By: Wayne Brown
Stainless steel and reinforced stark white concrete walls decorate the dwelling. Everything happens in one room here; sleep, eat, bodily function and the aging process. It all happens in this 8x10 area for all who care to watch. That is the way it has been now for over twelve years, day in and day out, sitting in this confined area called a cell and waiting for nothingness and eternity all at the same time. There’s nothing else to wait for, nothing else is coming.
The appeals have long since been exhausted up and down the court system. There are those who even wrote letters on your behalf pleading with the governor to commute your sentence and set you free. The twelve men and women of the jury who sent you to this place saw it in a much different light. The judge had instructed them that the evidence to find you guilty of the crime must be conclusive beyond the shadow of a doubt and must be based on the evidence at hand. The fact that you sit here in this cell awaiting the day of your scheduled death attests to their deliberation and verdict.
Rape and murder are serious yet logical actions to you. One is power, the ability to dominate and control. The power to take what is desired in the moment that one desires it and from whomever it is desired. The other is a necessary second step; not so satisfying but one that brings a serenity of knowing that your indiscretions will be concealed. No one will tell. In turn, one is free to execute the cycle again as the opportunity arises. There were times in the history of mankind when it broke no laws. Civilization comes with many yokes and restraints that do not fit some.
You have turned away the last meal. You have sent away the Priest who offered to pray to the Savior, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of your soul. The offer was tempting but seemed beyond the scope of the realism of your mind. If there was judgment on the other side of this life, you choose to face that trial and act on your own behalf without an interceder to jumble the intention or desire. If there is a judgment, then surely consequences await on both sides of the outcome. Heaven seems too much like a fairy tale projected in an aura of happiness that a man like you, who has dangled his feet into the towering flames of hell for far too many years, cannot fathom. The fires of hell have burned against the edges of your soul for too long to avert their familiarity. Surely, you will shake hands with the devil before you burn in eternity. The Priest should stay home and sleep in his warm bed.
Regret? Maybe there should be some. Your kind does not really understand regret and remorse. Life took more from you than it ever gave. Anything you ever took, you had long since earned. There is no urge to speak words of regret when there is no remorse in your heart. Regret comes in hindsight. You do not live in the past. You live in the moment and partake whatever it has to offer without regret. Apologies are for the weak; men who do not understand themselves or their desires, men who feel they have made a wrong choice. They are not like you. You understand your choices and the deliberateness with which you have made them.
The steel doors slide open and the committee assigned to walk you to the end of your road is beckoning. The walk will now begin. It is only a matter of a few minutes and a few steps to the final destination that has taken twelve long years to arrive. You look about the all too familiar surroundings one last time. For all the time you have been in this space, there is nothing of you here. It is as sterile now as it was when you first entered it. Your presence has not impacted its plain vanilla emotionless features. It is all that is left that you can call a home.
The walk begins down the long corridor past the cells of others awaiting your same destiny. Your wait is over but their wait continues. They stare out at you with apprehension. You look straight ahead consigned to only your thoughts. It is the only bastion the outside world cannot or has not touched within your body. In these last moments, they belong to you and you will savor them. They will be the only possession you take with you and the last things you peruse as the death fluids course through your veins.
The door swings open and the death chamber stands in order for your arrival. The appointed hour has finally come. You are the star attraction in this event to be carried out with timely precision and medical certainty. The guards position you on the gurney specifically designed for this purpose. You look beyond the lights through the glass at the prying eyes of those who have come to witness your demise. There are no faces that you know. You have no one and that is a good thing. There will be no broken hearts when you are gone. No tears will be cried.
The warden wants to know if you have any last words. You nod a simple ‘no’. Your last words have long since been spoken. You have nothing left to say and no one left to say it to who is recognizable to you. Your death will speak for you and the act of carrying it out will speak to the justice of all mankind. The warden has given the final nod and the fluids begin to flow. You train your eyes on the brightly light ceiling of the chamber and wait for the lights to go out.