Do you know why I did not come to work on Monday? I…I…well I couldn’t. Not because of why you think. Mentally I just could not do it any more. I stayed up all night with the intentions of not going to work. Sometime around 5 am Monday morning I came up with a crazy idea. I guess I toyed around with it the whole rest of the day and on the way to work Tuesday morning I decided I would do it. I needed to take off from work and recuperate–with pay. No unemployment because I already ripped them off so, what?
I was never going to injure myself enough to get disability so a workman’s compensation claim would be the next best thing. So I deliberately sliced my left hand opened. I did not intend to die.
While I sat there bleeding to death I slipped into a dream. A kiss. She was kissing me. She is a secret. Then each girl I ever kissed came to me.
First Jill. It was so sweet and nice. Warm. It was kindergarten, Huntsville, Alabama. My mother was our teacher and my basement our classroom. She kissed me like they kissed in the movies. So sweet. As we kissed she pushed me back and told me she knew I was dying. A kiss interrupted.
Victoria. She was in high school. I was in fourth grade. I saw her every day in the lunch room. I stared and one day she said hello to me. After that she said hello every day. I was amazed. Then one day I asked her to come over I had a secret to tell her. When she leaned down so I could reach her ear I kissed her lips. She laughed, and hugged me. It was a dream. Then she held me by both hands looked deep into my eyes and told me she knew I was dying. A kiss interrupted.
Ms. Carmen. Fifth grade. My teacher and my obsession. I would do anything for her attention. She became friends with my mother and during her visits I was sure to be front and center. She always hugged me when she arrived and when she left but a kiss had eluded me. Then out of the blue she held me by the face and looked at me with a giggle and a smile saying just how cute and adorable I was. Closed her eyes and kissed me three times on the lips saying, “mmm, mmm, mmmm.” I remember the heat in my face her smell, so clean. Then with a tear in her eye she said, “Mark, I know you are dying.” A kiss interrupted.
Then She was there again. Kissing me so sweetly. She is a secret. This time She kissed me but asked that I not kiss her. Kissing my lips I just stayed still. Oh how wonderful. Then she looked deep in my eyes and cried saying, “I know you are dying.”
I was terrified of dying until now.
In quick as light sequence each girl I ever kissed ﬂashed by. I could see the goodbye in their eyes. It hurt and it comforted me.
James David Haynes, Jr., my brother came to me with a kiss of forgiveness. He said, “I am waiting for you Mark. I know you are dying.” And John Michael Haynes, my brother. His kiss too was of forgiveness. He said to me, “I love you Mark and will miss you, I too know you are dying.”
My father, James David Haynes, Sr. He held me tight in his arms, patting my back. Then cradling me he kissed my check three times and with tears in his eyes said, “Mark, I know you are dying.”
Now my sweet, sweet mother. This really hurt to see her in such pain. Holding me so tight, whispering, “please never leave my heart.” She kissed each of my eyes and said, “Mark I know you are dying.”
Then She was there again. Standing in front of me. Crying. I couldn’t move. I could not reach out to her. She faded.
Jesus. He approached me. Such a loving face. So wonderful to see. I could feel his warmth and passion. He knelt before me holding my hands. Then we poured water over my feet and dried them. Then with a kiss on my hand he said, “My dear son Mark, you are home.”
Je c’est ﬁni.