Tim Micek ~ Dream

I had decid­ed to kill myself. There were two things that I had done. One was worse than the oth­er; both were unforgivable.

It was easy to choose death in those days. All you had to do was fill out a form; it asked you why you want­ed to kill your­self. You had to answer the ques­tion, but it didn’t real­ly mat­ter what you said as long as it sound­ed good. You didn’t have to get any­one to co-sign. With the pop­u­la­tion explod­ing, they were hap­py to have one less mouth to feed.

I checked into a hotel near the hos­pi­tal so that I could be there first thing in the morn­ing. No one else knew I was there: I didn’t want to dis­turb anyone.

I had gone to Chapel Hill to com­plete the process. Not only were they good at it—one of the best in the coun­try, but I would be able to take one last walk through its desert­ed streets.

The next morn­ing, I got up and left the hotel for a walk. I thought about check­ing out, but I didn’t want to drag my suit­case behind me. I was walk­ing west on Franklin Street when I got to the Carolina Coffee Shop. I decid­ed to go in.

Bill Smith and Susan Perry were sit­ting next to each oth­er in a booth fac­ing the front of the restau­rant. I hadn’t seen them since Byron’s funer­al. I asked if I could join them. They looked at each other.

What brings you to Chapel Hill?” Bill said after I had sat down.

I have some busi­ness to take care of,” I said.

Bill had ordered ham and eggs and grits and toast.

Would you like to see a menu?” the wait­er asked.

I’ll have what he’s hav­ing,” I said.

After we had eat­en and caught up, I got up to go.

It was nice spend­ing time with you,” I said.

I went to the hos­pi­tal and filled out some more forms. They sent me to anoth­er room. The nurse smiled at me.


Tim Micek is Professor of Education at Ohio Dominican University (ODU), where he coor­di­nates the TESOL pro­gram. Having pub­lished numer­ous schol­ar­ly arti­cles, he is turn­ing his atten­tion to more per­son­al writ­ing. He has had one sto­ry pub­lished by Impressions Magazine and anoth­er one accept­ed by Gesture, ODU’s lit­er­ary magazine.