Entry Forty-nine: Save Me, Black Jesus

[A story in many parts: Part One of Thirteen]

With all of the technological genius swirling around the world today couldn’t they have figured out a way to build a heart monitor with a mute button? Don’t they realize how hard it is to get any rest with the constant beeping every single hour of the day and night? Annoying doesn’t come close to describing what the damn thing does to me. On a rare, good day I can ignore it, but mostly it’s a constant pinging in my brain that echoes through my insides like fingernails on a chalkboard. I will definitely have to add that to my list of things to deal with when I come out of this. And, oh, the list is long, my friend. It is so long. I hate, hate, hate that Hector was right when he kept telling me I should slow down every now and then and recharge, try to see what I might be missing while I sprinted through life. I used to laugh at him and go on some rant about living life to the fullest or some other selfish jabber and he’d shake his head but let it slide. He was good like that. But now, being forced to slow down--hell, I’m practically at a dead stop--has been good for me. Made me much more aware of stuff around me. It’s given me a chance to check out my surroundings, which, unfortunately right now, is pretty much next to nothing. Ceiling tiles and the ever-present, funky, eye-watering hospital smell. I guess I’m lucky Hector’s a better man than me because he’s done very little gloating the few times he’s stopped by to see me. I can’t say I’d be as kind.

Some days I hate the visits. My concept of time is all shot to hell so it’s always a surprise when someone all of a sudden appears in my room, carrying flowers, cards or balloons--I hate the balloons, by the way—sporting a forced smile and spouting every hospital clichĂ© in the book. “You look good.” “How’s the food?” Whatever. Eve’s been my most consistent visitor, naturally. She doesn’t have a lot of choice, seeing as she’s married to me. At least she’s still taking the “sickness and health” part of the marriage vows seriously and holding up her end of the deal. In a way I’m doing the same thing. Hell, in order for it to kick in one of us had to be sick. It sucks that it’s me but there was always a 50/50 chance. I’m not sure if the situation were reversed I’d of stuck it out this long but most days I’m glad she has. There’re times, though, I want to scream at her to leave and get on with her day, quit wasting her time. It’s during those visits that her happy, clappy attitude and faked cheeriness are so annoying. The way she holds my hand and rubs the top of it while talking to me can drive me crazy. I want to yell “Stop it! Let go of me! It’s not doing any good!” but if I did that she’d be hurt and it’d probably make her think twice about showing up the other days I need her here. So I suffer through it. In silence.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

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