SHORT SHORT FICTION by Jane Genova
"Think of this as the last stop on Metro North - heading home, not to work." That's what the Manhattan public relations executive said to himself. He had to say it to himself several times before his hands stopped trembling.
But stop they did. His jolly roommate -who joked about the bucket list - did the rest to shift him into this new reality.
"My daughter brings the meanest chocolate chip walnut cookies you'll ever taste," the roommate gushed.
"A gusher." The man took the cookies and didn't dare use the power technique of freezing his face into a disapproving WASP look. He had worked very hard to insulate himself from gushers like those he had grown up with in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey. No, they're not good-natured, he had decided years ago. They're, well, simply gushers.
The next day two colleagues and an intern came to the hospice to visit him. The gusher siphoned off any awkwardness by sucking up all the oxygen. "Why not write a book about this," suggested the intern. "Like Art Buchwald," she added. He knew she would keep coming back, visiting him, the only one. Big heart, along with big boobs.
"Will that cutie take pity on two dying men?" the gusher asked.
"In college I did one of the those two girls things. I wonder what it would be be with two guys, one girl?"
The book was about two action heroes from Planet Neptune who get stranded in a hospice on earth by clerical error. Only they don't know it was a hospice or why so many pretty young things were putting out. Whenever they attempted to leave and move on with their planet wanderings some earnest folks would talk them out of it. Continually they transmitted messages back to Neptune about the unusually high death rate on earth.
The book was and remains a best-seller. The proceeds keep going to the gusher's daughter, the intern and scholarships for Jersey City residents who want careers in hospice care. The man's former wives fought the will, unsuccessfully.