He’s a funny guy!
They all tell him.
He can make a grave stone laugh.
When pressed, because it confuses him sometimes, they say it’s just a quality he has.
It serves him well, as his insides are turned into putrid mush and the pain grinds around his nerves like a steroid filled hamster in a bag full of carrots.
Especially at visiting time.
They come in packs of three or four to sit around his humming bed and laugh at him.
He offers them respite from their daily toil. A little light relief from the inevitable end.
Then, when they’re gone and he has only Mr Sullivan’s endless coughing to fill his tired ears, he ponders the darker questions.
With a silent tear or two.
After all, it can’t be bedside giggles about catheters every minute of the day.
He’ll save that for the audiences.