I’m unsure how to feel this sort of pain anymore.
Maybe the anti-depressants have done good work and paid their rent in my satisfied mind.
I’m still on a comfortable walk from Where I’ve Been to Where I’m Going,
but today I sit on a fence between worlds.
I see her lay on the emergency room bed; my dear friend, so unlike herself.
I know what she’ll say before she says it.
I know the fears and dead ends she runs into in her mind.
But I can only sit on the fence and watch angry doctors and nurses, sick of such disease and malcontent, and push and lift, and stay then leave.
I come somehow, slowly alive on the fear; this hospital fear, it bubbles like the Tar Pits and no one thinks too hard about it except those who can feel the dull ache and constant itch that circulates a disease like this.
I know the truth, so I say it in every way. I cry, I hold back. I am equal parts nagging and commonplace; I’m the prop in this room. And I’m okay with that.
I know the end. I’ve seen it.
These ends? They’re always around the corner for me, too.
But now I watch her bitten fingers clamp around me and clamor for the wrong kind of love; the right kind we in the room give to her is still unheard.
I miss her. I miss her so very much. She isn’t there; I need to retreat to save myself. To save all the ones who have sat on the fence for me. To those who listened to my excuses and little thoughts. I can only sit and hold her hand and tell her again and again how she is loved; I don’t want her to die. She says she doesn’t want to, either.
But soon she is discharged and says her insides are failing. And we have that look I’ve given to others. When you live so entwined with your end, it’s only familiar. The unknown under our feet, swinging on the fence.
Watching the Ferris Wheel. We could have watched from above.
But here is where we are now. The fence is where I leave them, somewhere between floor one and two of the parking lot of Kaiser Permanente off Venice. Somewhere there.