Years

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They move down my throat. Things slow down. I’m happy again. I can see her there, helena. She’s waiting for me. I run to her. I soak it in because I haven’t ran in decades. Helena is talking to me, but I can’t understand her words. I have to run faster, I have to hold her again. She’s just as beautiful as she was when we met. I feel like she’s getting closer, more brilliant and we’re running into the pearly beams of light. I love her, and she loves me. She loves me so much. I’m where I belong. This is where I belong. The real world fades, the new one brightens. This is my life. This is where I should have many years ago.

My eyes flicker and I wake. Everything is way to brilliant, just like it is every morning. I hate it, I hate this place. My old eyes don’t belong under the intensity of all these white objects. Stark white floors. White bed linens, white walls, white furniture. It’s too much. I sit and I wait for my nurse. She’s beautiful and young. I ignore my adoration for her though. Just like I ignore everyone else. It’s not fair to Lena. It’s been 5 years since she died and my hearts wounds never “Healed”. “It’s okay dad. She’s in a better place. She didn’t deserve to suffer like that. It was her time.” What do you know about suffering? Nothing. This is suffering, you hypocrite. I sit here everyday and endure this embarrassment. I have to be fed like an infant. I have to have someone help me take a piss in the morning. I have to have someone brush my teeth for me at night. All the while, I sit here and remember her. What kind of a life is that? Do you think you’re doing me a favor? You don’t even come to visit. I have lived my life. What am I doing now? Don’t you dare call this living. I’ll let you decide what you think the definition of living is. I am 89 years old and I have finished living. Let me go. Just let me go.

The nurse walks in. She’s carrying a food tray and pills. “Goodmorning, Hank. How are you?” I stare at my hands. “Well, that’s fine. There is plenty of time for talking later.” I stare at my hands. I haven’t talked in a year. According to the doctors, I’m deteriorating. Brain function decreasing. Capabilities are being affected. Bullshit. You’ve done this to me. You’ve done this to me. I’m helping myself the only way I can. By giving up on trying to make this old shell function. My brain’s still here. I still know how to operate it. The nurse gives me my pill and I take it in my mouth. She gives me a sip of water and I swallow it. I don’t even know what I’m taking this medication for any longer. I remember a time when I was vibrant inside. When I arrived at this disgusting place, I was resistant. Angry, and hostile. I would holler the best I could, and struggle as well as I knew how. That’s when the pills started coming. I no longer feel vibrant. I feel tired. I’m too tired to resist. I’m too tired to try anymore. I’ve given in. She sets the food down and I look at it. Food is no longer appetizing to me. it’s only purpose is to sustain me. That makes me angry. I eat because she feeds me. It tastes bland. It’s cold and disgusting. I remember real food. I took Helena to dinner. She was gorgeous. I took to the best place I could afford. Some French restaurant in down town New York. It was close to empty and they turned us away. Apparently the only seats remaining,”were reserved.” Maybe they were reserved now. As long as some beautiful, tall, brown haired women, and her street rat boyfriend were the ones asking. But ten minutes later, when a hot shot, broker rolls up in his racing red sports car with his sidekick gal, of course it’d be open. I knew this. So did he. The host smiled at me and told us to leave. I tightened my fists. Helena knew the look on my face. She put a gentle hand on me and said,” Come on, dear. We can find another place to eat.” She smiled that intoxicating smile and I walked off with her in a daze just following that beautiful sheen of hers.

We found a diner about three blocks away and were seated immediately. I ordered everything for her. Everything she could imagine. She looked at me with her big brown eyes and asked in her little voice,”Aren’t you going to help me eat all of this?” I shook my head. I wanted to let her enjoy herself. That was enough for me. She took up a french fry and moved it towards my mouth. “C’mon. It’s better when you can share.” We ate. We ate and ate and ate. The food was horrible. It was putrid and greasy, but I bought it all for her. I enjoyed it more than anything I could have purchased at that French prick’s restraunt.

I look up after the nurse is gone. I look up and I stand up. I use my legs. I generate a strength that only the grace of god could produce. I open the door. I open it and I run. I run for the first time in forty years. I sprint down the hall. I sprint for the third story window. It’s beautiful outside. I collide with the window. I’m inside of all of the beautiful things. I am beautiful. I’m free. I’m twenty-five again and I’m laying with Helena. In the cold grass, the night we locked ourselves out of the house. i’m with her in the diner. I’m with her while we both gaze at our handsome new born baby. When all our son new was to love us. She loves me and I love her. I collide with the ground.

“Oh, Hank. I’ve been waiting.”





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