Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Because I missed epinw.
Because the evocative air of spring is around me.
Because I want to document this moment for several reasons.

Yours Truly is sitting on a semi-comfortable chair in the daylight-only light of a room in Buffalo General Hospital.

The most important person in my life has been sealed into this place, breathing its rarefied air, for nearly one month and today he is leaving - finally.

As with his other monthlong journey/stay/visit at nearby Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the daily visits are never a chore, but an anticipation of a meditative moment. Time spent in hospitals is time to leave behind much of the bullshit of the daily world, to enter into a place of selflessness amid a world that is nothing about your self.

Time here with him, when it is the two of us, is a celebration of Life, and of Art.

If he were to look over now at my face and to see my eyes all swoony with tears he would become alarmed, and worried about me so I'm thinking I may have to take a quick stroll along the bustle of the hallway until this subsides. And what is needing subsidy? Well, it is the transition that is difficult. Getting accustomed to a certain reality, and then a modification of that reality, and then another jolt, or change.

The rhythm of the days has been the racing, walking up the windswept hill to Buffalo General, the process of opening doors against the rush of lake winds, the familiar faces of volunteers and guards and people selling the shitty Tim Horton's coffee, the changing holiday decorations, the advisories along the walls and on computer screens, the turning off the elevator and the turning down into the wing, the nurses at the station who never glance upwards, the arrival at the door, the quick assessment of what is happening in the room, the kiss hello, the conversation, the other guests, the conversation continuation, the kiss goodbye, the retreat to the daily rhythm.

And now of today.

Today is the leaving. The transition so the documentation of the feeling of this room.
This room is the usual assemblage of hospital colors that are meant to soothe. This room features a buttery yellow, a bleached-out mauve, an earthy maroon around the four vertical windows that are locked tight.
I was inspired to draw at Roswell Park, with its several flourishes of stainless steel and interesting lines that converged over the bed. But Buffalo General hasn't - didn't - inspire any drawings out of me.

Our conversation today has been about Art, anticipation, medical matters, Love, and more. What impresses me constantly about him is his Love of people and life, truly the smartest man I've ever met - an intellect I am in awe of, one that amasses information while mine sort of throws itself upon facts that are useful, but many times, sadly, what remains is a shadowy remnant of the original excitement of the gleaning of the fact. And this perhaps why YT is a better journalist than creative writer: I am good at gathering and putting-out of fact and moving along rather than archiving intellectual arcs between things.

I have suspected that I am not a great hospital visitor as I push the boundaries of what is acceptable to be a visitor. I cry in front of the patient and said patient has to comfort me. I grab a wheelchair and decide to take it for a spin around the hallways with orderlies offering to help me with a tight turn before I've mastered the moves, I lay on the patient's bed to get more comfortable as the patient sits upright in a chair, I suck oxygen from the mask attached to the green valve on the wall after the breathing treatment meds are finished for a nice blast of freshness. Bad visitor conduct. C'est la vie.

Vie indeed.
Spring is for life, as Life is for the living, and Love is for us all.

Love Love, Love.