

I feel the heat draining away from my body. My chest tightens. No more steam escapes from my mouth. My eyes are open, but now, all I see is darkness. My spirit breaks as I realize that for me, there is no white light at the end tunnel.

ALL RIGHTS TO THIS POST RESERVED BY AUTHOR

Published by Angel Daniel Matos

Copyright 2013 © by Angel Daniel Matos