Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A Still Heart

I went to sleep that night with no thoughts of you in my conscious mind. It had been more than a season since I'd seen you in person and a lifetime since I'd felt you. I tumbled into the dreamscape like Alice down the rabbit hole, and hardly caught my bearings before I saw the white, sterile hallway. It led down a corridor and to another room that looked more like a room where a serial killer kept his victims than a hospital room. Your lifeless body was on the table and an inept team was trying desperately to revive you. The tools looked archaic and the walls were dripping gray and black brick and it was all wrong. Something was so very wrong as they cracked your chest and the blood ran side to side. Then, all I could see was the sinew and bone rent from side to side, pushed back and then the still organ. Everyone in the room turned to me as if they expected me to be there, as if it was my turn to try - as if I had been called in to revive you.

Touching you inside was a religious experience, horrific and deeply real. Even as the seconds rushed by and I massaged your quiet heart with my naked hands, I could smell the rusty smell of blood, taste the tang of its mist and feel the warmth of your recently stilled flesh. My heart was willing yours, coaxing it... "beat, please beat, pump, beat, thump," faster and faster it sang out, begging yours to join it. My eyes were salty my hand was shaking from the pressure of walking a delicate line between not crushing your heart and pumping hard enough to make it start.

Your eyes were closed and your angelic face was perfectly still and silent. But, my fingers, urgently probing for any sign of motion, felt something - a skip. I knew you would come back if I asked you just the way you wanted to be asked. I felt a slight pulsing beneath the pads of my fingers and my heart leapt, but I never saw your eyes open. Instead, mine opened to the blaring siren of my cell phone alarm. I crawled out of bed and stood in the shower, shivering. I nearly picked up the phone to hear your voice, but realized that it made no sense. We were no more connected than we were in the moments before I drifted to sleep with only thoughts of another in my mind. I hope all is well with you.

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