That was a tough time. It seemed to have no end. I didn’t know how to get away. The reason why people commit suicide/take their own life… the reason why science hasn’t (yet) fully taken the place of religion.
Science saved my life, 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. Can you answer these questions? Can you tell me why I feel the way I do?
We rushed downstairs, Gogo bleeding in my arms. My roommate Mike was jerking on in his room. He has a car. He didn’t expect anyone to open his door.
“We have to go to the hospital.
“Don’t you knock?”
Gogo bleeding and her eyes going back in her head.
“We need to go the hospital now right now.”
The night is quiet at least. 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. Gogo’s eyes flutter open and then closed with each burst of light that flashes past the window. Her head rolls back against my arm. I hold her shoulders and put my forehead against hers.
“Faster, faster, faster.”
Mike is cursing under his breath. He rubs his thigh nervous with the hand he doesn’t use to drive. Cars will drive themselves soon. But people will still get nervous. I look down at Gogo and it looks like she is smiling, but I know that’s just from the way her head is laying against my shoulder, her chin tilted forward, her eyes closed long eyelashes dark and low. The lights shooting past the window. Mike’s foot heavy on the gas. The rattle of the engine.
“Faster, faster, faster…”
And then we’re there. Here. The hospital looking like Moloch mouth open the doors open wide and for a second I don’t want to let her go when the stretcher arrives and the doctor pushes his white coat in front of me and starts asking questions I don’t know the answers to.
It takes twelve hours. No. It takes seventeen hours before we know anything.
Gogo’s little sister Poppy is sitting with her legs dangling over the side of the plastic waiting room chairs. Her parents look old and lost. Her parents are old and lost. Poppy looks at me and smiles. The lights are bright. We wait. We wait and look at the floor. People come and go. People laugh, smile, cry. The waiting 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.
Poppy looks at the lights on the ceiling.
Poppy looks at me.
I didn’t know where I was but I didn’t care. I could hear unfamiliar sounds all around me. I remember thinking the whole world seemed unfamiliar. It still does.
(But like Frank says, if we fly the world will have no end)
I put it down on paper, all of it, so I can learn from it later. Or someone else can. But I never know if I’m the writer, or the words on the page.