By Michael Levan

March 28, 2016


Trained by his body to wake now every two hours, he doesn’t much need her voice to tell him it’s time for more meds. So at first, when he stirs from his makeshift bed on their floor, he thinks she’s talking to him. He hears his name and fumbles through early-morning dark to her, expecting to ask for a sip of ginger ale, a mint, the next dose of Promethazine or Ondansetron—he’ll have to check the sheet to tell for certain which is next—but then she says, Oh yes, he’s right there with our son. He’s such a good boy; would you like to meet him? The man cannot make sense of this request or when she continues, I agree this bench is a great place to meet people. Do you have grandkids? He calls out to her, shakes her leg, but his voice and touch do nothing to shake off the Ambien. He thinks to raise his voice, make it sharper, or push her leg harder; maybe even give it a pinch. But to hear her now, her voice honeyed in the way people's are when they meet someone new they like, sweet in the way he hasn’t heard in weeks, he’d rather not end it. He lies back on the floor pillows he’s turned into a bed, pulls a blanket over him, and listens to her bedtime story until he’s fallen away again into sleep.


Image provided by Ben Seidelman via Flickr's Creative Commons licence

comments powered by Disqus « Back to Beautiful-Things

Newsletter Sign Up

shadow shadow