October 11th, 2009

nanowrimo 2010

I remember

In response to the writing prompt: “area codes”

I Remember

I remember this kid, couldn't have been more than five, who was brought in my first day in the emergency room. He had tangled with a lawn mower somehow and his father had his severed arm packed in ice and his stump tied off with a tourniquet made from a cable tie. The doctor tried for an hour to re-attach that mangled hand and arm but the kid just gave it up. The father pounded his head against a glass door and nearly broke it.

A couple of years ago a woman came shrieking into the lobby, claiming demons were drinking her blood. Security grabbed her, and the intern on duty bundled her off to a psychologist under mild sedation. The psychologist sent her back asking us to remove the several dozen leeches from her back.

Sweet old Mrs. Bailley saw us about once a month just after her social security check came in. She used the cash to buy a bag of candy and then pigged out. Her blood sugar went through the roof every time and she got so sick she had to call 911. She did it every month. She got to be a regular. One of the orderlies got some flowers for her every time she came in. She even brought a little bag with her each time and showed us all her grand children, the new babies in the family, and told us all the gossip. Last month, the strain was too much. After we gave her the usual insulin and left her to rest, she just lay down and peacefully died. She didn't get to show her pictures this time.

Some guy with a crazed look ran in the front door, slammed past security carrying his twelve-year-old daughter shouting, "Code blue! Code blue!" He watches too many hospital shows on TV. They're just called a "code" around here. The girl was dead. The doctor examining her found traces of barbiturates and heroin. He also found signs of sexual activity. When he told the father she was dead and asked about sex and drugs, the guy pulled out a gun, put it in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. It took half an hour before he coded.

Sometimes I hate working here, in my area, codes are memories.

X-posted to louderprose
nanowrimo 2010

Weighted Down by Water x 2

Another fairly rare exercise in blank verse. I almost feel this should posted as prose.

Weighted Down By Water

When you read this I want you to think about me and about the wonderful times we've had.

Remember the time we went to Coney Island and those stupid hats we bought. We wore them all day long and you nearly cried when yours blew away on the way home.

Remember that old convertible we were driving when you lost your hat. The "road apple" we called it. We sold it for a hundred dollars to a kid that only had that much because he fell in love with the candy-apple paint job. It was his first car.

Singing in the shower is how I'll always remember you. You couldn't understand why I always laughed, but really, who sings songs from the "Animaniacs" in the shower? I mean "A quake... A quake ... The earth begins to shake!" Kiddy songs in the shower and torch songs in the twilight. That's you.

I know, I know. Don't even start about my habit of waving my hands while dancing. I can't help it. Remember that time you told me I looked like some CEO trying to manage a hostile take-over of an interpretive dance studio? How we laughed until we actually fell down?

Think of all those times and remember all that stuff. I will. I'll never forget them or any tiniest particle of you. Think of me like that, not in the bathtub surrounded by swirling pink and weighted down by water.



Weighted Down By Water Redux

Remember the cabin by the lake? How we used to skinny dip at dawn knowing we'd get caught by the fisherman down shore? How we'd laugh at his scowl and run without even a towel up to our cabin when he came paddling by, remember?

Remember the time you pushed me and I pulled you off the bow of the river boat that Sandy chartered for her wedding reception? Nobody believes us still when we talk about how we wound up swimming right in the middle of a school of dolphins. But we did.

We went to the park and spread out a picnic in the middle of a thunderstorm wearing slickers and galoshes and drank wine so thinned by the rain that it seemed like only water. Remember we got drunk anyway? God but you had a rotten cold afterward. I kept the electric blanket on your legs and massaged your feet every evening until you got well.


We ran into your parents at the public swimming pool that day when we told them we were studying. Remember how your father kept ducking me and got thrown out of the pool by that big valkyrie of a lifeguard?

All my memories of you are weighted down by water... and are all the more precious that I can pour them through my mind.

X-posted to louderpoetry