At 5:53am this sunny winter morning a random human died. We didn’t bother getting a name because nobody seemed to care about the human prior to death, so we assumed that nobody would care a posteriori. A nurse at the hospital referred to the corpse with male pronouns, so we assume that the human was male. However, dead now, the human has become gender neutral, in so far as compost cannot be assigned gender in the English language. The French word for compost is masculine, both a noun and a verb. It is yet to be determined if this is relevant.
“The human was fairly old by most standards,” said gastroenterologist Dr. Locke, “qualifying as a senior in most western nations.”
A senior is a type of wealthy western human who, when they become even slightly difficult to care for due to age-related mental or physical instability, is placed into an expensive medium security prison that has many televisions and unarmed security personnel. The security personnel double as bad healthcare practitioners. By contrast, western humans who are not wealthy but reach the age of seniority are referred to as “welfare leaches” or “homeless.” This particular human senior had undergone a relatively successful hip replacement surgery in December of 2015, but during in-hospital recovery contracted an antibiotic resistant strain of the Clostridium difficile (C. dif.) bacterium. An array of antibiotics successfully annihilated the human’s appetite but was unsuccessful in treating the illness.
By all reports the human spent the last three weeks of life repeatedly, uncontrollably, and aggressively defecating on the furnishing that served as couch, bed, bathroom, and family. The nurses, understaffed in part because their society is unwilling to adequately tax the upper class, did their best to clean the human within an hour or two of each soiling. The catheter was changed on the same schedule.
“You know what they say,” reported a Nurse Henkleman. “Two excretions, one pair of latex gloves!”
Being unable to walk to the nearby bathroom or change into a new hospital gown, the bed sores that had developed along the human’s thighs, buttock, and back became infected thanks to the excrement, the human’s own own excrement, in which the human lay for days at a time.
According to the accounts of a patient in a nearby room, the slowly dying human was heard to cry out at regular intervals in English cultured by an Austrian or some other non-Anglophone kind of accent.
“Nurse, nurse, I need to be changed!” the human would say. “Nurse, I made a mess of myself again!”
The more foul-humoured nurses sardonically referred to the human as “Arnold” or “The Shiternator” when they were more than three feet away and out of earshot.
The human was also known to ask the time of those who passed in the hallway outside the room, noting their passing only by the sound of footsteps, or their wayward shadow. No one was permitted to enter the room due to the infectious nature of C. difficile, but some were able to provide the time. The human never asked the date. The hospital has record of only one visitor during this 6-week death throe, a social worker who briefly spoke to the human from outside the doorway of the room while wearing a surgical mask. The social worker declined to comment on the human’s death, following in line with an inability to comment on the human’s life.
“Confidentiality, etc.” the social worker confided to us.
The human’s fellow patient, mentioned above, who was undergoing treatment in a nearby room, commented: “He died as he lived, as most people live: writhing in a warm shallow bath of his own unhealthy shit. Now he has become fertilizer, has taken the great step towards achieving the immortality of the inorganic.”