I Should Not Have Rushed You Through the Rain by Linda Simoni-Wastila

At the hospital, we know the routine. I haul out my laptop, emailing students, writing papers no one reads. You stare at the same first page of the John Grisham you’ve carted here for weeks. An hour passes.  A nurse finally walks you to the bathroom to pee in a cup. Another hour. The phlebotomist ambles in and pricks your arm. Blood fills the tubes, purple and thick. Three hours. No doctor, no saline drip, no reassurances of ‘soon, soon’. On the way out for coffee, I blast the woman behind reception. I should realize when she says pharmacy hasn’t received orders to prep your erlotinib. But I don’t. I fume through the hospital lobby, paging the clinical trial coordinator, rescheduling lectures and exams, scowling at my watch.

When I return, the doc stands over you scrunched in the arm chair. He taps an x-ray and shakes his head. You push yourself up, using the armrests for leverage. It takes three tries, but at last you waver on your feet, hand extended. You thank him. The doctor leaves, not recognizing me when he passes, and you collapse. What looks like tears on your cheeks is sweat.

I wheel you down to valet parking. It’s late afternoon, the ride home will be hell. You reach back for my hand, squeeze it. A fine cool mist falls from the opaque sky and splatters crystals in your hair. You smile and try to say something, but the car arrives.

.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “I Should Not Have Rushed You Through the Rain by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. Tough story to read, Linda. One of those very real, very human moments caught up in words.

  2. Lou

    I am a prisoner of your writing. This is amazing and beautiful, and as always you build your emotion with those god-filled details.

  3. The last paragraph is so beautiful, rendered even more so coming on the heels of the bleakness I associate with hospitals (which you do so well). ‘A fine cool mist falls from the opaque sky and splatters crystals in your hair.’ is particularly gorgeous.

  4. The descriptions were clear and lovely. My favorite part was the crystals splattered in her hair.

  5. Thank you all for reading; I keep cycling around this day in poems and stories. I’ll finish it someday. Maybe. Peace…

    • That would make for a great piece, a collection of poetry and prose poems focused on a particular day.

      • I am actually pulling together a chapbook of sorts about this day and the 500 or so surrounding this day. Cheaper than therapy, and fewer side effects than meds. Peace…

        • Al McDermid

          Cheaper indeed. As Paul Fussell once said, ‘If I didn’t have writing, I’d be running down the street hurling grenades in people’s faces’ (or something close to that).

          Hope we’ll hear when the book is out?

  6. Kelly Grotke

    yes, you really do capture the bleakness, and the small movements of human suffering, made all the more poignant by the beauty of your title

  7. There was such a stark “hospital” reality here, so believable. But the last paragraph got me the most, it had such a beautiful poetry and feeling to it.

  8. Pingback: Week #19 – The Last Time « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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