To Quiet Mornings
Awareness shifts from past to future to present. It is up to you to choose where it stays.
It is early. The sky is a mustard yellow, a reflection of the pre sunrise dawn in the low hanging clouds. It is silent except for the sound of the melting ice falling onto the snow outside. Not quite a crashing sound, more of a muffled thump on the lightest level.
Occasionally a snow plow passes. The metal of its blade scrapes the pavement in a harsh metallic scream in my sleep. It is a sharp contrast to the electricity of the air. It smells like snow. It feels like snow.
We lie in bed. Turning and pulling the sheets from each other without even thinking. She is lost in her dreams. I am lost in my waking. We are lost together somewhere between here and there. A place between wakefulness and dreams, each place a reality for the one who is in it.
In the back of my mind floats the idea of them feeding a long tube up my femoral artery, up past my heart. It twists and turns until they reach the tumor sitting on my brain stem. The doctors close of the vessels with small dabs of glue that feed it forever. They will both starve the tumor and reduce the chances of a messy operation in March.
It is surreal to think of the silent winter outside and the silence of the operating room. The natural silence of the snow interrupted by the scraping of the streets. The unnatural silence of the ICU interrupted by the clicks and beeps of the machines as they work to keep me asleep and alive.
I am not here and not there but somewhere in between. As now I will float as they work on me in an almost meditative way. They are methodical, mindful and minute. It is a place where minutes stretch to hours, and hours collapse to minutes; all depending on the vantage point you are participating from.
None of this seems real. Not the snow, not the surgery waiting in the wings.
Let me be present and it all goes away. I smile. I spell the word S-L-E-E-P over and over again until I actualize them into REM.
Today it will snow. That is all I need to know for now. The rest is the idle gossip of a 40,000 year old brain. And it can wait…