Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Quiet Room

In the quiet room there is the sound of the oxygen pump and Mark mistakes it for the pattern of Eddy's breathing and worries it is slowing down. We stand around Eddy's bed and pet him, his chest and legs, and his head. Occasionally Mark pets his cheek. At first we don't know what to say and the nurses are there swabbing out his mouth and turning him in the bed and then realizing they need to change his gown that is wet with sweat they ask us to step out and we do. In the common area there is a dog lingering between the water dispenser and an open office and a man comes out and goes in and the dog changes from bored to attentive and then back to bored. People wheel by in wheelchairs wearing socks with grippy pads. Some people sit listening to music, some people just stare. A woman I saw crying at one of the many dining tables one day is today folding clothes, over and over. We go back into the quiet room and continue our petting and stroking and quiet weeping. We talk over Eddy and to Eddy and around Eddy and eventually we put on music and we all sit down and forget about Eddy and then we take turns looking over at him. From where I am sitting I can see his pulse in his neck expanding and contracting against the white white pillow. The lights are low in the quiet room and the decor makes it seem like you are in a cottage at the beach, in Greece. If you were on morphine this would all be believable. You could easily tune out the pumping sound of the oxygen and the sound of the fan and all the sounds coming from the front desk of this vast building filled with other afflicted humans who can no longer care for themselves. You could focus instead on the voices of the people you loved most in this world even if you had no ability to understand what anyone was saying, the pumping sound might register as waves lapping on a distant shore. No one asks questions about how long it will be until we arrive at the place we are all going and the day passes and we come and go from the quiet room, and later in the evening after we have all gone home, Eddy dies. And that is where we are now. This is the day that we knew was coming but we didn't know how and we didn't know when and yet here we are doing exactly what we knew we would need to do.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Long vs Short

The trouble with writing longer posts is that they take time which seems always to be in short supply. Shorter posts are like taking my pulse on any given day and if this blog is what I think it is, a record, then maybe there should be both types. Long thoughtful posts and short quippy ones. I won't sacrifice one for the other. What I worry about of course is that I will discover that I am only interesting in short bursts and when I have time to think about things more thoroughly the results will be akin to eating butterless day old toast. I suppose this is a risk I have to take. At any rate I am being a good girl and reading my book and knitting and going for walks and I have been dreaming like crazy and not waking up suddenly and suspecting I am dead. So that's something, and you heard it here first and it was efficient.
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