Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hospital III or The Invisible City of the Wait

I walked her to the operating room in my arms. The sedation made her body heavier, denser, more like muscle moving through deep water: uncoordinated, sleepy. When I handed her over she reached her tiny arms up for me. My body snapped. And then, the long nervy wait for her release from that room, the place we were not allowed to follow her.

Then, for us, life in the Invisible City of the Wait. It is a place where time can only be time. It does not pass. It does not stretch. It sits upon the clocks, choking them, smothering all life out of the moving hands, the numbered faces.

You pass through a world of seaweed, kelp forests of jangly nerves, deepest underwater fears, clingy hopes and darkness. You cannot tread in these waters. There is no footing either. All senses are sharpened points. Every sound could be news. Every person could bring word. Every sight is hope of report.

But the answers cannot come. They cannot swim. Somewhere on a foreign beach, past the twisted morass you are locked in, they are baking on a beach, bleached by the sun, taking their place amongst the shells, the driftwood, the matte shards of sea glass.

In the Invisible City of the Wait you drown, choke, are clogged, wrapped up in your fear, your desperate need for your child to be alright. But they don't know this. Because while you are trying to breathe, to fight to the surface, to see the sun again through the blackened filament of panic, you appear to all others to be "holding up well" perhaps a little "nervous." You drink coffee, you pace, smile at the nurses solicitously. There may be magazines involved. Because in the end remember, this city is invisible...


TUC said...

You describe so well that dark yet invisible other world... with its crushing power.

I hope there is some sunlight for you soon.

Little Terry said...

Also invisible are the ways your words affect others.

Robert Penn Warren wrote about the spider web effect in 'All the King's Men' and I think of that when I read your posts. That perhaps your thoughts ripple out to comfort and teach others.

anahita said...

How are you and Willa?

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

I remember those waiting rooms, and the invisible walls that rise between you and the other families. You are all waiting for the surgeon, some folks with more patience, some wound more tightly, some just - blank.

Our hospital keeps a nurse in a little glass cubicle, just off the waiting room. She was the one who made eye contact with you, and she was the lifeline: her phone rang directly from the OR, and told you what was happening.

But she was the only one who made eye contact in that room of scared, - and yes, invisible - people.