I started this blog with the sole intention of it being all flash fiction, prose, and poetry (or something resembling poetry), but I’m in a very strange place filled with very strange emotions. And, well, what good is a blog if I can’t get super raw, personal and real at least once?
I’m in the ICU next to my comatose father, typing this on my phone which I’m not supposed to have in here. I’m by myself at the moment so that my mother and sister can maybe get a moment of sleep. They were here all night last night, when it all first happened. I live 4 hours away, so I wasn’t here when he fell.
I don’t mind taking the night shift tonight. Especially since he’ll be dead sometime tomorrow.
I know you should never say never and all that, but it would be beyond a miracle if he ever woke up. Permanent brain damage starts to happen after 5 minutes without oxygen. He went without oxygen for an hour.
So my dad is alive, but he’s gone. His heart is beating. He is breathing. But my father isn’t here anymore.
And as its all unfolded, the drama and the tension, I’ve just been fluctuating between this weird mode of not-quite-acceptance of the situation and crushing despair. There’s no real room for grieving yet because he’s not technically dead, but at the same time he has a breathing tube down his throat, his pupils aren’t dilating or responding to light, and there’s no brain activity. It’s a ‘we won’t know for sure until the morning’ situation, technically, but it’s really not. I keep periodically and preemptively losing my shit, waiting for him to officially die. It’s been this way all day. There’s still at least 12 more hours of this to go.
Anyway, I hope you all don’t think I’m writing this because I want sympathy and attention. I actually hate all of that, I haven’t personally told anyone because what can anyone else do? Hearing that my dad is in your prayers does nothing for me, sorry. The gesture is nice and all, but an onslaught of such texts or comments or whatever wouldn’t make someone like me feel better. I’m more of an emotional turtle. I prefer to hide in a shell and deal with this shit on my own whenever possible.
It’s a tendency I got from my dad.
No, I’m dumping all of this on here because this blog is, in its own way, a bit of an abstract diary for me. All of my posts generally relate to what I was going through at the time. I look back at them sometimes and think, ‘oh yeah, I remember writing that in Prospect Park when I was living with my friend Elizabeth in Broklyn, and the weather was perfect’, or ‘that post was right after I found out we’d be leaving New York to move to Indiana’.
Well, I didn’t want to make up some fucking story for this. There isn’t any metaphorical language that could possibly encompass how I feel, sitting here in the ICU. I didn’t want to romaticize it with some more digestible narrative.
This is real and it is horrible. I’m alone in a room with the empty, breathing body of what used to be my father, wondering why I let a job I don’t like stop me from coming home for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, knowing that it’s over and yet being unable to just let that last little flickering light of hope go out because his heart is still beating.
This sucks. This sucks, this sucks, this sucks.
There’s still at least 12 hours to go.