This was to be the evening when I told you about my acting possibilities down the road. I had lots of say but I’m too weak. I woke up this morning with a deep cough, wracking myself in a high-pitched squeal as I tried to get the mucus up. Once, I was having trouble breathing. I was scared. In the summer of 2013, Jody had continual pneumonia symptoms. It turned out that it wasn’t an infection. It was cancer.
In Emergency today, the doctor told me I don’t have pneumonia … just bronchitis. No sign of cancer. Thank God.
Tonight it’s all about coughing spasms, chills and fever. I feel like poop. But I want to see if I can write anything of value. It’s fine to say good stuff when I’m well. This, right now, is the test.
How do I treat people when I’m suffering? I got some clue about that today at the hospital. The triage nurse asked me what colour the mucus was, after I had told him. So let it go, Bruce. Not important. I answered him with no editorial comment.
After triage was the registration desk, and then finding a seat in the waiting room. I had my mask on. I chose to sit right next to a fellow, rather than two seats down. Was that being irresponsible? I don’t think so. In life, I simply want to move towards people rather than away from them. Could my presence right next door be a benefit to him? I say yes. In any event, my decision came from a good intention – to contribute rather than infect.
Earlier, in the triage seats, I talked to a woman who had been admitted to the hospital for a few days and then was sent home. Back again. We had a good time. Eventually I was sent to a smaller waiting room, hopefully to see a doctor soon. And there was the same woman, with two empty seats to her right. I saw her nudge her coat over, to allow me full space next to her. Inexplicably to me, I sat down two seats away. Immediately, I felt the contraction. Distance is not what I’m up to in life, so I moved over beside her. That felt good, and right, and what the planet needs. We talked some more. And I knew that I had already forgiven myself completely.
A half hour later, I was alone in that room, when a fellow ambled in. I wanted to make contact, so I said: “You just missed the hors d’oeuvres. A woman came by a few minutes ago.” He smiled.
A few minutes after that, two women dropped their paperwork at the window and took a seat. “It seems that they’re serving us in alphabetical order.” Two smiles. Missions accomplished.
I’m happy, and sick. Nothing special. Just me.