Can I live without him? Unfortunately, yes.
Will I want to? No. God, No.
I sit here and listen to the beep of the heart monitor. It used to be a most gall and wormwood noise before – when it was attached to someone else. It is the most wonderful sound in my world right now. For as long as I hear that sound, that beep, I know his heart still beats, and as his beats – so does mine. Because he is my heart and no one ever wants their warm heart to be attached to a frigid heart monitor. It was so touch and go in the beginning, he coded twice in the ER. The damage to him was that massive. And I sit here by his side, again in the fruitless mental exercise of how we got here.
My bike was showing its age; I didn’t trust it enough to participate in the upcoming Annual All City Cycle so he and I were at our favorite bike shop perusing for a new one. I was looking at a ridiculously expensive silver and carbon frameset when he called my name to check out a vintage apple red Schwinn that was on display near the showcase window facing the street. I turned just in time to see a car careening towards him at a rapid speed. A woman having a massive heart attack, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the window of the store. It was less than a heartbeat’s pause – just time for me to scream, not enough time at all for him to dive out of the way before the car jumped the curb, shattering glass panes and my world into a million fragments.
I have been here nearly every day and night for over three weeks now. Our assistant Margie has been such a godsend, showing her talents by holding down the fort at the office in a cinch, but I can see the strain is beginning to get to her. We will give her one hell of a raise once we are back at the office. I will feel so guilty if the business falls into a less lucrative position that what it was before all of this happened. However, its potential failure will not appease the guilt I will feel if he awakens and I am not here. I have only left his side to shower because it drives me more than halfway insane – the grimy feel of being in a sterile hospital 24/7, and yes, I appreciate the irony of it.
There is a difference between sympathy and empathy and you learn it at times like this. Most of our clients are sympathetic, but business is business – they want theirs taken care of, and logically, I understand that. Yet I take one look at him lying there and I could not possibly care less right now. One of our overseas clients, who had gone through what I’m going through now, sent over a nature sound machine. When I called to thank him and ask why, he says that he had used one when his wife was in a coma a few years back. He does not know if really worked, but what could it hurt, right? I checked with his doctors first, who also agreed it couldn’t hurt, so I have played different sounds over the past few days.
Tonight, to accompany the palinoia of the heart monitor, I chose wind and rain sounds as it reminded me of our last trip to the coast a few months back for a different race. A really great picture of us leading a pack of cyclists had made the papers and I pulled out the folded-up copy I always carry with me and grin. I remember the moment the shot was taken, the concentration on my face was less about the race and more about me not stopping to cuss him out yet again. That day had started out with rain and a three hour long argument, but ended with sun and our engagement.
Listening to the sounds and reminiscing, I fall into an exhausted sleep. I wake with him holding my hand.
Wait…he’s holding my hand…
I slowly move my hand to be sure and feel the grip tighten more.
My head pops up to see him smiling at me and I hear the raspiest, but most wonderful sound in three weeks, outside of the heart monitor.
“It’s about time you woke up.”
Apple, Frigid, Pane, Gall and Wormwood, Dive, Cinch, Halfway, Grime, Wind, Vintage, Palinoia, Pause
Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.
For this week, we are asked to seek inspiration in random places. What does that mean?
1st – Use the Wikipedia! Random Article button, and the article you get, is the title of your write, in my case Atriocaval Shunt.
2nd – Go to http://writingexercises.co.uk/random-image-generator.php, to receive a random image. Post this image and connect it with your written piece. I feel the Muses, especially Calliope, were being ridiculously generous to me when the bike race image came up. Thus the above story.