This is the room, I could describe it at length, even ad nauseum if I cared to which I do not, where I stay when I stay here at the hospital. The windows you see over there, they look like doors or nearly so because they used to be doors and pushed out out onto the fourth-floor balcony.
For the tuberculosis patients who stayed here.
This is an old hospital by Houston standards, by building standards, by health standards, and I secretly suspect, not without reasons, I have my reasons, some of the shadows to be originals. And o sure, you’re right, I admit it, coming in here to visit me (and thank you, thank you, of course, as always), you passed through and I’ll even say traversed entire new wings decked out in art deco or betraying bends from the nineteen sixties.
I saw those, too. Fleetingly I saw those, as I was leaving to go back home in May. My father pushed my wheelchair through a hall of tiny brown tiles. But I do not spend my time here in public entry ways and I do not get chemo in the waiting room. This is where I sleep when I sleep inside the hospital and here, something atavistic rumbles through.
I make the most of it. My time here. I’m finding music on my phone – Pere Ubu’s new one’s great. I’m renting movies from amazon – The Eternal, Hereditary, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I’m telling jokes. I’m making calls. I’m doing frivolous things. And despite the eye and the legs and the nurses and the tubes, it would be easy, no, not easy, that’s not right, it would be possible to at least pretend and it is easy to forget, sometimes, for a moment, at any rate, just why it is I’m here.
Sunbathing in reflections off Cthlulu’s big old eye.
But a doctor comes to the door now, an oncologist, almost in my way, really, what with all the things I’m busy with here and I take my ear buds out of my ears to give her a listen. Lots of flipping of papers and something about contrast MRI results and new spots and “your brain.”
I remember why it is I’m here, now I do, and I’ve been a million miles from contrast MRI results and new spots and “your brain”.
This ain’t a party after all. I scrunch myself down into old shadows.