I kept these tight inside me, because I feared that they would slip away silently through the pores in my skin. They are people that I would like to keep, people who slip away with a bang and a whimper, oozing from under the cracks, a deluge of water that I want to stop, man versus nature, good versus bad, waves against the beach, rain against dark asphalt.

He pops up, now and then, jumping out from behind thin trees and curled corners of photographs as if to say 'Hi'. There are so many descriptions I could make, how we could pick up a conversation after a few days and understand like we never left off, how we would finish each other's sentences. I could go on, how he is adjective and he likes to verb, and the whole list could be rolled into six billion joints for everyone for everyone on this planet. Unfortunately, he was delayed in his own performance, raptured by his own sight, and so he stood there, transfixed while feathers and wax dripped where I wasn't there to see it. For a while, I had thought he was only gliding on his outstretched arms. I had hoped that he was right, this time. We were battling the depths of the sea and the reaches of the sky; the sun had nothing to it, I thought, then he fell like a stone.

So he is gone. Another shot in the dark, another one bites the dust, and our train's moving so fast that I can see him in the distance behind me, growing smaller, abandoned and forlorn, lying spread-eagled, sleeping on the ground. Someday he will wake up and start walking after his veins turn clean and blood-red again, because he is the kind of person who has faith, not in God nor in Buddha or Allah or Jesus or even himself but simply in faith itself. We used to say new things which we both instantly understood to unsuspecting passerby and ask them "do you understand?" Blank stares, pretentious replies, empty pretentiously-sagacious smiles, and we laughed, because Oh, this is this and that is that and we are now, and we have IT, and we would laugh in a moment of laughter, our voices ringing out into the night that seemed to be surrounding us with comfortable wamrth and playful questionablility.

And then things roll over. I'm supposed to know what happens next, and I do. Things also stop with a bang, a small short condensed story that could happen and would happen and has happened to anyone. You're left with the smell of gunpowder and the shot that's ringing in your eyes and ears, and I'm wondering, where should I go now? His hand said bye, and he was dressed in white, instead of black. It was as if he had changed, everything about him had changed, and the feeling of awkward silence settled over like a preying vulture, and I concluded everything that had passed before with a remark. Always a remark, always the passing stone thrown out the window that kills people, always the small things that weigh more. I didn't know him very well, but that didn't matter. Handshake, and I was gone, indignation hiding behind my jacket, hands in my sleeves, visible feelings in my breast pocket. He was gone. The room was clean. Bang. Boom. Snap. Like that, rushing rapidly towards a conclusion and now it's suddenly in-your-face and done, before you know it, the ride has ended and time to get off. Where did everything go? Now you see it, now you

Friday morning, three days ago, was the worst day (so far) of my nursing career.

Friday morning, three days ago, was the first time I had to lay a dead child into the arms of its mother.

He was seven - he would have been eight in two weeks. He had Hunter Syndrome with some severe deformities and an extremely enlarged heart. His cardiologist had told his mother he would likely die in his sleep one night.

Unfortunately, that's not what happened.

He had an asthma attack at home - he had severe asthma. His mother gave him a dose of his asthma inhaler, and he stopped breathing. She called 911.

Due to his mouth and throat abnormalities, not really apparent from the outside, the paramedics couldn't get him intubated. By the time he arrived in the ER, he had not been breathing for almost 10 minutes and the EMS crew was doing CPR on him.

His skin was white, his lips were purple, and his belly was distended from all the air that had been forced into it. Our MD and an anesthesiologist tried to intubate him to no avail; finally an emergency tracheotomy was done. The cardiac monitor showed a flat line - asystole. Despite medications and compressions and ventilation and prayers, he was gone.

My friend LeeAnn and I were the only ones who tended to him afterward. After the coroner had seen him, we removed all the tubes, lines, wires, cleaned up the blood, washed his face. We took off his dirty diaper and put him in a fresh pair of 'big boy pants' - the first and only pair he will wear. We dressed him in a gown, cleaned the room, removed all distressing evidence of how we had violated their child.

Then we stood and waitedfor the parents

Disbelief, denial, anger and guilt. Parents crying, afraid to touch their child. Self-recrimination.

his mother didn't want to see the tracheotomy, so I bandaged it up and covered every trace. I told her she could hold him, so she dragged a chair to the edge of the stretcher and sat there, unsure of how to proceed. I picked her dead son, seven years old, would have been eight in two weeks, up in my arms and laid him in her lap. She held him and wept and kissed him while her husband stood by and wept and tears rolled silently down our faces. Her husband didn't want to sit and hold him; he cried out that he wanted to hold his son in his arms, so once again I picked up the child from his mother's lap and placed him in his father's arms. He embraced his dead son, rocked him, patted his back and sobbed. Finally they laid him back down and kissed him goodbye

I never want to have to do that again. I know I will though. I need to be there for the parents, for those left behind. He looked so peaceful, with a half smile on his face. But his mother is going home to an empty house with no birthday party in two weeks, and no more little-boy smiles.

Skewed Reality

My topic today came from none other than Ellie Mae. I know, I know. Shocking.

A co-worker was talking about her soap opera, Port Charles, it is going off the air. She was upset about it. Ellie Mae started talking about how she watches As the World Turns. She said something about watching it for the first time when she was 10 and someone was healed of their blindness by a kiss from her soul mate. She said she thought that was the most remarkable thing she has ever seen and ever since then, she has watched it.

Here's my point. When we are younger and we watch shows like this, we really think that life will one day be this way. For example: I used to watch 90210 religiously when I was about 11 or 12 or something. I thought that one day, my life would be that. I revered Donna b/c she was a virgin and she wanted to wait until she got married to have sex. She also didn't take bad diet pills or drink alcohol like the naughty Kelly Taylor. Ooooo. I was also worried about eating disorders and they would affect everyone that I was friends with. I was terrified of men b/c on the show they were so starved for sex that I just KNEW that if I didn't put out on the first date, they weren't going to like me.

I was also appalled when Dylan smoked pot and he got drunk all the time. I vowed then that I would never ever do that. Now, not really such a big deal to me, obviously.

I also became a Days of Our Lives fan for about a month when Marlena got possessed. I kept hearing people talk about it and I was like, "Hey, I need to check this shit out for myself." That was back in the day when I thought it would be cool if I watched a soap opera b/c I just thought that is what chicks should do. I know better now. I also think that soap operas started my obsession for sex.

For example: My sister would make me watch Young and the Restless whenever she would baby-sit me when I was about 8 or so and she was only 12 so she probably just watched it to be cool too. I don't know. Anyway, Young and the Restless was the Melrose Place of it's day (actually Melrose Place might have been on too back then but you know what I mean) and they had a lot of sex on that show. I was always a little embarrassed by it but intrigued at the same time. That is also when I thought that sex only meant that some guy had to lay on top of you and that is all sex was. You had to be completely naked and some guy had to lay on top of you and POOF, sex. If only it were that simple...

Now, I really don't know how people watch this shit. I guess if it entertains you, that's cool but it's just so stupid. Of course it entertains me to ask my friends about Days of our Lives and see how stupid it is and the fucked up plotlines they give these people. Does anyone know who Hope is? Apparently she has been kidnapped a few times, and had a brain tumor or something, and had a bad case of amnesia. All this has happened to one woman. You would think they would spread the misfortune around. I guess not.

Anyway, it is crazy to think of the things you think are normal when you are young. If I had a life like a soap opera now, I think I would kill myself. But that would pretty much fit into a soap opera wouldn't it?

As my unemployed butt (who thinks with their head after all?) wonders how I am going to pay for the two new tires I had to purchase for my craptacular car, my thoughts travel back to eleven years ago when I was in that same store, buying two tires, but for far different reasons.

I had just gotten my driver's license a month ago, and was relishing in my new found freedom. Since my older friends had driven me around for years, I was happy to repay the favor so my brother(we actaully did stuff together back then!) a friend, and myself went to play some ball and get some drinks at the convenience store. Once we had gotten our stuff at the store, we went in the car and headed for home. My next sights were:

  • A cascade of glass, like a waterfall, but more angular.
  • Many, many bottles of Gatorade (orange flavored) bouncing off the hood of my car at crazy angles.
  • A clerk at the store who looked like he had seen his personal hell cracked open, I had no idea human eyes could open that wide, and that people could move that fast.

I guess by reading this, you figured out what had happened.

The convenience store hit me!!!

I had minimal damage to my car, some small dents from the Gatorade, some scratches and two blown tires, and nobody was hurt. My parents had a fit, and I still get teased about it from time to time(It didn't help that it made the local paper). But even years later, like today at the tire shop, it still makes me laugh.

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