"Am I alive?"
"And the trees?"
"And the maple?"
"It's flowing through you."
"And the snow?"
"And the flowers?"
"They're melting too."
"And the river?"
"It's flowing through us."
"Is it garbage-day?"
"Is it a holy day?"
"Is it a windy day?"
"Our skin is bound by the wind."
"How is my mother?"
"She is possible."
"How is my father?"
"He is possible."
"What kind of planet is this?"
"It is warm and it is cold."
"Am I warm?"
"You are also cold"
"Who are you?"
"I am your sister."
"Why don't I remember?"
"Why don't you remember?"
"Where is the yellow blouse?"
"It's tied around your neck."
"Where are the yellow flowers?"
"They are still in the field."
"How far are we from the field?"
"We are planets away."
"Are you sure I'm alive."
"It's possible I am alive, so yes."
"Will you stay with me tonight?"
"I will stay with you on all nights."
"Am I leaking?"
"That is the river."
"Should I swim?"
"You have to lift your arms."
"I can move my arms."
"Someone will do that for you."
"Isn't this strange?"
"It's Saturday, isn't that strange?"
I've been waiting for her to wake up for three weeks. For three weeks I've slept off and on in the chair next to the hospital bed. I sleep with others' strands of hair stuck in the chair's fabric. Sometimes I put her hand in mine and sometimes I do not. There should be a window in here. Hospitals shouldn't have so many televisions. All this feels like an experiment in how cruelty. When will she leave? the nurses whisper to one another. They think I don't want to be here. That I am here out of jealously. That my love is cruel. When will she leave? I ask myself, too. I ask the television mounted to the wall and chained to the mount. I ask the rubber gloves and the canister of q-tips. I ask the linoleum floor and the trashcan full of tourniquets. I ask the windowless room and everyone outside of it. I ask the shadows that are here and the ones that are coming.
The doctor felt guilty in the cafeteria. He didn't want wave to anyone. He didn't want to say hello to the woman or goodbye to the man. He didn't like saying thank you to anyone plopping down a meatloaf or a corn cob onto his plate, falling off onto the tray. He felt guilty for taking the long table for himself, for putting his body on one chair, and his bag on another chair. He hated how warm the room became when too many bodies occupied too many chairs. He hated when a patient's family sat down beside him. He hated when a former patient wouldn't come sit beside him. He always left the cafeteria with something in his lungs, like he had swallowed some glue and would keep swallowing for the rest of his life.
When he saw her in the hallway he asked her how long she had been awake. "Am I awake?" she asked. "Well you certainly look awake," he said, "now don't you?" "Where is my sister?" "Well, I'm not sure. Let's take you back to your room." "But I want to go to the field." He tried to take hold of her hand, but she clenched, and backed away. He went into the room to find her sister, who was asleep in the chair with one hand on the hospital bed and one hand hanging freely. They were both asleep.
"Why are you calling today? It's Saturday. You always call on a Sunday."
"I know it's Saturday, mom."
"Ok, then. How is everything?"
"Well I needed you to know something."
"Okay, dear. What is it that I need to know?"
"Emily is in the hospital."
"The hospital? What happened? Which hospital."
"Well, no one is really sure what happened."
"What do you mean no one knows?"
"Yes, and she hasn't woken up. She hasn't spoken to us."
"What do you mean?"
"The doctor, the nurses, me. She hasn't said a word. Well sometimes she says things. But they never make sense. Something always about yellow. Something about a planet. There are always flowers. Sometimes she mentions the snow."
"Snow? It's the summer for christ's sake!"
"I know it's summer, mom."
"I know you know, dear. Well, which hospital? I need to see her."
"She's at Greenhill Memorial."
"Greenhill? That will take me hours. How did she get all the way out there?"
"They found her in a field."
"Yes. They found her in a field, next to a hole in the ground."
"This is unbelievable."
"There was a hole in the ground that she may have crawled out of, but no one knows how she got in there. She might have dug it herself. She might have been thrown in."
"Oh my god!"
"They found her with her top off. She was rolling around in the dirt. The police were going to arrest her. But then they realized she was having a seizure. And when I got to the hospital she was already asleep."
"But don't you want to hear the rest?"
"No, I want to come. I'll be there in a few hours."