Dec 29, 2006

you're flicking people off

This is good.

I don't know how it is possible that you are as lucid and up to tricks as you are (considering what you went through less than twenty four hours ago).


Tom without a voice.

A little buzzed.

Trying to get at your tubes and bandages.

Taking my hand and kissing it as if to apologize.

A broad sweeping aplogy.

For this. For everything.

It's ok.

I love you.

Six weeks minimum.


Can you stand it?

The fact that you can't will be meaningful in your progress.

You are a fighter.

I've heard it a million times. I've said it a million times.

You mouthed it a couple of days ago. Get me out of here.

We're working on it, baby.

That's the thing.

You will live to tell the tale.

Dec 27, 2006

it is what it is

An infection in the brain.

This was not supposed to happen.

None of this was supposed to happen.

A standing date.

I wait for five o clock.

I get there and the process begins.

Wait in line
Get a pass
Walk to ICU
Wait to see if ICU will let me in
Get into ICU
Wait to see if you are available
Go into your room


I hold your hand

I talk to others

Things to remember

Things to know

I look into your eyes

I tell you that you're doing great

I kiss your hand

I wait

To be alone with you

I undo your restraints

You kiss me - I kiss you
I tell you things

You are ok

I look into your eye

I love you

I'm so lucky that I met you

You are the best thing that has ever happened to me

I hold your hand

I tell you everything is alright

You are healing

This is temporary

I love you

Until you fall asleep

And you look at me with your one big open eye.

Or you write me strange poetry.

The beginning of one idea - the end of another.

I keep these pieces of paper close to me.

Sometimes at work I study your bank photo ID.

I lifted it from your wallet. Sorry.

It's mine now.

I try to read your lips. I try to comfort you.

You comfort me.

You touch my face. You try to put your finger up my nose.

It was probably glitter. There is always glitter on my nose from my work.

There are a lot of wires at my work. I get aound them to style my merchandise.

There are a lot of wires at the hospital, too.

Brain infection.

As it turns out - metal doesn't respond to antibiotics.


I want it out.

I met you on a weird day.


Yours are so beautiful.

Arms. Your arms.

You know what's happened to me - what has happend to you?

This was not what I expected.

This was exactly what was expected.

I knew.

You knew.

Shocking - wrong - devastating.

Understood - accepted - prepared for.

We talked about this. We talked about this alot.

We talked about this too much.

You meant to protect me.

Get home safely.

Get home safely.



A well lit alley. The way people manage through.

You laugh.

You smile.

You smiled tonight.

Dec 22, 2006

you have something to say

Of the list of things that are healing, that need to heal, that will heal (that is, will begin the process of healing - with or without medical attention - because the body has it's own agenda) withdrawl steps in line.

They put it on hold.

Yes. It will wait. But not for long.

So you cough and shake. And it exhausts you.

The cigarettes that I dug out of your clothes? Don't worry. I smoked them.

It was for the best.

The El pass? I haven't smoked that yet. I'll keep it for you. That and a few others things.

You're awake and talking.

This came as a surprise on Wednesday.

No sound comes from your lips. But you're talking. You've got so much to say.

The best conversation I've had in weeks is the one I had with you today.

All eyes.

Handsome you. How do you do it?

Your eyes. Your smile. Your pissed off mood. Your silent laugh. Your incredulousness.

You roll your eyes.

You give me your hand.

You say things. You're amused. You're frustrated.

I hear you.

Sometimes I manage to read your lips.

hey, baby

somebody told me

I want

not cold




I love you


this thing is

So I brought over the page of phrases from the speech therapist. So that you could point to a box and say what you need to say.

Things like:

I am humgry.

I am in pain.

I love you.

I handed it to you. You took it from my hand and positioned it so that you could read it.

You looked at it for a very long time.

I pointed to the alphabet at the bottom. You could spell it out. Like a message on a Ouija board. Take your time. I'm listening.

Yes. You understood. You studied it.

Finally you pointed to the letter J. You looked at me to make certain that I got that.

That was J.

Yes. Got it. J.

Satisfied that I understood, you handed the alphabet back to me. That was it. You were done.


So I went to get a pen and paper. I put the pen in your hand and got the paper just where you wanted it. I told you to take your time.

You held the pen at the paper for a while.

Then I ran to my bag to get a felt tip. Brilliant. That would be better. I switched the pens.

I got the paper back in position.

The pen was in your hand. You were deffinitely holding the pen. The pad of paper was right. You proceeded to put the pen onto the paper.

And you held it there as you concentrated.

A blot started to form.

But then you started to move the pen. It was a struggle. But a shape started to form. A sort of C shape.

You paused. Thinking about the next thing to write. I said nothing. This was good. A good idea on my part. For once. I had an idea.

I felt really good about the whole thing.

You would now be able to say something. Anything. And I would be able to "read" it. What you have to say. And this would relieve you of all that you have to say.

And I was all ears. I didn't dare speak or move or break the spell.

I was so glad.

I looked at the paper. Focused all of my attention on the paper. You did, too.

And it might take time. But I was all in. I was ready. For whatever you had to say. Seriously it could be anything.

You drew a sort of C shape and handed the paper back to me.

C shape.

You waited to see what I thought.

I told you it was good.

You nodded in agreement.

Yes. It was good.

Dec 9, 2006

sometimes I realize that I don't know what I'm doing

This happens regularly.

It happens at work.

I'll pause for a moment too long, and realize that I have no idea what I am doing.

A box will be brought over to me.

A box that contains a turtle crafted out of a kitchen sponge, a small plastic Easter basket, three pieces of construction paper (each carefully sandwiched between non-acid cardboard and labeled: MOCK UP! suggesting that no actual construction paper could be spared at this time, that something terrible must have happened in the world of construction paper, that a team of mock-up specialists had to be called in to create a facsimile, that meetings were held, probably "frantic" meetings, maybe even "speaker phone" meetings), and a bottle of glue (a real bottle of glue, I checked).

You get the picture.

These items somehow make sense.

But it was never explained to me. And as I talked to people (about the items in this box), it became clear that it was never explained to anyone. And every box is like this.

So, if I don't allow myself to think, these items will be arranged in a "logical" way for the purpose of commercial photography.

But, if I think (at all) about the relationship between the sponge, the basket, the paper, and the glue - I might balk.

Not all the time, but some of the time.

Same goes when I wake up, that is, "snap out of it". My little cloud suddenly dissipates and I realize I have no idea what I'm doing.

In life.

This seems to happen a lot while on the train. Or while in line at the grocery store.

Even while arranging cheese on a platter. I proceed rotely. At first. Certain, somehow, that I know just how to arrange six or seven (disparate yet complimentary) cheeses.

But when I'm done, and I step back (away from the cheese) and I really see it for what it is (that is, cheese), I know immediately that it isn't working.

No. It's not even close to what I saw in my mind.

So, I walk away for a while. Then come back. To take another look and somehow it's gotten worse. The cheese is not attractive, but merely functional. And nothing (I mean nothing) about it looks like the cheese I've seen on platters in the past.

This is not what I had to set out to do with the cheese.

How did this happen? This applies to every facet of my life.

The bottom line - not thinking (ever) is the key to maintaining the idea that I DO know what I'm doing.

And, yes, I have talked to other people about this.

They all said the same thing. That they, "..definitely do know what they were doing. All of the time".

And I asked at least ten people.