As Long As We Fly

As Long As We Fly

That was a tough time, and it seemed to have no end. I didn’t know how to get away and I didn’t think I could. The reason why people commit suicide/why they take their own life… the reason why science hasn’t (yet) fully taken the place of religion.

Science saved my life, you see, but it didn’t make me want to live.

It is questions, gnawing questions like Poppy on a chicken bone that keep me awake at night and then put me into deep sleeps I try and stay in forever. Wrapped in blankets. Wrapped tight around me like a burrito. That’s how Frank would say it. Say it to me.

“I’ll wrap you up like a burrito.”

Can he answer these questions? Can he tell me why I feel the way I do?

To the hospital

We rushed downstairs. Gogo is bleeding in my arms. My roommate Mike was jerking off/on in his room. He has a car. He didn’t expect anyone to open his door at that moment.

His face was red. “Don’t you…”

“We have to go to the hospital.

“Don’t you knock?”

Gogo bleeding and her eyes going back in her head turning white. The fan spinning reflecting in the sweat on her forehead.

I say and I have no time, “We need to go the hospital now right now.

The night is quiet at least. No one on the road, anywhere. One small blessing. Warm summers everyone up north at their cabins, sitting on lakes and drinking beer with fire and fire-roasted meat in front of them. No one on the street to get in our way. So far away. I tell Mike drive fast, faster, faster. Gogo’s eyes flutter open for a moment and then closed with each burst of light that flashes from streetlamps past the window. Her head rolls against my arm. I hold her shoulders and put my cheek against hers.

“Faster, faster, faster.”

Mike is cursing under his breath. He rubs his thigh nervous with the hand he doesn’t use to steer. Cars will drive themselves soon. But people will still get nervous. I look down at Gogo and it looks like she is smiling. I know that’s just from the way her head is laying against my shoulder with her chin tilted forward, her eyes closed long eyelashes dark and low like an anime character. Like a movie star because only a screen of that size would be big enough to hold her. Lights shooting past the window. Mike’s foot heavy on the gas. The rattle of the engine like popcorn accelerating through yellow lights turning red..

“Faster, Mike.”

“Going as fast as can be…”

And then we were there. The wide hospital like Moloch mouth open the doors open wide and for a second I don’t want to let her go/I don’t want to let her go when the stretcher arrives and the doctor pushes his white coat and cologne smell in front of me and starts asking questions I don’t really know the answers to.

It takes twelve hours. No.  It takes seventeen hours. It takes all night and all morning before we know anything.

I don’t sleep.

Gogo’s little sister Poppy is sitting with her legs dangling over the side of the plastic chairs we sit on in the lobby. The Waiting Room. The room to wait. Her parents look old and lost and tired. Her parents are old and lost and tired. Poppy looks at me and smiles. She has a dimple, one, on her left cheek. The lights are bright. We wait. We wait and look at the floor. People come and go. People laugh, cry. The room is busy like a restaurant but without anything to eat. Gogo’s mom drinks coffee from a paper cup. Gogo’s dad shakes and rubs his mustache with his fingers. They don’t look at me at all.

Poppy looks at the lights on the ceiling.

Poppy looks at me and smiles.

I didn’t know where I was but I didn’t care. I could hear unfamiliar sounds all around me. But I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything, just the warm blanket wrapped like a tortilla around me. I remember thinking the whole world seemed unfamiliar and I guess it still does. 

But like Frank says, “As long as we fly, the world will have no end.”

I put it down on paper, all of it, so I can learn from it later. I write about what I think. What I thought. And what I feel. I write it down so I can learn from it later, or someone else can. I have notebooks full of words, sitting on my shelf near the bed, writing with a pen I got from Walgreen’s. But I never know if I’m the writer, or the words on the page.

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As Long As We Fly