All I Had Left
Dusk was coming on. Outside the shadows had grown very long. Her single blind was pulled creating a late evening look about the room. Giving off a warm soft yellow glow that only an incandescent bulb can cast, most of the illumination came from a small lamp resting on a table near her bed. While a few night lights splash small puddles of light on the flat white walls.
She had been given her evening pills and gone to the bathroom. Wanting to be buried under many covers for the room had become chilled to her from the air conditioning, she quietly rested. First just laying on her back, knees up. After awhile she closed her eyes and rolled over upon her side.
We hadn't talk to much during the hour or so I was there. Increasingly it was becoming harder to carry on a conversation. Lately she was having more trouble then usual recalling words. That just added to her overall frustration. On top of that was the fact she could no longer remember what she did throughout the day. Where do you go when you ask, "so what did you do today?" Only to get a response of "nothing" but knowing full well that was not the case.
Of course that really didn't matter. The point was for the time I was there, she was usually happy. Sometimes scared and nervous. When she was like that, after awhile she would calm down, becoming glad I was there. Some might think it had become a waste of time at this point in her progression to visit. I disagree. No longer did it matter what kind of time we would have together, for it is the only kind of time we would forever have. One day even this time would end. Then what kind of time will I have? The kind where you talk to a stone, I guess.
As she very lightly begin to sleep, I decide to leave and head back home. Until recently I would call her on the days I didn't visit. Now with communicating failing, these calls had become an exercise in frustration. Thinking it best for all involved, I stopped calling. I wished that was still an opinion even knowing the call would be almost identical to the last 100. Again that didn't matter. Having only visits now, I wouldn't miss them for the world. It is all I had left.
My phone had been playing music lightly in the background. I grab it. I call to her, she opens her eyes and turned toward me. I tell her not let the bed bugs bite and good night. She smiles. She seems to accept that I'm leaving , but I know it is the drugs calming her. I get a little kiss and give a hug. I leave the small lamp on. We exchanged a few more words. Then I close the door to her world, all 311 square foot of it all in her rectangular room. I quietly walk away.
Doug Thornhill (dct)