What can YOU say in six sentences?
The night nurse speaks in whispers and I like that, but the morning nurse shouts in a bright, brittle voice, high-pitched, like she's a kindergarten teacher and I'm a hard-of-hearing five-year-old.
"HOW ARE WE TODAY?" she trills, using the first person plural, as if I would know how WE are, as if I could speak for the others who have their own wounds and maladies. I myself am fine, ready for the coffee they never give me and a good sit on the shitter with a newspaper, which they never provide as they assume I can no longer read.
Oh, I can read, my friend, of that I do assure you, ingredients on IV drip bags, cards sent by well-wishers, wash-your-hands posters, and the bright red letters of the EXIT sign.
I've made my plans, refined them twenty times, motionless and yet alert as a German short-haired pointer watching the elevator close and open, even mapped the route.
But every night, when the nurse whispers at my bedside (did I mention I like that?) I seem to forget my plans, and every morning I must start again to draw them.