Tuesday, April 01, 2008

fuck fear, and death, and illness

talked to nina last night. she's finally home from the hospital, where she spent a week and a half in ICU battling a pathogenic strain of streptococcus pyogenes, the same kind of bacterial infection that killed jim henson at 53. she's really weak and she lost a lot of muscle mass in those 10 days.

- it takes me forever to get from the bedroom to the bathroom, and by the time i get back i have to go again.
- that's a pretty extreme way of giving up smoking - i said. she snorted.

- yeah, that won't last long.

- neens... don't you think you should be setting an example for your patients?

- fiiiinnnn - she mocked me - they're the reason i smoke in the first place.

- still. just stay off 'em another week, see if it makes a difference. can you do that?

- can you stop talking to me like i'm 5? so anyway, my sister came to see me the second day i was in ICU. i was sliding in and out of things, but i would overhear the docs talking and i got the gist of what they were saying. when my sister walked in she did a double-take, because she didn't know i was intubated, and she got flustered and started patting me all over. like there were bits of me escaping and she could stop them, you know? then she asked if the doctors knew what was going on and since i couldn't talk i wrote down "s.pyogenes" and "jim henson" on my notepad.
she read the note, and then she said...
nina made a funny sound, like hiccups.

- she said "jim henson. oh."

more hiccups.
- then she said "did he come to see you? is he a friend of yours?"

- she didn't know who jim henson was?

- no. "did he come to see you?" yes, i wanted to say, and kermit was there with ms. piggy and animal the drummer... - nina fell into a fit of hic-ing which i then recognised as laughter which though feeble was welcome and terribly contagious. it was also an enormous release.
- heh heh heh - nina weezed, while i spiraled into a coughing fit.
- i told you not to make me laugh, you big jerk - i whined.

- cos that was really bad for you - she retorted.

a sudden thought occurred to me.

- hey, how's chloe?

- my sister took care of her and brought her back last night. since then she hasn't left my side. she does the bathroom trek and sits there looking at me while i'm on the crapper, and she's there at the side of the bed when i wake up. goddam dog. i think she's waiting for me to die so she can eat me. but, it's about time for another voyage of the good ship lollypoop.
- 'kay. love you neens. i'm glad you're okay.

- you and me both sweets. she hung up.

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