The green vinyl chairs squeak as those around me shuffle and refuse to sit still creating a background to the multitude of other sounds assaulting me. Today is the day. There have been many days before this but this one will lead us down the path. We have set up camp six blocks over, for the last four weeks. There are days when I can’t believe I call a hotel room home. I’ve been here for all of them, while others have come and gone, and then come back again. I couldn’t force myself to go further than those six blocks if someone paid me.
I catch myself tapping to the rhythm of the drip of the cooler across the room. I’ve worked on picking out single sounds as I’ve waited here, tuning in if you will, to block out the rest. It’s both mesmerizing and maddening at the same time. Ten seconds… how many sets of ten seconds have I encountered while being here, waiting. I quickly attempt to figure out the equation in my head. It’s daunting when I realize. I want out, I need out…
They must think I’m half crazed by now, what with the standing and the sitting, up down up down. It’s the same every day, has been for weeks. The refusal to see me. Who the fuck do you think you are? I’m your goddamned wife. I think if you keep this up it won’t be that way for long. I can’t take the pity looks from your brother and father much longer.
I know it’s going to be bad, I know what you looked like when you came in. I was allowed back then before you had the opportunity to keep me out. It was far from pretty, machines, tubes, wires and a bunch of other things I never want to bear witness to again but I would if I had to.
“Babe, we will be fine,” his voice crackled through the phone.
Famous last words. It was the last thing you said to me and it was a lie. I’ve replayed that conversation so I have it’s ingrained into my brain. As much as I hate you for that, I wish I could hear you say it now.
“How could you survive with a man with only two fingers on his left hand?” She asked me yesterday.
“He’s got all his fingers, Jesus, those are just the only ones he has control over,” I replied.
“So there’s nothing else? Nothing at all?” She asked.
“Nothing…” I said in a whisper.
Finally, you let me in. I had to stop myself from running on the way back. What I saw when I finally opened the door knocked the wind right out of me. Thin, my god, you are thin and pale. This Closeness to you is something I’ve been waiting for but I can’t wrap my head around this new version of you. I inch closer hoping that my face is not betraying the shock.
“I can still finger fuck you…” you say finally, your voice airy and lacking its depth as you muster a smile.
“Seriously…?” I ask.