It’s gonna be a long Monday
Sittin' all alone on a mountain
By a river that has no end
It’s gonna be a long Monday
Stuck like the tick of a clock
That's come unwound
- again-

(Excerpt from John Prine’s fine tune called “Long Monday)

I don’t know what’ s lonelier, waking up in a strange hotel room miles away from your friends and family with nothing but the television set and one of those mini-bars to keep you company or waking up in a hospital room where the sounds that you hear are the muffled screams from a scared patient in the room next door and the swoosh of a nurses footsteps as they try to offer up some comfort.

Over the years, I’ve spent my fair share of time in both sets of circumstances and I’m hear to tell ya that in both instances, time just seems to stand still. Maybe the only real thing that those two places have in common is that they consist of four walls and too much time to think.

There’s a pencil thin scar that runs about twelve inches down the center of my chest. It starts at my breastbone and ends somewhere near the middle of what appears to be my ever expanding stomach. It looks angry and a bit swollen. A jagged little line that I run my finger up and down and feel the bumps and indentations like one would feel on one of those relief maps as they traced their fingers down whatever route they chose to take. Beneath that, there looks like what appears to be two open eyeballs, the remnants of the stomach tube that was inserted to drain any blood that might have lost its way. For now, they remain open and unblinking, like they were still trying to do their job but just like most other incisions, will close with the passage of time.

My left leg is a myriad of purple, the result of the “harvesting” of three veins which were later sewn into my heart. The fourth one came from somewhere else inside my chest.

I’m told by the doctors that all of these colors will fade and I’ll return to normal within six to eight weeks. In the meantime, my chest makes this weird clicking sound every now then when I move the wrong way or turn to fast.

I took my first shower since getting out of the hospital this morning. The man staring back at me in the mirror looked older than he did just a few days ago. Maybe it’s the worry etched in his eyes or maybe it’s just from a lack of a good nights sleep. Maybe I’m just afraid of spending the next bunch of weeks with too much time to myself and not enough to do.

Maybe it’s just a little post operative depression and yet another glimpse of my own mortality. Maybe I’ll feel a bit better with each passing day as I get stronger and more optimistic about what the future holds in store.

Today just ain’t one of those days though…