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20 April 2011


The Longer Route Home (Part 2)

Weby Rayla Noel

Stunned

You won't believe this but now I'm committed I've got to say.

Last night, half awake half asleep - moonlight bright silver all over my floor - I had this dream. Maya, my friend at the hospital...Maya, beautiful and dying, was getting better. ESR was dropping, everything everything everything they said was never going to happen began to happen. Right there in front of my eyes, with fast-forward madness; her hair was growing back and fit like a wooly skull cap. She looked stunning. Stunning!

I know I'm being repetitive but it's hard to be coherent here. Maya was supposed to meet with a few of us...discuss...details...

Jed, for instance. The Kids. The sister in Tibet. The house with the bougainvillea spilling over that low bamboo gate no one remembered to fix. The cemetery. There I said it.

I hate that word. Not a word anyone loves, I am sure, but having Maya talk about 'plots' as if she were at the tailors and worrying about the location of darts maddened me to the extent I had wanted to slap her.

Then last night this dream. Something about Aloe Vera treatments; there were three nurses; a doc smiling so much over charts; Maya getting into old jeans sizes too large, barely held up her characteristic red leather belt...

Here's the thing I cannot understand. This is April right? The dream was somewhere before Christmas - dont ask me where I got that. Maya was walking out of the door with her 'not so faithful' Jed. They looked happy and as I jumped out of that dream I wished there was a pool nearby so I could totally dislocate.

Its terrifying to lose your friend like that. If you haven't be glad. If you have, well you're getting this better than I'm saying here. Hope, and hope deferred, are crazed elements, intrusive and, more often than not, idiotic. Yes I mean that; people who've had to walk away from certain types of situations would understand. You begin to crave Wisdom and absence of feelings. You hunger and thirst after normalcy. Boredom. Anything, even gossip, bad weather, your favourite dress murdered at the dry cleaners...anything. Not this!

Not her. But then you allow goodbyes to begin. The pranks with "Mama Matahari" and those bright green stilletoes Maya wore to bed that night when they were coming to test more veins. Chief of Nursing "Matahari"* did the unthinkable. She had broken into hysterical laughter. It had been 4am.

(*Exaggeration. The lady in question had a job to do and she was quite exotic looking for Chief of Nurse. At least 5'11", pale blue tinted glasses, a severe well oiled top knot pouffing chief's blue-white nurse cap - but that day with the stilletoes she changed.)

I wasn't in the mood to be fooled by nocturnal images. Sweet grief what were dreams anyway? I mean Freud and Lang and everybody backwards, forwards and sideways. What was the final Analysis? Was there one?

I have never slammed feet so hard out the front door; there was a rage building within. If I didn't watch it I'd jam the elevator button or something closer. Why didn't life hit you like a tsunami? No time for warnings and appointments. Dreams and death wishes. Maya was writing letters to everyone and, heaven help me, I'd be the one to deliver.

I was mad at her and in a way felt for her Jed. The misery of hospitals and shrinking conversations. Her eyes brilliant with gratitude for one more day lived...but you wanted to ask her permission to be still for one day. Stop talking about the 'inner man' and 'spirit life'; she was so into those things these days. I missed the girl I once knew. The hurried visits and movies; oh, everything.

I took the long walk again to the Hospital. Last night had been chilly; the mist was lifting slowly. If you were driving you'd crawl. I was grateful for the 15 mins it took to reach the front gate, and the next 19 mins if you walked very slowly up.

The Dream stalked me. It had footsteps and was getting a voice. Voices. Maya's and Jed's...walking out with her bags and her falling down jeans and so so close to him. He had shaved his head too, "Chemo- mates" he was laughing, his low deep throated laugh, like all was blinkin' well again and forgiven. Hey how could you un-stink a dead rat?

What was I thinking?! Now watch this.

When I walked in there this morning, there they were...the two of them. Jed, his head shaved. I must have gawked or slightly screamed; Jed laughed his low deep throated laugh and said, "Chemo-mates! Hey how do I look Karin?"

Now you can add 2 and 2 and make it something but there was a packet on her white table to the right; they read Aloe Vera. Underneath was a brochure the size of the Telephone Directory. And flowers. Great gulps of them. I'm using words I've never even thought of before and dont you ask me why - I am not up to explanations...forgive me.

"Hey you look like you just saw a ghost Kay!" Her voice would begin to melt me and I started to lock her out. Mentally that is. Just that you could not resist Maya for long. "Kay. Kay. Kay I had a dream last night!"

Every kind of spider in the Tarantulan empire began to climb up my ankle, shin, hamstrings, torso and the little spaces of the spine...way, way up to where the cranium curls.

"I was wearing those black jeans again and my old leather belt, Kay, walking out the door with Jed. It was christmas. Dont ask me how I know. I just knew it...oh Kay! I couldn't get a wink of sleep after that. Then Jed walks in and..."

The two of them crushed together so, so close, it was hard to look away. A picture of Faith and Hope. Love and Need. Life and Death. The good the bad the ugly all dissolving into one volume...healing.

You can say anything you like to this. I don't know what to make of it but tonight I am getting her those black jeans, red leather belt and whatever it takes to make a dream come true.

Hope. It was sitting there on it's sweet haunches and staring right at us. Which made me one willing thing. Her prisoner. Prisoner of Hope.

Don't know much; just willing to find out.

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