March 21, 2012 § 6 Comments
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.
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.