I remember you were embarrassed but you let me help you anyway. You joked that you could be my mother and I joked that I could just pick you up and take you to the bathroom myself but you wouldn’t let me you wanted to do it on your own you said you could do it you said. Every day you were weaker and you were disappearing into the bed around you but your spirit never did and you smiled so much I remember that. I helped you make the text bigger and you always remembered that somehow and you wrote it in that note you gave me that I still have hanging in my bedroom and I think about you all the time. You said you could do it and I was right behind you, watching your legs flail under you and your white knuckles on those bars and you scared me half to death but I was always right there and we always made it so when your legs crumpled you fell in my arms we both laid on the cold tile and you said it’s okay I’m okay and you laughed and cried and I heard his cold voice in class say the disease that riddled your bones and I thought of you and you’re always right there.
And then you, I can’t forget you even though I knew nothing about you except you were from Montana. I remember that because they said that’s where your children where and that’s why they weren’t there with you. I knew things about what had happened to you about how someone came into your house with a baseball bat and that’s why they found you in your kitchen with your head caved in like that and they brought you here and found a fungus growing in your brain and I didn’t even know that was possible but I didn’t know anything about you. They unplugged you and left you and no one ever came for you, your children never came but your breath held on and all the nurses kept waiting for you for the room for the next patient to swing through but they never came and you kept waiting, waiting, waiting and I was nervous to be alone with you because I didn’t know what to say god please help me so I washed your skin and moisturized the cracks in your lips and tried not to look at your skull caved in like that. You had a tattoo when I felt your pulse I remember that and I don’t know what it was or what it meant but you had a childhood and stories so many stories and I know you heard me because your eyelashes moved, can you hear me, everyone is here your children are here and telling you they love you they love you so much we are all here we’re here. I left you and you stopped waiting because when the nurse went in you were gone and they rolled you to the basement but no one ever came for you.
But for the life of me, I can’t remember what brought you. I remember your mother telling me you were an angel and how you would spend your weekends pulling weeds, helping people move, being a friend for the kids who didn’t have any but I can’t remember what shattered your skull like that. They said the clear fluid dripping from your nose was fluid from your brain and they didn’t know what to do with you because your skull was like pieces of an eggshell and they couldn’t piece it back together, can’t you see. And even though I looked away the way her voice sounded I knew her heart was breaking and the hallways echoed she can’t lose you, she won’t lose you, DO SOMETHING doctor, but we can’t fix you we can’t fix you. So they left and she stood there and she looked at me but this time I couldn’t look away, yes I’ll stay with you yes I’ll pray with you and she whispered to me in the dark as we cried and in the morning I left and so did you but when I got home I still smelled like you and the water was so hot but I couldn’t get rid of you they never came for you I knew nothing about you we’re all here for you I can’t lose you we can’t fix you so the water dripped, dripped, dripped.