There it is, that sweet smell. Fabulous isn’t it. Like there’s sugar in the air. If I could put my tongue out, I bet I could taste it. I wonder which tree it is from. Miranda tells me it’s beautiful. I can picture a giant tree with a chocolate-brown trunk and a perfect dome of baby pink flowers. Kind of like a cherry blossom, but aren’t they only in Japan? Well, it sure tells me that bedtime’s over, not that it makes much of a difference.
Miranda will be here anytime soon. I’ve never seen her before. All of my visuals now are a figment of my imagination. And being blinded from the real world, it’s slowly getting rusty. So I imagine she’s short and plump with putty hands and a giant nose. I can’t seem to wipe it away from her face, I don’t know why. The harder I try the more prominent it gets. It’s like trying to repair a bad drawing on your only canvas.
” Ready for your check-up Mr.MacKoy? “
How can I be anything else? Yet she asks me the same every day. But I like her. She’s so sweet. And patient. Her soft, tender hands reel me into the real world with their touch of intimacy. That is when I imagine she’s beautiful. Now that reminds me of my wife. She too has a big nose suddenly. I can wipe this one off though.
” We’re all done here Mr.MacKoy, happy birthday by the way “
Oh is it? Wow. Sucks to be this way. Feels like a trap. Wish I could at least see. Or talk. Or both. Oh no, let’s not go over this again. It’s my birthday and I’m not gonna ruin this. Just be content that there’ll be more visitors today. I can at least hope. It’s the only thing that can’t be…
” Happy birthday Darling “
Julia? Hey it’s very rude to sneak up on someone you know. People are always interrupting my thoughts. They just start talking. Make a sound! Let me know you’re here first! God, I wish someone told them that.
” How’s my hubby doing today? You still look as young as the day I met you George. 7 years ago. How time flies “
Not when you’re in a coma.
” I just wish it never happened George. Sometimes I wish it was me. If it weren’t for me we never would’ve gone on that frozen lake. I pushed too hard. I just wanted to do something romantic. I was an idiot. I’m sorry George “
Ohh, stop crying Julia, why talk about that now? I’m alright. I don’t blame you for what happened. Just hold my hand dear, and spend the night next to me. It’s my birthday today and that’s all I could ask for.
” Ma’am please don’t cry in front of the patient. He can listen, it may traumatize him. Please try to be cheerful. “
” Yeah. I know. I’ll be right back George, I need to go buy your meds. “
Her voice was quivering wasn’t it. She’s gonna go out and cry isn’t she? Ohh you silly girl. I wish it wasn’t this way either.
” Hey George. Happy birthday man “
” Happy birthday George “
Hey thanks guys! Didn’t think you’d come, what a pleasant surprise. I’m smiling wide, you guys can see?
” He looks much better to me. Boy, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say he’s having a beauty sleep “
” You’re kidding a guy in coma Russell? And you do know better. And you very well know why he is that way “
” Not now Brad “
” He brought this upon himself. In fact, I think he deserved it a little “
” What’s wrong with you? He might hear you “
” I hope he does. The way he treated Julia, he ought to know. He’d stopped caring for her completely. He really pushed her buttons. Poor girl, she was so desperate to save her relationship that she’d insisted they go on that trip. And little Georgie boy here probably still thinks she’s just a silly goose! “
What? No. That can’t be right. I love her! I always have. I stopped caring for her? What does he know? I cared for her alright. I cared for her damn well. I even remember the last time I did something special for her. It was…….on our fifth anniversary. That is close to 2 years from now. Wow! Was it that long? God! She was sad. I can’t believe this.
She never said anything about it. But man! I should’ve known. Never thought about it that way. I feel miserable. And it’ll only get worse for me now, cause I can’t cry it out. I’m in a state where tears don’t flow and lips won’t move. Where talking is just thinking and crying is plain sadness. Emotions tethered completely from their physical counterparts.
Without the gratifying refuge of a good cry, I’m filled with inescapable remorse. I’m standing precariously amidst a whirlpool of emotions. And I’m being consumed whole. I think I deserve this.
” Everyone’s left George, but I’m gonna stay here for the night “
It’s night already? Guess time will fly by for me as well, now that I have something to ponder over. I’d given up on myself long ago. But now I want another chance. Even if for only a day, I’d wake up and tell her how sorry I am. I’d ask her not to regret. That I always cared. That I always loved.
Hope rekindles in me and takes a new form. Here on my birthday, as I lay in her arms, with the sweet smell of lavender and rosemary exuding from her hair, with her warm, tender hands holding mine, with her body perched close to me on the bed, I ponder.