Although Mary hates the word dying, since it makes everything sound so final, she has resigned herself to the fact.
Her family bring her a cassette player. Maybe they feel music will relax her. But she doesn’t feel anxious. At least not until they insert a classical tape. Mary swears under her breath. She dislikes classical music.
Carl asks the nurse, “how much longer?”
“Predicting death is difficult.” “It might be today or in a few days,” she replies quietly.
“It has now been two weeks,” he says with a hint of impatience or perhaps disappointment in his voice.
Mary keeps her eyes closed, and pretends she is asleep. But she no longer has anything left to say.
“Mother has prearranged her funeral,” says Rose. “She’s left instructions and wants an open casket.”
“What for?” asks Carl. “How depressing.” His mother’s impending death makes him angry. He wonders who will listen to his problems.
Mary wants to shout. “I’m still alive children. "There is nothing wrong with my hearing.”
Days later Mary goes out in a blaze of glory. A live band, red dress, red shoes and bright red lipstick. And covering her head is a blonde wig she has saved for an occasion such as this.