5 years ago
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
“You have 15 minutes.”
I stepped past the hate in her voice into the dim room, registering the withdrawal of flowers, of cards, of warmth, of all things personal, of any sign of life. There was a cannula taped to the bloated, babified head, but the morphine pump had drifted away from the bed, also withdrawn. I could hear the thing in the bed moaning intermittently, feel the angry heat that pulsated from it’s undead skin. I heard the oxygen sucking sssshhht of the door sealing behind me, sensed the prim little woman standing against it in a nurse’s uniform, there to guard the thing in the bed, to protect it from me.
I felt scarabs cracking beneath my feet as I approached the center of the room. I felt nothing as I spoke the words of absolution: dry and empty and not there. I stroked the hot swollen forehead, heard everything I did not feel in my voice.
My mind skipped to another room, a small hurt thing lying in a similar bed, confined to an oxygen tent, screaming at the plastic walls crawling with spiders.
I don’t remember stepping past the hate, past the dozen pairs of eyes filled variously with suspicion, contempt or pity, stumbling through bright corridors, emerging somewhere, emerging away.
I left that room. I left both of those rooms. But what was inside came with me.