Sunday, September 12

I need to talk to someone who can't hear me.

September 12, 2080.

It’s funny how we pretend that life is never going to throw us off track. Every time I pull a shift in the ER, I see red, wet results of random car crashes. I help stabilize a kid who fell out of a tree onto something sharp and metal. I see endless examples of life’s random cruelty. But do I ever think to myself "today something unexpected and painful will happen to you, Hannah." No, of course not. It hasn't for a long time. Well, until tonight that is. Tonight I came back from a twelve hour shift intent on sleeping for a thousand years. I was going to lounge around in bed until kingdom come!

That is, until my doorbell rang. I could have – should have – ignored it, but there’s always the fear: what if it’s something important? This time it was important and I still wish I had ignored it. But I didn’t, and there he was back again, standing in my doorway. Huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf.

I wanted to say “Do you remember me yelling at you two years ago? Do you feel anything at all? You didn’t even try to apologize afterwards; you just disappeared into your world of talk show suck ups and endless product endorsement checks.” But it’s hard to yell at someone who can hardly standu p straight. He’d jumped feet first into one of his drinking binges again and could hardly stand. I could have just told him to go away. I could have slammed the door and let him die in a gutter.Two years ago I might have been angry enough to do that but the doctor instincts kicked in and I just turned and let him stumble in.

He’s passed out on my bed now as I type this on my Dad’s old journal software that can’t seem to get the years right anymore. He is motionless “Like a patient etherized upon a table.” (Thanks, Dad. I never can look at an unconsious patient without thinking that.) Even when he’s asleep he can’t help but act like those arms are weighing him down and dragging him underwater.

I hope he’s gone when I wake up. I don’t want to yell at him anymore. I don’t want him to tell me I’m his safe harbor. I haven’t been that for him in two years. I can’t go back to that.