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In Room 512 at St. Mary's.

you can't solve a flash flood

    Here is a scene for you.  The nurses look on,
            efficiently, out across 

        a wretched patienthood
  the patience of the poor and put-upon

they put me on hold
                  hold on to the moments spent!
I had this vague memory.

      the rustle of sheets
            I've never been myself

I entered the room, 
      to the tune of women’s lamentations, 
             shriller than before.

Looking out the window, I said not a word, That
     was one of the new Somethings -–
                        the Fear, binding me as with iron.

the lookers-on, hovering, gawking, 
       but hesitating to touch each other
               where it counts

the machines worked      thack thack thack thack
       slowly stroking
                   hammers pounding in nails

news was slow in coming
         the bed an open wound
    torn                             rent

bleeding emptiness
       a silent flood 
           inside a room that belongs to you
                                              no more

Sometimes something happens that makes all my concerns seem ridiculously piddlyuke. Lately, I've been worried about making ends meet, and getting myself out of far more debt than I ever in a decade should have let myself get into, about getting my friends out of trouble, and about my mother. Feh, why worry?! I'm chipping away at the debt, even if it is like trying to sink a battleship in a destroyer, slowly but surely. I'm finally starting to see some success in my attempts to help my friends. Now, as for my mother - yeah, she's got an incurable disease. But while she'll die with it, she's not going to die of it.

Somehow, inexplicably, these things have been causing me stress.

Within just the last three weeks, terrible things have happened to three people that I work with. One lost his son to a freak accident, made all the worse by the fact that they nearly managed to save him. Another lost his wife, suddenly and unexpectedly, to illness. The third might lose his wife, too - we're still not sure. This happens, and all I'm worried about is whether I can pay my damn Visa bill? What the fucking hell am I smoking? Especially when the answer to my question is yes?

Now, I know that pain is not negated by the presence of a greater pain somewhere in the universe, but goddamn it, sometimes realizing that others have it worse makes me feel like a pathetic, whiny rat. On the flipside, just like them, I'll keep soldiering on. I always do. Because I know what happens if you don't. Because I know how, and who, it hurts. Because I do have friends and family, damn it, and I do care, and I'm not numb. Yet.

I think tonight I may just go out to the flight deck and stare at the stars. Nothing like a little nuclear fusion to put a fire back in my soul.


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