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I’m glad I got to see you

Such sincerity

She meant it

Her eyes said she loved me

Her eyes said she’d suffered

Her eyes wouldn’t stop talking.

 

In pettiness, I find grief, not just for her. I know I’m something more than wrong, I’m something worse than weak. I don’t think she notices. Maybe she pretends not to hear my burning voice scorching her lifeblood. Maybe she sees that I suffer, too, but I think that’s a self-serving thought, like all of my thoughts.

My aunt is back in the hospital and as usual, it looks dire. Before I saw her, I was telling people, nonchalantly, as if I didn’t care, that she can’t possibly live much longer, that her body can only take so much. She has blue-gray eyes and she was so glad to see me.

So I ruefully weep for her, that she was glad to see me. What’s worse: even if she saw me and my true self, the one that’s angry and put-out, she’d still look at me with those blue-gray eyes and say I’m glad I got to see you.

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Most of the time, she fancies herself unstable but really, she is just incompetent. Really, she’s just a fraud. Really, she is just addicted to feeling sorry for herself.

 

Today, she would rather sit and stare at the stone-colored zipper on her fleece jacket than anything else, besides sleep. She thinks about how she could get a break and sympathy and peace and more sleep time. She thinks about perfectly packaged accidents and momentary quiet.

 

Nothing is worse than numbness, she thinks. But at other times, she thinks, nothing is worse than feeling. She’d cry but the crocodile tears have run dry. Her soul has run dry.

 

She’s been lucky and nothing more up to this point, but she’s about to be found out.

She lays in the hospital bed

moaning in pain

her mouth forming a perfect “O”

where her toothless smile should be

her eyes squeezed shut

as if every fiber of her being

wants to purge itself

of itself

of the pain and disease inside

 

And I wonder:

when can I leave?

SOB with me

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