ICU: 08/02/2015

by G.T.

I need to write. Right now. Not only is it my only option – hospital room at two o’clock in the morning, my mother, father, and sister all snoring, so it’s best that I burn this energy occupying myself with something quiet and dark – I need to write.

Amanda, my father’s nurse, is busy on one of the computers outside of our room, my father’s room, 3-005. There’s a small window looking into the room, or looking out at Amanda; we’re facing each other. She’s doing actual work, preserving the well-being of my father, and perhaps other patients. When I left late in the evening, she had only one patient: Dad. And as for myself, I’m typing some mumbo jumbo, and when Amanda comes in and casually asks me what I’m doing, I can tell her that I’m writing a novel. I’m a writer, and it’s nowhere near your line of work, nowhere close to as essential and commendable, few people get enjoyment out of it, so I’m taking what I can get out of something I love yet have little time to devote myself to.

I believe Amanda gave my father a sponge bath yesterday morning. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat envious of him.

She left her post. I didn’t even notice. Ma says she was checking me out the other night. Probably the same night I checked her out. I’m always looking for beauty in the midst of sorrow and tragedy. Diamonds are born of such things, I’m sure.

For instance, I’m typing this atop a pizza box. Air-conditioning is billowing down on me from a narrow vent above me. One of my sister’s favorite programs, some dramatized true-life murder mystery, is droning to a room of a tired few, and me.

Amanda is back.

What a perfect morning to begin my novel. Back in Joliet, granted the circumstances could be better. Tucked in a corner of the intensive care unit at Saint Joe’s Hospital. My new paramour may or may not be catching glances at me in between my glances at her.

I’m such a mess. All I asked was how she was. She asked the same. We responded to each other, and I carefully sneaked in the room. I forgot to make an instant red-eye. An instant red-eye is a regular red-eye, however, it’s from the instant Folgers machine that spews out furtive streams of both coffee and espresso. It tastes alright. It fills the void that a pot of coffee would. I can fool myself if need be.

I bought a big bag of cherries at the only grocery store in Manhattan, Berkots. But I haven’t had a chance to eat them. Before heading back here this morning, I washed a few handfuls of them and brought them along with two plums, my Dad’s dentures, and a little tapioca pudding for him. I forgot how much the plums had cost, but the cherries were four bucks. I want to start buying fruits on a regular basis, but I can’t afford to waste them. I took the whole month of August off. My leave was approved to begin today, or Monday, or however it was planned according to my overnight schedule, but I approved it earlier when my father was hospitalized. I’ve got some dough to hold me and my family over, however, I’d like to treat myself to a new pair of Levi’s and some of those primo, ten dollar t-shirts at H&M. Again, I’m being a mess.