Dead Man Writing, Too

Steve Russell
5 min readAug 21, 2021
Photo by Johnny Briggs on Unsplash

I owe an apology first. I promised I would not bother you again unless I learned something new to me about hospice that might be useful to others.

All that comes to mind is that I did not specify my new regimen for pain control. It’s methadone (10 mg.) twice a day. So far, methadone keeps the promises it made when floated as an alternative to heroin. I’m having pain free spells, some of them fairly long, for the first time in years.

Now for the other half of the debate. The patient must not be allowed to get high. I’m not clear on the reason for this beyond protecting the public from persons taking on more risk than they should while in an impaired mental state. Policing one’s own mental state is risky business, even for the short time it’s supposed to take me to die.

I’ve asked my family to keep an eye on me and now I’m asking you, my readers, to let me know if I begin to make less sense than you have come to expect from me. I’ve put my professional license on inactive status and I’m not driving. I do not wish to harm anybody in my attempt to escape pain, but, so far, it seems a lot like objecting to condoms in high schools because they prevent diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

There should not be an orgasm without a downside or, I guess, people will be unable to study because of time wasted chasing orgasms. Since I only attended high school for a few months, I can claim no knowledge of what goes on there, but I do know that college students appear to spend as much time chasing orgasms as they do chasing grades. And the Republic stands, in spite of one party in a two party system seeking to abandon the quaint practice of awarding the office to the candidate who received the most votes.

Whether the greater threat was sex-crazed college students or power-crazed pols is a question I’ll not live to see answered. As has become customary, I took my confusion to a counselor. It was hard to get an appointment with Covid 19 causing a national outbreak of cabin fever. I think it was my second meeting with my counselor when she referred to writing as “my happy place.” She wasn’t asking me; she was reporting her (correct) observation.

Steve Russell

Enrolled Cherokee, 9th grade dropout, retired judge, associate professor emeritus, and (so far) cancer survivor. Memoir: Lighting the Fire (Miniver Press 2020)