Thursday, February 7, 2013
I want to ask them
What's it like to be old and afraid like this (if you are in fact afraid I apologize if I am leaping to conclusions because you look like it, you have this terrified look on your face, a face with a caved in gash where a mouth should be and black horrifying eyes, like they are trying to leap out of your head, to escape somewhere) in a mechanized complexly caterpillared hospital bed and are you worried that everything you thought was true until now you are starting to doubt and maybe it's not true it's all a comforting lie or delusion and you worry you dont have the energy or zest or whatever you call it life force to find something else, lunge forward, seek, seeking, think of something else, latch onto something else there's always time, like the way you used to think when you were younger and full of spirit and confidence and limitless possibilities, or are you just tired and you don't care anymore and that's what happens (physiologically, evolutionarily as a solution to existential angst) when you start to actually d.i.e. and oh my god what if that's what really happens you just get tired and burn out stop grinding stop burning for answers and reasons, you just stop. Are you sad. Are you angry, disillusioned? Are you cranky lying there alone and half nude because you are dwelling internally on the possibility that this is the end and it's like I'm not even here you're not even really there disembodied sort of like floating above and everything irrelevant and distracting. Dont be afraid I would say if you asked. But I dont really know, do I? What am I, some sort of Christ doppelganger? I have nothing to offer anymore. You know better. You look at me like I am a robin pecking the grass in spring. A waterfall. Tree branches soughing in a June breeze. Inanimate. If you want to talk about it now. Talk to me. I am here going through the motions of listening to your heart and mindlessly ripping off gauze and cloth tape and performing and I am a doctor it is important, from an identity perspective, that I play this role while you lie here and I have done all I can and the numbers look bad and I do not know a rale from a rhonchi, definitionally, but whatever it is that I hear is no good and the nurses have stopped paying attention to you I want to say I am sorry and when I try to hold your hand it is like dry leaves and limp and I have lost you. If only you would say one thing. Talk to me one last time.