William Arthur Delaney
Rigor Mortis

William Arthur Delaney - Rigor Mortis

William Delaney is a native Californian who graduated from UCLA. He has worked in insurance, advertising, real estate, and other… Read more »

Rigor Mortis

William Arthur Delaney

I opened the door and called, “Ken?”

He always left it unlocked. He was too weak and past caring. Not that he had many visitors. In the short time he had lived in our building he had antagonized everybody. He thought he was better than they were. He had been an accomplished pianist and had consorted with famous people.

He did have a few callers—visiting nurses, social welfare workers, volunteers from Meals on Wheels, and a man from the pharmacy who brought medications Ken rarely took as directed. There were pills on the floor, pills on his bed, and unopened plastic vials all over. An old man’s legacy: pills and bills.

I was his only regular visitor. In a building full of old people, we all needed at least one friend who would make sure we were still alive. Otherwise, a man or woman could lie dead until somebody complained about the smell in the hallway.

Once again I called, “Ken?”

I knew what I was going to see. I didn’t want to see it, but now there was no turning back.

He was sitting on a wooden chair with one forearm on the dinette table. His chin was touching… Read more »