Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gratitude (1)

I've lost my gratitude. It happens. Sometimes I don't say thank you to the person I love any more, and I usually thank everyone.
When I arrived at my hospital room, the place was crowded with a family. They were loud beyond their numbers. Everyone talked loudly; everyone cursed. Almost everyone wore tank tops. They were pumping blood into the boy unit by unit, hammering it in, two... three... four... five... in the time we spent together. He was about 20, and the idea with the blood, it seemed, was to get him well enough for dialysis. His father was dead. He had used drugs before and his kidneys were failing so they had nothing for his pain. Most of the time, the boy was irrelevant to the rowdy proceedings. But sometimes, the group would ridicule him -- though probably their word for it would be "tease" or "give him shit." A friend, obviously a smoker, paced in and out of the room chewing frantically on a cut-down straw. The boy teased back as best he could, so it was a while before I head him moan in the intervals of quiet, or rage about the mystery sickness he thought might end his life.
It's morally monstrous to say, but I thought it more than once: I am grateful that I have a different language to try to make sense of my illness with.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Glad you are home. Glad you are posting again. I had missed your writing.