Wednesday, July 27, 2011

la lune

Swallowing down a burning taste of cancer and cringing from a rusty throat. Two plastic tubes dangle from a hole just above the heart without use and panels of several IV lines stretch out from the neck. An itch on the tip of the nose reveals what feels like a wire hanger unbent and then shoved into the right nostril and down through the back of the throat and on into the stomach. On the other end, another tube runs from the hanger into a bag hooked to the side of the bed. The bag is beige with a chunky viscous. The left arm is wrapped tight in bloody gauze and is throbbing to escape. The chest is trapped underneath a weight of monitors and tightly wound bandages making breath difficult to draw in. Wires and tubes strap the body down from all corners of the plastic bed, which somehow are keeping track of proof of life on one of the boxes with lights on the periphery of the room.

“A little drumming boy
Is beating in my chest”

Lights flash and scream out alarms, while feeble beeps come and go or jab at an annoying constant rate without consequence. A television shows a blurry figure dancing to the hum of quiet static in front of the moon from above. It is the only distraction from the various intense aches and stabbing stings taunting every second.

“Is this a competition?
I’m definitely winning
Because two by two
They came through
And one in every one
Fits a million”

Is this an experiment or simply organized torture? Is this worth a potential extension of life, or is it an extension of a nightmare? Choking down regret and questioning every decision and every move along the way. Is this all there is? Sensory deprivation is the only way to survive this moment and the moment after that. It is disorienting and disillusioning, but the only time that the pain is somewhat bearable. Maybe someday this will all end. In the meantime, it’s best to keep it all inside. Carry it to the grave. Pretend that everything will be alright and that it’s all worth the effort, while knowing that none of this matters. This is potentially how we could all find ourselves sooner or later.

“You keep on holding back
Can’t break it to yourself
That your life means nothing
But the fear’s making sense”

song lyrics: Sons and Daughters.


  1. First one I skipped to the comment before fully reading. I better finish it beofre commenting.

    Ok, well I finished it. I will read it again later. I hate hospitals more than any other place on earth. Paradoxically, if you will, I value people who dedicate their lives to the service of others very highly. I just wish they were so much better at it than they are, because even the most glorious science is just savage, savage shit when people you love are involved. Expecially when you yourself are involved. I don't write about that stuff. I don't have the guts.

    You are the strongest of them all, twiss

  2. Wil is right. You are the strongest. The absolutely un-self-pitying depiction here gives me chills.

  3. I'm sitting here wondering what it would be like for the caregivers to read this. I wonder if they would end up covered in goosebumps like me as your words slide across the screen.

    It's all I can do to take a deep breath and send it your way. Hope on wings, as it were.