"The Good In All Of Humanity"
By Jonathan Urban
January 14/15, 2000
A selfish, inconsiderate man, robbed of the very virtues that make mankind what it is walked the streets grunting to himself. He had just lost a couple hundred in the stock market, his wife had left him months earlier, and his daughter would refuse to see him. He was alone and angry at the world.
Today's blame went to the greedy Jews on Wall Street, he thought seriously as to how things would have been if Hitler had gotten all of them. No--not even he was that cruel and inhumane. He paid the thought momentary witness, and then continued his internal tirade. His only consolation was knowing that when he arrived home, a bottle of Jack Daniels would be waiting on him. He could always count on that fact, and that--though temporary--gave him hope.
Robert Daniel Harris, was a man in his forties--though felt every bit of a man in his sixties. His hair was graying, to cover several deep creases in his forehead--no doubt from the constant frowning. In his mind, he had lost everything that meant a damn to him. But in actuality, he still had his health and the ability to make his life better. The only problem was if he had the will to make it better.
Robert arrived home after a long walk. He picked up the late edition of the newspaper and carried it inside. He laid it down next to his bottle of Jack, and he poured himself a drink to ease his pain. He flicked on the television and saw the late evening news--nothing inspirational there of course.
He flicked it off. All he could think of was his hatred for the Jews today, the Blacks yesterday, and the Asians last week. It was never one person, but an entire race that seemed to be blamed for all of his problems. He knew he acted and seemed despicable to everyone, yet the knowledge was not enough to make him see the error in his ways. Another bottle of Jack finished--no, not in one evening but throughout the week.
A knock at the door, a peep through the hole--another damn black. "What the hell is it?" Robert cursed.
"Please mister, my son...in the hallway...he's been...shot," the black man stuttered, out of breath. It was the black man that lived across the hall in 21D. He led the way to the small body of his son, lying against the wall. The dark hallway was small and decrepit, as was most of the apartment complex. Robert crouched down next to the boy and his father.
"Sir, I heard you were a doctor," the black man stated as if fact.
"I used to be, before my practice was closed," Robert paused--why was he telling this black all this. Was it not the other week, he was robbed at gunpoint by two black men. And now he was weighing in his mind whether or not to help one. He looked at the young boy's wound. It would surely kill him if Robert did not act.
"No, I can't--I'm not a licensed doctor anymore. Sorry," Robert walked away. The shouts of a loving father echoed down the hall, but Robert refused to hear them. All he could see were the images of disgust he had for them, who were they to bleed in his hall.
--Two Weeks Later--
The dream--no, nightmare--had haunted him every night since he had let that little boy die. It was his pure rage and hatred towards others of all races that had led him to the very lowest of morals a man could have. He let that boy die, a boy he could of saved--except hatred took control.
Wake up, it's time for another day. Robert shook himself awake, and went to wash up. In few more hours he would be at his consulting job at a chiropractor. The dream was gone and would not return again till he slept--he hoped it would never return. A quick bite of breakfast, followed by a few gulps of orange juice and Robert was off to work.
The drive to work was no different than usual, heavy traffic as far as the eyes could see. Crazy drivers passing and switching lanes--never content with their forward progress. He was nearly swiped, bastard he thought.
"What the hell..." He was saying as he felt the impact and then blacked out.
It was black, then gray--brighter as he strained his eyes. The brightness made him wince and gave him an excruciatingly painful headache. He felt bodies around him, figures moving about the room, tending to certain things. They became clearer by the moment. He immediately recognized his surroundings--he was in a recovery room of some sort in a hospital.
"Well, you look much better Mr. Harris. The transplant seems a success, you'll of course have to remain a few weeks for observation," The Doctor continued, but Robert's mind only echoed "transplant".
"Transplant?" Robert's voice cracked.
"Yes, the accident injured one of your kidneys, and it was vital that it be replaced. It usually takes a while and people are put on dialysis, while they wait. But it seems we have a fairly adequate supply of donor kidneys, got several in the past two weeks. You are now the owner of a young boy's kidney," The doctor smiled and walked away.
"What boy," Robert asked matter-of-factly.
"I'm not at liberty to give out donor information, but he was the victim of a gunshot wound...very, very sad, but happens way to often. He died about two weeks ago, now that I remember--his father was devastated by it. Rest Mr. Harris, you need to."
"Thanks Doctor, I feel like a new person--if you don't mind I'd like to make a phone call to my apartment building, to apartment 21D."