As Life Would Have It
I wont be dying today.
As life would have it, as if by some magical intervention, life has an ongoing plan for me that often does not fit my own idea of a certain reality.
It is cold in this room, this hospital unit. The ringing in my ears is intense as the call for “…Eileen to acute, Luke to acute” arrives muffled, through foam hospital grade earplugs.
My forefinger numb typing letter by letter, my index cradled in a blood oxygen reader connected to its machine parent. The air conditioner plays cold air over my forearms and face. Six dots connected to six cables tell the nurse I am alive over here in this blue curtained cubicle.
Today turning into tonight seeps back out into a winter sky, empty of birds. The TV screen looks at me blankly, silent. The oxygen mask hangs limp waiting its turn to shine.
So it comes to be I explained to the pastoral care worker on his rounds, picking through hopeful lost souls-needing-redemption, that the hospital policy on ‘religion’ needed updating. More room to write ‘Existentialist Humanist’ on their intake triage form.
Last night, clutching my chest and mumbling my birthdate I staggered in through swinging doors to a neon nightmare. Incessant electronic beeps designed to ensure cold comfort matches the many warmed meals on wheels.
Transgender teen, tshirt ripped and slurring “…fuck you all” is manacled to the bed opposite. Proceeds to spit foul fury as her gel haircut falls over blood red eyes.
Baby on the left cackles through croop cough. Mother mania howls at the moon hard right every ten minutes like a rooster lost of a perch in night light.
As the plastic arm cuff swells to within a barely audible gasp on my arm I lay exhausted. Reflecting on two days of torment from a hospital stay prior I gather my wits.
Yes they did pick me up in an ambulance. Yes, I was administered the wrong medication and yes, as if in shock, I mumble to myself that it did almost kill me.
As the memories cascade like a waterfall heavy with volume a stillness descends and clarity shines through. This is just another magic moment.
A mere fragment of a life lived. A crowd of children to hug. A partner stopped with worry, exhausted, whispers “…I love you” through weary lips.
Life has a plan for today as it does for tomorrow and any day thereafter. Despite how we plan it every moment has its own moment of glory and no matter how many ways we seek to frame it, slips.
With the dissapointers starved of oxygen, as my evening meals sits steaming a new night on ward A2, a night filled with new surprises awakes.
Daylight will bring warmth. The night staff will handover and another chunk of life will present itself to be lived.
As life would have it, today is as tomorrow and the next is to the one before.
To be lived.