He turned his head slowly to the side, taking in his surroundings. A monitor beeped steadily just to his left, its green lines spiking in time with each beep as they ran across the screen.
At the periphery of his blurry vision, the old man noticed a black shadow dissipate through an open door, the door to his room…his room in the cardiac unit of Rahway Hospital.
The old man closed his eyes and let his head sink back on the soft pillow as people milled around him, checking his vital signs, asking him questions and talking in urgent whispers. One thing occurred to the old man; one thing dominated his thoughts as his hands feebly checked his chest, searching for that familiar rectangular lump usually found in the pocket of his favorite blue and green flannel--only to find his chest bare, except for sticky white electrodes that monitored his heart beat.
“Where’s my cigarettes?” he whispered his thought aloud, then chuckled before succumbing to the morphine drip and drifting off into a drug-induced slumber.
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