Many of my blogging friends are writing about love scenes and here I am, writing about dust. I wouldn't blame you if you hit exit. Get me the hell out of here! But I wish you'd stay. Sometimes I don't feel like writing about love. Oh, I like nothing better than a good love scene, the warm calloused hand sliding over the knee, under the skirt, oh, God! don't stop! and I like writing them as much as reading them. It gives me that funny feeling in the groin just thinking about it, but sometimes I have to write about what makes me sick.
Hospitals make me sick. The sterile maze of hallway, doors opened to bare backs on beds, the indignity of disease, how it diminishes and reduces one to zero. The gift shops all have the same trinkets and flowers and get-well balloons. Get well. Get well. But what if they won't let you go home? Then how do you get well? I suppose it's the smell that starts the quiver in my belly, the oh-I'm-going-to-be-sick twinge in my gut. I'm not much use in a hospital, other than to sneak in cookies and date bread (real food) books and newspapers, but even when you pull the curtain you can still hear the roommate groaning. I can't adjust a pillow without glancing at the monitor and staring at the squiggly life lines and all those fluctuating numbers, and I think I have a heart problem or a lung disorder or what if that little bump on my ankle that when rubbed sends tingles into my toes is not benign? What if it gets bigger? Why can't I make an appointment? I so admire nurses and caretakers and doctors and everyone who works in a hospital. My sister held hearts in the operating room, the warm center of gravity in the palms of her hands without moving for however long it took to disconnect and reconnect and suction and suture. She retired early but not without varicose veins. All that standing. I stand most of the day too, but I could never do what she did.
The door swings empty. Dust settles.
Even a feather obeys gravity.
The old lady stumbles but she recovers.
I hurt therefore I am.
When you crossed the hospital lobby
Did you think to escape
With only shaking hands?
Pick up your feet.
Make a wrong turn and you could come up missing,
Walking back at yourself with the look of another.
in elongated mirrors hung in corners.
Grandma couldn’t without the ventilator,
hissing and pumping a nasal gurgle.
(Did I dream that noise?)
The incident, unforeseen, took her down
one day before she was to come home,
one from which she could not recover.
It’s raining again at the window bed,
Steady as the pocket watch ticking
from where no one can see it.
It paces us through gathering events.
In a place like this . . . the only time I ever saw
my father down.
Out of time. And when was it ours?
Sometimes we can’t go home but would it matter
if we don’t recover?
We get along. Dust settles.