Friday, April 22, 2011

Doesn't remind me

They told me to write down my thoughts, my feelings, in hopes that it would jog my memory. So far, nothing. I have to wonder, though, why they keep using such an odd cliché. I keep picturing my memory as this over weight, hairy guy in a purple velour warmup suit with white pinstripes down the sides, getting ready for a jog but then tiring out and giving up, going back to the couch with a bowl of buttered popcorn to watch Oprah. That’s what I would do, but they say I have to try. 
It’s not that I have forgotten everything, just selected things. Even after people tell me things, I forgot some of the things they tell me. Names are hard. Sometimes faces, too. A nurse that said she’s been by five times still looks like a stranger to me. I wonder when I can get out. Maybe by going home I’ll be able to remember things again. That’s not an original thought; the doctor tells me that every day when he comes in to check up on me. Maybe I should ask him when I can go home, because it seems like he keeps asking me, and the one thing I haven’t forgot is that he is the doctor, not me. I do remember my name, but it’s my maiden name, not my married name, they tell me. I told them I didn’t realize that I was married. They laughed. I didn’t know why that was funny so I didn’t laugh. I looked down at my hands, but there were no rings. They took them off when I was brought in for treatment and have them locked away. They said I can have my rings and other jewelry back when I’m ready to leave. I was hoping to get everything back before. Maybe my wedding ring would help with my memory, but I doubted it. I mostly have to rely on things these people tell me. The people. There were two types: one: the ones who work at the hospital and two: the ones who say they are family and friends. I have no choice but to believe them. 

  But then there are things that I just can’t forget. I wish I could. Like the look on my face, the dullness of my eyes-it’s all there, starting at me from the pretend mirror I try not to look into. I close my eyes and I see the circles that dig in beneath my eyes, the frown of my mouth, the lifelessness of my skin. I wonder what the hell is going on, but I never get an answer. I wonder if today is the day that I will feel normal, will act normal, actually be normal, but it is not. The day never comes. The day, I believe, does not exist. I’m wasting my breath, wasting my mind if I think it will change. Nothing ever changes. Nothing ever will. Why delude myself into something I know will never happen. Any glimmer of hope has been snuffed years ago, more directly, the moment I was born. Sometimes I think that I was bred for unhappiness, that aliens have sent me here to study the unimaginable properties of sadness. It is, after all, the only emotion with which I have an intimate relationship. The others need not apply. There is no room in my heart for happiness, it is expelled immediately. But I do this to myself, don’t I? Without realizing it, without recognizing it. Butted heads with another brick wall that I forget is there, the shame is all mine. The blame is all mine, the fault is all mine. I know this and have accepted it. Yet, no one but me believes me…

Friday, April 8, 2011

Going Home

Liam finally found me, lying on the gravesite I had bought for myself two years ago. I had everything ready, the gravestone in a light grey, engraved and decorated. The only thing that was missing was the year of my death and, well, me. 
I lay on the small bit of land, staring up at the sky, the clouds gently wafting past, the leaves rustling in the light breeze. The day was beautiful, but I couldn’t help think about the day I would rest here forever. It was a beautiful place, with many interesting neighbors. I knew instantly that I was going to like it here. About three years ago I came to this cemetery for a funeral of a co-worker. I didn’t know her that well, but I went to pay my respects along with Sue and Julie from the office. I ended up going for a walk in the gravestone garden and felt so at ease; so at home. I found an open space in an older part of the cemetery and it took a lot of saving and sacrifice, a lot of coupons, a lot of going without, and a lot of financial planning just to own my very own 8x5 foot spot of land. I truly believe that it was worth it. The gravestone was just added, a sort of birthday present to myself. 
“Hey there!” he called to me as he passed Victoria Hunt, 1932-1967. I smiled at him. He is so handsome. Brown hair, fashionably styled in the “I don’t care how I look” look, wide smile, bright blue eyes. I sighed. And he’s all mine, I thought to myself. He carefully stepped around Ben Harbinger, 1929-1984, and sat down by my feet. 

“You OK?” he asked. 

I tried not to tear up, but squeaked out a pathetic, “Yes.” 

He patted my bare feet and gave me sympathetic smile. He didn’t say anything. I took a hard swallow and slowly sat up. I curled my feet under my legs and started to pick at the grass. Liam didn’t move. He has been so sweet to me, trying to be understanding of my situation, but he has no idea what I am feeling right now. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For You Blue

For You Blue
Jules jumped off the Main Street Bridge this morning. I’m not sure if it was because of the problems she had in her life that she was tired of trying to handle or if it was mine. 
She plunged down about 14 feet into the still frozen waters, crashing through the ice in a thin spot near one of the piles of the bridge. It wasn’t the fall that killed her, it was the entrapment under the ice that killed her; drowned her, but she knew it would. She was counting on it. She knew that she would be trapped under the ice, but she also knew that the ice wasn’t very thick anymore in this late time of February, and if she really wanted to, that is, if she would somehow at the last minute change her mind, she could have easily busted through and try for one last chance at grasping for the air just above. But she didn’t. 
She was found about 2 miles down the river, under the ice, clear as a window to the darkness below; she was face up, eyes open, as if to watch her own soul float upward towards the heavens, if that was the way she chose to go. The coldness of the water tightened her skin, making her look years younger, giving her this beautiful blue hue on her cheeks and lips that we always tried to attain when we would go out to the Goth clubs in college. Her hair floated slowly around her, but she remained still and peaceful, so beautiful. I knew she was dead, but as I looked at her threw the looking glass, I couldn’t help to be extremely jealous. The scene surrounding the river was beautiful; bare, brown trees whose branches caught some of the snow from the other night, fresh white sparkling, undisturbed snow caked onto the ground, clear blue sky reflected on the clear ice. Small tufts of clouds littered here and there. The sun made everything illuminated, even the shadows were crisp and defined. The sun made her eyes sparkle like obsidian. I wish that we wouldn’t have to disturbed her. I wish we could have let her stay in her frozen grave, forever to be beautiful, forever to be young and forever to be romanticized by lunatics like me. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

We met on a train traveling from Milwaukee to Chicago. The Hiawatha train I was told. We fell in love instantly. At least that was what my sister said. I don't know. I can't remember. I can't remember anything about him, my husband, or of our life together. I stare at his plastic face, lifeless, secrets forever kept. He lays in the casket, this stranger. His face is unfamiliar to me. I only know what these people tell me. They tell me that we were in love, that our wedding was beautiful, that he was taken too soon. They also tell me that I must be so sad. I'm not, but I don't tell them that.

They all know I was in the car with him and that he died while I suffered a severe head injury, hence the memory loss. They all know this, yet they seem to forget. I'm only out of the hospital to attend the funeral. I told the doctors that I didn't want to go, but they insisted. They said that maybe something will job my memory. So far, nothing has. One of the nurses at the hospital added in a low mumble that going to your husband's funeral is something that a wife should do. I don't think she meant for me to hear her, but I did. I wonder if it's really me with the memory problem. Perhaps she doesn't know what's it like to suddenly wake up and not know who you are, who these people are that come to visit you every day, to find out that you were married to someone who is now dead and not have any idea who that person was or what kind of life you had with him. Maybe that's why she says things like that, forgetting that I have forgotten everything.

There is a man across the room that keeps staring at me. My sister, I still forget her name though she's told me several times, says that he was one of my husband's grad students. I'm not sure what she means but the man who greeted us is about to speak, and I do know that it's rude to talk while someone is speaking.