| Tuesday, June 27, 2006
| One, II
|Marnie slumps back into a tired, restless trance. He thinks she's asleep, doesn't dare move.
Her watch tells him he has 15 minutes left.
The blue coat across the hall slides off the chair, and the legs appear, attached to a body in the doorway across the hall. Nik raises his eyes up her body to her face. She's tired. He can see she's as tired as he is. Bone weary, sick of waiting, sick of doctors and nurses and wires and clocks and waiting, always waiting for something to finally happen.
Vigils for the dead (or dying) suck the life out of everyone.
She's tall, and awkward. She bends over a lot to avoid things, slumps to not seem so tall next to men. She spends her life changing, adjusting. She ducks under the doorway, and finally sees him across the hall.
For a minute, they know each other. She doesn't have to say "My husband, my child, my lover, my friend, is dying, and there isn't a goddammed thing I can do." She doesn't have to say " I just want them to die already, so I can get on with the business of my life." She doesn't have to say, "I'll never, ever be the same ever again."
She brushes her dark hair from her face, smiles weakly, and strides away. Nik starts to stand, thinks better of it, starting at Marnie.
5 more minutes. Will she know? Will she notice if he goes now?
He grabs his coat, kisses her lightly, murmuring the things he knows he should say. Does she hear? Her eyes seem to flutter open for a moment, and she sighs, but that could just be the morphine. He pulls his hand down the side of her face, like he's trying to hold on. The he darts out the door.
Blue is standing at the nurses station. She turns and sees him, smiles.
"My husband." she says briefly.
'My wife" he replies.
Silently, the walk out of the building, and into the night.
|posted by thordora @ 7:51 AM
| Sunday, June 25, 2006
|It won't hurt.
She promised it wouldn't. In fact, she stressed the syllables until they almost came apart, sweating over every single one of them.
"It. Will. Not. Hurt."
She fucking lied.
Does she think he's so stupid, to believe this? Does she think that he can't see what's going on, does she think he doesn't see her fists as she balls them up so she won't cry. Like fuck it won't hurt.
And what can he do? He can sit there, useless, motionless, quiet, unsure. If he moves, will that disturb the fragile accord she's reached with sleep? What if she wakes up?
Shit. What if she doesn't wake up.
Looking across, he can see into another room, thru yet another septic green doorway. There's a rough blue coat tossed on the chair, hurriedly. A leg and part of an ass leans over the end of the bed. He stares back at his wife quickly. Surely it's written somewhere that you can't stare at another woman's can while your wife is lying there, dying.
"Slowly dying." he mutters. Very, very slowly.
He pulls his arm up to stare at the watch she gave him for their first Christmas. It's a piece of shit, truth be told, but she was so proud of it. Watches meant something to her, reminded her of a slower tagewhen people were impressed by those who could afford to keep time. Like time was something you put in your pocket and forgot about for days on end.
The straps were fraying, and the knob threatening to fall off. None of this battery crap for her, oh no. Only a wind up for her man.
She's an anacronism, and she knows it. Half heartedly, he thinks that's what is really killing her, that cancer is just code word for luddite. The partof him that he doesn't keep in his pocket has seen what the doctors have said.
So many big words for "No use. No hope left."
It's almost 9pm. He can go home soon, go home to an empty house, an empty life. A life he's almost relieved to start over with. If she'll let him.
Her eyes fly open and her hands flail for the morphine button. She gasps.
"Marnie....Marnie let me. Marnie please, what's wrong? What can I do?"
She holds onto it like air. She can't press it enough, and he knows it's not enough. The nurses stop just short of that delicious dose that would help, the shot that would kill her. He hopes she doesn't know they've done this. It would be a bigger insult than the diaper pad they leave under her "just in case"
Just in case they don't have the time, and don't think she can make it to the bathroom. They leave her to sit in her own filth, knowing she's still alive enough to feel that burning humiliation all to clearly.
He holds out for her hand, she touches it, lightly, she's like paper. He's heard so many people say that, but he never really believed it until now. She really is like paper, like an origami crane, unfolding, waiting. Her eyes meet his.
"Ok, so it hurts. I lied."
"You want some water?"
"I want some crack actually." She starts to laugh, but hasn't the energy. Her eyes bore into his.
"Let me ask the nurses. I'm sure they have something on hand that would do the trick."
He doesn't actually move, as they both know there's nothing left. They sit in silence. He can hear the ticking from her silly watch, marking the seconds. How many more seconds did they have like this?
"I'm going to haunt you, just so we're clear." she mutters.
"What? Why in hell would you do that?"
"So I can watch you having sex, that's why. Cause now you'll be nervous about that forever." She grinned slightly.
"I'll make sure I don't shave my ass, just for you then."
They're quiet some more, holding on to eachother without a touch, beyond hands. He's afraid to hold her anymore than he is. She might leave right then.
"I wanted kids Nik, so we're clear. I did, just..."
"I know. Really, you would have been fine, we would have figured it all out. Hell, we put that entertainment center together that time, so why wouldn't we.."
Cutting him off, she says "It was a girl Nik. A little, purple girl. They let me hold her, what was her for a few minutes."
He starts to rise, then sits again. "You never told me. Why did you never tell me?"
"She was mine more than she was ever yours. I wanted to keep it that way I guess. It was my body that killed her after all, so it only seemed fair."
Nik slumps back in the chair, and stares at the blue coat across the hall.
|posted by thordora @ 4:41 PM