Searching the Obvious

Dixil Rodríguez

is a university professor and volunteer hospital chaplain living in Texas.

​Lifeline

I stand at the nurses’ station. My friend, Barbara, has already set aside a simple hazmat packet for me: I am more of a danger to the patient than the patient is to me.

“He asked specifically for you, said he knew you, and will not talk to anyone else.”

Taking the packet, I walk toward the chapel. I have to stop there first. Barbara follows, whispering details about the patient: late 20s, enlarged heart, organs failing. I say nothing.

I know him. He was a cruel student. He lied and complained about me. Anything he could do or invent to ruin my reputation, he did. He challenged the grade he earned, using racial …

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