It has been two years and three months, more or less.
They say that the brain will take longer to heal depending on your state at the time of the injury. Broken. That was my state. Entirely broken.
"You're very fragile. Resilient, but fragile."
They say a lot of things, it turns out, only a small number of which serve any useful purpose. As if I am not aware that any bit of stress that finds its way into my head can destroy me entirely.
"You've simply got to ignore it, your brain can't handle the stress anymore. Nothing matters more than this - not him, not working again."
As though I don't know how useful it would be were I able to ignore all of it. Just forget all of the things that have plagued me (for better or worse) for all of my entire life. You mean the ones that have essentially filled and fuelled my existence in this universe until now? Those things? Wouldn't that be a trick? How different my life would be now.
Lately I am rediscovering this part of myself that had all but disappeared, smothered by headaches, doubt, fear. Endless fear. Years now without the swell of music in my ears like this, swallows you whole if you let it. And I love it, embrace it, drown in it. Gives me these words I haven't had. Years, it has been years. I let that sink in as I watch her lean against her companions shoulder. They are sweet, I guess, as far as anyone can tell. As far as I'll ever see. She is pensive and he is mouthing words to a song, taps it out with his foot and it's all in his head, this is all in our heads. They get off the bus and I see everyone else and the road and the snow and the cold. The cold. I just want the sun to warm my bones again.
Everything is different now. I used to spend hours lost in the sound, the words. I used to let it take me and I did not fight my way out. I would simply let it have its way with me until I found myself on the other side - peaceful and empty.
Everything is darker now. After a while, the music makes me angry. I feel it creep in slowly and I try to resist but I know. I lose the words, then, and everything seems uglier somehow. It seems less.
Who am I now? Not a nurse. Not a writer. Not a lot of things, really, but surely I am still inside here somewhere. I know I am because every now and then I feel myself gasping for air at the surface. I can get out of this. It's all that is left to do, then, isn't it?