Maybe it was the morphine, maybe it was the rain.
One morning in August,2007 I woke up in a hospital room but I figured that was better than waking up on a cloud playing a harp. There was an angel in the room with me reminding me with her presence that I was still alive. We hadn't had much to talk about in our lives. Like millions of conversations between fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, lawyers and whores, hunters and the hunted, full of all the words Andy Gibb ever had, full of horseshit and fury, signifying only the meaninglessness of life.
Yet even though we had not had the music and the words. life did convey a flying scrap of reckless wonder from the beautiful heart of a daughter to the tattered heart of a lousy dad.
There are people I thought, not for the first time, there are people. And the beauty of it was you never knew who they would be. Old Friends, perfect strangers, even your own child, all might catch you in the wink of an eye, call your name like a train whistle in the night and guide you like an angel sitting on your shoulder. There are people I thought, and one of them was sitting in my hospital room working a cross word puzzle.
Time drifted by as it tends to do in hospitals, airports, train stations, whore houses, and slaughter houses. It drifted by like a hobo in the night, so slowly, so swiftly, so silently, that you almost forgot it was there: little minutes, little moments, little pieces of our lives we can never recapture, maybe not ever make right, but little pieces of our lives that no one is ever quite sure of what to do with. The present blends with the past and the faraway becomes suddenly very close to the heart and the lost and distant are suddenly near and dear and the pearly shells on the childhood beach are the bright, dead leaves in some old forgotten mans front yard.
When I came to again I wasn't sure if moments had passed or years. A Nurse was checking the IV fluids dripping into my arm. For the first time in what seemed ages my mind was clear and lucid. I knew who I was, where I was, and then it became the near blurry past and I lost clarity and watched it all disappear like a lover on a train. Now my room was filled with the forms of people I had known and loved in my life. Some I knew to be still alive, and some I knew to have long ago departed this busy station of mortal sadness.
"What are all these people doing in my room?" I asked
They are here because they loved you." answered someone.
"Oh," I said as I closed my eyes.
This is when I learned a great lesson of life and death. When you close your eyes the living disappear but the dead keep on living. So I traded all the ghosts of my past, all those dead and gone that I had loved and lost in the past, for my two daughters and a brother. It was a good trade, maybe not good enough to win the pennant, but it was a good trade non the less.
Unfortunately it looked like no one was going to punch my ticket to the Grateful Dead concert. My number wasn't up yet so I had to go on living whether I wanted to or not.
Reflecting back on the moment I don't think I really wanted to die. I just needed to get away from myself for a while. I mean I wouldn't have minded dying, and I will die someday, but I don't think my two kids know how much I really love them and frankly I didn't think I should go out with my last relationship being with a lesbian dance class instructor.
Is that a square light in the middle of darkness I see?
3 months ago