…and so it goes

“You’ve got cirrhosis, sir..”

And life crashed into

A wall like an egg on a tile floor

….and just as messy.

My emotions shook themselves awake and said:

“Hey! Let’s find those covers man!

Let’s get you cocooned ok?”

It’ll be fun!…

Life is all nice and grey and shitty now!’”

And so it began,

I thought the world had become a cliff;

The rocks below so close…and beckoning;

And the world around me was a robe of darkness

Days of endless blood tests,

Scopes, bad hospital sheets

which never stayed on…

and learning that sleep

Is an illusion;

Not only in the hospital,

But when you’re home

And alone

And scared shitless

And the dark is your friend

Over the next

Seemingly endless weeks

And months

I spent life there—

In stasis and limbo

Trying to just put a foot on the floor…

Or see anything left to life

And too weak and full of despair

To even keep trying…

Then, during the midst

If yet another stay in

Happyville Hospital,

someone spoke to me

Through that shroud…

A little nurse that I could

Fit in my pocket and carry away…

“I know this sucks”’ she said

As she took my blood

For the thousandth time;

“But if you decide it’s over,

And you just curl up

And you listen to your own bullshit

Then your deciding you’re

Not worth anything…but you are..

To me…” and she smiled.

It was a smile from a stranger

That burst through the night

And, as I looked at my

Bruised and track marked

Arms and hands and remembered

The endless sticks and pokes;

As I felt my throat and windpipe

Ache like I swallowed glass

After the varices had been tied off;

I smiled too.

I smiled because she held that tracked up hand

I smiled because she agreed my pillow was shit

I smiled because she fixed my sheets

I smiled because she snuck me popsicles…

(When no one was looking)

And I smiled because one human being

Made me feel, for just a moment,

Through all the nausea and pain

And through all the shame and guilt

That I injected myself with as I beat myself

To smithereens over my past choices…

Through all the bullshit that comes with

Drinking a gallon of chalk water

To sit on the toilet for 8 hours

In prep for yet another scope;

Through all the indignity and self hate

She smiled me back into the world.

For the first time in endless days

She got me on my feet,

My massive weight causing her to buckle

But showed her strength that showed

She could bear the burden

of even the most lost Of souls;

And we shambled down the hall

… into life again.

I went in and out of the hospital

For the next three months;

And when I ended up back in hell—

There she would be again and

I would ask who was on duty

and then count the shifts and hours

Until my miniature Hercules

Would appear;

And found myself wanting the

Windows up and enduring hospital TV

(Which has made me want to stick

A fork slowly through my eye sockets) ..

And wanting to go home once more

…And to be alive again.

Over those weeks and months,

She would burst into the room each day

With a really stupid joke

And with her arm already beckoning

For my walk

And a “what the hell are you waiting for?”

Flying from her mouth.

Then, one day,

In what would become

The last time I would end up staying —

she came in…

No joke.

No arm.

Half a smile.

And raised the window in silence.

I rallied to say something to help

As something was clearly off;

To try and rise to her rescue

As she had risen to mine;

And asked what she was going through.

She smiled again —-faintly

And with down trod eyes

And said “you’ve been doing great

.. but You’re going home today;

And I have to find someone else

To tell bad jokes to

And to walk with

And to fight for

And to bring into the light”

This time,

My arm beckoned …

My healing body bore her body

As we walked that one last lap

Around the Nurses station

and the parking lot windows;

And I told her a really bad joke;

All in my best “southern dummy” accent—

She burst into laughter and let me go…

And I walked by myself

And realized she had given me new wings

She knew it too…

she just hadn’t told me..

On purpose.

I looked at her as finished my

Last walk

To head back into my world again

And I began to soar

And she turned away and

took the arm of a new baby bird…

I heard her walk into her new baby bird’s room and I heard:

“Well what the hell are you waiting for?”

….but this time I knew it was still for me

And began a new flight to life, and fighting back again.

Angels live


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