Thursday, October 7, 2010

a list.

otherwise perfect, this

moment became something

wholly unexpected

when the words

drifted from her lips.

well, i shouldn't say

that it was

wholly unexpected, but the

timing most certainly was.

the question brought

me back in a

way that usually only my

memory can.

"remember what we talked about that one time?"

that's what changed

the moment.

and that's not exactly

what she said, but

it's a close enough approximation.

"yeah," i said.

"when do you want to do it?"

"i don't know. when do you think i should do it?"

"anytime between now and whenever."

again, that's not exactly

what she said

but it's not the

exact words that matter.

"soon," i said.

"i want to know, you know, just to be sure."

her eyes nodded

and she disappeared from

the room,

off to check her

notes from

that first time.

while she was gone

i felt as alone

as i did that other

moment back then,

but not because i

was the only one

in the room.

my thoughts didn't

allow for anyone

else at that

moment, and for that

i'm sorry to both

of them,

one looking in

the mirror, unaware,

the other with

her hand in mine,

causing slight physical pain

in an attempt

to relieve something worse.

but it's as if

i wasn't there.

i was above my world,


floating on my

back, the cool mist

of the clouds

enveloping the me that

wasn't me.

seconds later

the door opened,

and she was peering in,

holding what she

went to get.

i hit the ground

with a thud,

but nothing was

broken. of course not,

i reminded myself.

i wasn't really where

i felt i was.

in my hand now.

it's the list.

the list of words

i'd seen before,

this time

on a different

piece of paper,

in a handwriting unusual

for someone in

her profession

(or so the stereotype goes).

i stared at it.

two thoughts:

1. this list has killed.

2. this list could **** again.

(that exactly how i said it in my head. that word doesn't exist in scenario #2. it can't. it won't).

i know it's

better to know,

but do you ever

wish you didn't know?


me too.


  1. Wish you werent so vague.... Kinda hard to relate to sometimes.

  2. Yes, I did not really understand this, but I am sure it has much meaning for you!

  3. I have read this twice...I think I might get it now. Hmmmm....

  4. I love the mystery. Even more, I love the description of an emotional reaction to something that is difficult to experience.

  5. I, also, wish I understood this more because I love your writing. It moves me and I am sure if I had a better understanding of this entry it would be powerful like your other entries.

  6. dear anonymous, anonymous, and anonymous.

    yeah, sorry about that.

    sometimes it's easier for me to write in abstractions, especially when i'm talking about the death of my wife.

    it comes from a 2.5 year period of reading nothing but fiction and poetry in which abstractions are used to convey feeling rather than a narrative story.

    here it is in (somewhat) less abstract terms.

    1. i took my daughter to the dr.

    2. the dr. gave me a list of things i need to get my daughter tested for to ensure that she doesn't die from the same things that caused my wife's death.

    3. the scene describes the way i felt after the dr. brought up the idea of getting my daughter tested.

    sorry i lost you all there.

    but read it again.

    see if it makes anymore sense.


  7. Ah, genetics. My daughter is a carrier of what killed her dad. She (probably) will never be effected, but her children - if she chooses to have them after she finds out about the time bomb she could pass on - will be.

    In some ways, the genetic factor keeps the whole issue alive in ways that wouldn't have been issues if he'd just been run over by a truck or something.

    But it's better to know, I think. Wishing you/her luck.

  8. Wow. Thanks for the explanation. That was really cool. (I was way off-base when I was speculating, lol)

  9. Matt,
    We have also dealt with this and all six of my children will have to be screened for the rest of their lives .... as will their children. And the suckiness continues ...

  10. I knew it. I knew if I understood more of what was behind this post that I would be moved by your words. I did reread it and it was powerful. You have a gift with your writing. I am a bit embarrassed for prying but appreciate the fact that you shared. :)