Two Andrews

March 21, 2012 § 6 Comments

1.
Once, I had to go to the emergency room – some weird upper stomach spasm or I was getting a hernia or something else that never happened to my body and couldn’t be explained by a memory.  It was new.

The person who did my intake told me there were 14 people in front of me to see a doctor.  It was 11:48 pm and I was tired and wanted to go home.  It’s strange how you can remember a certain time when you are in a certain place – the place, of course, where you have never been before.  A certain time exactly: 11:48.  My stomach wasn’t doing anything strange so I just left with my boyfriend and we took a gypsy cab down the 10 blocks or so back to where we live.

At one point, during my whatever-this-is attack, Andrew said it was like somebody was sticking a pin into my voodoo doll.  And it actually did feel like that.  But I didn’t think it was funny:  Andrew pointing to a doll of me.  I wanted support in that rough draft of something happening in a hospital and because he is funny, I got something else.  You always get something else with funny people:  the thing itself, which is what you share and the funny version, which is yours alone.  I wanted to judge Andrew but I realized that nobody really has any right to custom order the comfort just as long as its there.  I wanted Andrew to take the pain away or make me think of something else and instead he put his hand on the pain to listen to it as I was listening to it.

2.  
I love to lie in bed and watch TV late at night.  And no matter what my living situation has been – and they have been as varied as the television manufacturers – there has been a television across from me when I am bed-horizontal.

I remember happiness when I was lying in the unhappy hospital having my appendix out when I was a kid and my stepfather (in an uncharacteristic stroke of generosity) actually rented a television for me to watch in my room.  The television was so high in the corner that when it wasn’t on I imagined that it must have been filming me sleep walking with my dreams.

What happens with the television now is that I lie with Andrew while it’s on and he goes to sleep and I go back and forth from whatever show I am watching to softly pushing on Andrew so that he’ll stop snoring.

It used to make me lonely:  him, the beloved, falling away and me still very awake, involved in a story, a guest host, an old movie – moving through time projected from inside a screen to find something that will make me unthink softly softer into sleep.  But now it’s pleasurable:  my little world of shows in the dark.  And turning to real life every now and then to watch Andrew sleep.  It is such a distinct and total departure from the self to watch somebody sleep that it almost feels religious.  And I always resist the urge to wake him up by letting Andrew enter my mind for the last time.

§ 6 Responses to Two Andrews

  • “It is such a distinct and total departure from the self to watch somebody sleep that it almost feels religious.” YES! I’ve been mulling this Marilyn Monroe poem for months, the one where she describes watching Arthur Miller sleep, and have been trying to find a way to use that to finish a poem I’ve been writing about watching my partner sleep. I think you just turned the key with that sentence!

  • So much beautiful language here. Such a complete portrait of Andrew and you and your relationship.

    Lines that struck me on impact —

    “or something else that never happened to my body and couldn’t be explained by a memory. It was new.”

    “instead he put his hand on the pain to listen to it as I was listening to it.”

    “It is such a distinct and total departure from the self to watch somebody sleep that it almost feels religious.”

  • Thanx, Judy… and for following….

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