I was cooking julienne a couple hours ago when I realized that I’m actually sitting on the floor and crying. And onion wasn’t a reason.
You can’t tell where you are anymore, sometimes it seems like a hospital bed, sometimes you imagine you are a giant flightless bird. You feel bloated, like a water balloon. There are wires attached to you and tubes coming out of everywhere.
The light is bad. It’s greenish and there’s too much of it.
Groups of medical students come by to see if they can figure out what your problem is.
I’m active, you think, that’s my problem, I’m still alive.
They take turns poking you. They stare in awed silence. They’re nervous. Eventually they file back out and go down to the cafeteria to eat frozen peas and talk about TV.
And you and I go back to floating together above the bed. You stare at the ceiling, and sleep. I hold your hands. I watch you breath and try and think of something I can do to help you.
People keep bringing you food even though you can’t eat it. You’re not hungry and anyway it all tastes like ground or chalk. But it takes too much effort to explain that. So you just turn your head and look out the window.
The end is here, they say, there’s nothing more to be done and you nod and cry, but you could have told them that yourself.
And then you start feeling like a turkey again, and the TV and your dreams start mixing together.
And we float above the bed, holding hands. You stare out the window and I stare at you and try to think of something I can do to make it better.
There’s surgery, gallons of blood, beeping machines and blinking lights. There’s shit and urine and pus and more blood. All the people who come to visit, you kind of wish they would go away. Except me. You get mad when I leave.
So we float above the bed together. You stare at the ceiling and I stare at you, and I try to think of something I can do.
I sleep on the floor next to you if they let me, or bent up on a chair in the waiting room if they don’t. I’d crawl into bed with you, but there are too many wires and tubes. I’d give you my body and die myself if I could, but the doctors don’t know how to do that, so you die.
And we float above the bed together. I close your eyes. I hold your head in my hands and your heart in my heart and I look at you and I am floating above the bed alone. And there’s nothing I can do at all because you’re gone."
―Prologue from Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow by Anders Nilsen
―Robert Bly, A Little Book on the Human Shadow
What doesn’t kill you makes you forget your name.
What doesn’t kill you gives you post traumatic stress disorder.
What doesn’t kill you just makes you hate your life.
What doesn’t kill you makes you wish you were dead.
What doesn’t kill you makes you jump at the slightest noise.
What doesn’t kill you makes you an alcoholic and an impossible person to live with.
What doesn’t kill you makes you hide in a corner and draw the shapes so no one can see it.
What doesn’t kill you nevertheless kills the other people in the car.
What doesn’t kill you..
Eventually you figure out the way to put it in a box, to close that box up tight, with a little padlock, and stick it on a shelf, in the room, in the house that you don’t go very often.
You always know it’s there, it never leaves the back of your mind. But it doesn’t have to rule you.
And one day, one day far away from now you might even pull yourself up short and realize, like a shot, that you haven’t even thought about it for days.
What doesn’t kill you will always be waiting there in that box. Like a steel rod in your leg. Like a scar over your eye.
It doesn’t make you stronger, that’s the stupid lie. But try as it might."
―Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow by Anders Nilsen
You pronounce her name quietly and put your jacket on her shoulders when it’s cold. You make breakfast and wake her up by covering her face with kisses. When you are in fight you just hug her tight to stop this wasting of time. You make her laugh every single day. She makes you laugh and you say how wonderful she is. You always remind her of this. You love her.
And if love doesn’t work, increase the dose.
“How was your day?”
“Text me when you get home so I know you’re safe”
“How are you?”
“I hope you’re feeling better”
“Have a good day today!”
“I miss you”
“Can you come over?”
“Can I come over?”
“Can I see you?”
“Can I call you?”
“Want something to drink?”
“Watch your step”
“Let’s watch a movie”
“What are you up to?”
“How is your day so far?”
“It will be okay”
“I’m here for you”
“Do you need anything?”
“Are you hungry?”
“I just wanted to hear your voice”
“You just made my day”
You don’t have to hear “I Love You” to know that someone does. Listen carefully. People speak from the heart more often than you think."