A Man Bound By Nothing Isn't Free
“Hey Dice. remember that arsonist you and BIll brought in yesterday?”
Yeah, what happened?
“He started talking with the drunkard we pulled off the streets. Now they’re telling each other stories. Want to sit in and listen?”
Sounds interesting, but I'll have to pass this time around. I’ve got a commitment and I'd rather not blow it off.
“You've got plans? What, you finally find yourself a woman?”
I wish. Seems to me like I can’t even get a gal to look my way anymore.
“Are you thick? What about that Cindy girl down by the inn? I hear she’s got the hots for you.”
Are you kidding me? That girl wants nothing to do with me.
“Whatever you say, just know that you’re missin’ out.”
Uh-huh, just make sure those two don’t try anything funny.
“Don’t worry, there’s not much they can do anyhow.”
It's almost sundown. I need to hurry or else I won't make visiting hours. I told Ma I'd be there. Why are these lots always so full, it’s almost as if they don’t want people coming in.
“Hello sir, how can I help you today?”
Did I make it? Are you still open for visitors?
“We sure are. Who are we looking for today?”
I’m here for my mother, her name is Wilma, Wilma Dice.
“Wilma Dice, alright let me see what room she’s in right now. Oh my, nurse, could you call Dr. Reddy here?”
Is something wrong, why do we need the doctor?
“Mr. Dice, please take a seat. There is some news we need to tell you and I think it would be best if you heard it from the doctor.”
Did something happen to my Ma? Where is she? What room is she in? Tell me. Tell me … please.
“Sir I’m going to need you to-”
“Mr. Dice, please, have a seat.”
Tell me Doc, tell me that my Ma’s alright.
“I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Dice. Your mother has passed away.”
You’re lying to me, you’ve got to be, right Doc?
“I’m afraid not-”
Take me to her. I need to see her myself.
“Of course, follow me.”
This is some kind of mistake or a sick joke, isn’t it?
“We’re here, room 126, Wilma Dice.”
“I’ll give you some moments of peace. Then there are some-”
When did this happen?
I see, please, give us some time alone.
Hey Ma, I made it. I came here to see you, just like I said I would. Sorry, I couldn’t come any sooner, I got caught up in some paperwork, you know how it is. It’s a pain, but someone’s got to get it done. Hmm, what's that? Well, I’ve tried to learn but nothing ever comes close to your cooking. Find a girl? Oh Ma, I’m getting old. No gal’s gonna want a geezer like me. No, I didn't mean it like that. I’m sorry. I’m sorry...Ma.
“Mr. Dice, have we finished saying our goodbyes?”
“Then we need to figure out how we are to proceed.”
Call a funeral director, she deserves a proper burial.
‘Of course. Of course.’ Is that all you know how to say? A son loses his mother and all you can say is ‘of course’.
“I know you’ve just lost your mother, but there is no need to get hostile-”
Hostile? I’ll show you hostile if that’s what you want.
“I'm going to have to ask you to leave before we have security escort you out.”
Oh, I'll leave. ‘Of course’ I'll leave. Get your hands off me, I know the way out.
“Please get home safely, Mr. Dice.”
Oh, blow it out your ass.
“Chief, is that you? Hey, it is you! What are you doing looking all miserable in a place like this?”
We’re standing in front of a hospital, Bill.
“I see that. Were you here for a checkup?”
No bill, I was here to visit a family member.
“Oh. Oh! Chief, I am so sorry.”
Forget it. Are you free anytime soon?
“Yeah, I should be. What did you have in mind?”
Let’s go get a drink.
“I don’t think that's too good of an idea. You’re not mentally all there right now. Let’s get you home.”
Home isn’t really a place I want to go to right now.
“Then how about we go to the office, that two guys we brought in haven’t quit their ramblings since you left.”
I don't want to hear stories from a crook.
“So other than drinking, what is it you want to do?”
I just don’t know what to do. I was able to press on because she was able to endure. But now she’s gone, she’s gone and I have no one left.
“Come on now, don’t talk like that chief. You have friends all around you, and if nothing more, you still have yourself. Let's get you home. You need some rest."
Drink with me, Bill. Let me drown my sorrows in booze.
"Drink to celebrate, never to drown your sorrows. Drinking won't solve anything right now."
Then what will?
“That depends entirely on you. No matter what you do you can never bring them back, but you shouldn't throw yourself away in despair.”
Bill, thank you for taking me this far, but please, leave.
“I’ll leave if you promise me that you won’t try anything stupid.”
“Chief, promise me.”
Alright, alright. I promise.
“And chief Dice never breaks his promises, right?”
“Good. Now I'll see you at work tomorrow. You need something to distract yourself, and I need someone to file out the paperwork.”
Couldn’t you give me some time to grieve?
“No can do, we’ve been lacking in terms of the number of bookworms at the office so you’ll have to take charge for a while.”
I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see nothing but Ma’s face. I try to focus on something else but her image always flashes back. It reminds me how much of a pathetic son I’ve been. I could have been there for her, but I wasn't. None of this would have happened had I just taken the time to be with her. My God, this night won’t end. Staring down the clock is of no help either. Seconds feel like hours, and hours feel like lifetimes. The night just does not want to end.