Saturday, February 15, 2014

play excerpt

(c) 2014 William J. Potter

Kate sits. She reaches into her bag and pulls out a pair of drumsticks and begins walking around slowly tapping on things. She will eventually have to move her chair to the middle and front of the stage. She sits

I just came up from the Operating area. It’s not a room. No not a room. It’s a vast cavernous concourse. It’s down on the first floor – maybe the basement it is hard to tell. There are no windows. It’s not like TV. You know what it’s like? It’s like I imagine an air traffic control tower would look like. There’s a bed in numbered spots and huge monitors telling you where each patient’s bed is and what room the actual operation is happening. It’s all very efficient. There’s people in hospital scrubs walking around with clipboards and computers and the monitors constantly roll names from bed spot to Operating Rooms. It’s all so ...

Kate gets up and wanders about tapping again.

Efficient – that’s a good word. It’s all so efficient as they move each unit of love from one room to another, slice them open and install something, or remove something. Efficient. I guess I’m glad for that. But... That’s what they are you know, each patient, a unit of love. At least to us. Downstairs they’re tasks; they’re the next one. They’re the one before lunch, the thing after coffee, or the last one for the day. They roll them in and roll them out, while families wait in one room with coffee, waiting to be pulled into a small private room when a doctor, you may or may not have met before, tells you if your unit of love is okay, sicker then you thought, or dead.
Bill gave me these drumsticks. I don’t play. He gave then to me so I could tap on things when I was in grad school. Stress release. I use them more now than ever. You know, he thinks I’m beautiful. He really does. He’s funny like that.

Kate starts making her way back to her chair

There’s one drug they’re giving him – Methotrexate I think it is call – that is so bad they have to give him an antidote when it’s done. Can you imagine? I think the toughest thing though is the new language. There is so much to learn and everyday there is something new.
I’m not even sure where to start,

It’s too much. Sometimes. All the time. It’s too much. When I leave here most nights I go home, feed the dogs, call Bill’s sister, and cry. I cry a lot. I don’t tell him. He’d feel bad. But I do, cry that is.
She taps the drumsticks on the bed.

I went to the vet. My stupid dog needed something or other and the vet tech was being impossible. We’ve been going there for years and she was giving me a hard time about – who knows? And I lost it. I just started crying and wailing. Right in the middle of waiting room. It was so bad one of the Malamute’s started howling and a beagle started baying. A vet came out and I told her everything. She hugged me and told me her husband had lymphoma several years ago. He lived. We went into one of the examining rooms and cried together. It’s something.

I’m lost when I come here. I have to work. Bill pushed me because he was afraid that I might need a job if he dies. I can’t make him see that if he dies, I’d rather have spent time with him and not being a librarian in some stupid library nobody goes to. He insisted. Anyway, when I get here they’ve usually started some new drug and I still haven’t figured out what the last one was.

Ever really have that discussion? The one about dying. It’s hard. So hard. It’s what being married is really all about. It is the most intimate of intimate topics. Sex, love – nothing is bigger or more personal than the discussion of what happens when a lover dies. I think hear something. 

No comments:

Post a Comment