Hey all, coming at you with another short piece from my writing class. This one is another true telling, of sorts. It is actually two different events all rolled into one. Names may have been changed to protect identities…
Chemo, yet again. You would think that after five years this would be old hat, but no. The sharp tang of hospital chemical assaults your nose. Nothing like strong chlorine to wake up the senses with a jolt. Glancing around the room you see all the usuals, but in the chair next to your’s is a new face. She seems pretty bubbly, the day is looking up, of course unless she is obnoxiously positive. Man alive can those people grate on your last nerve. Nothing like Sally Positive to really make your skin crawl.
The clicking of IVs echos through the small room. Every week you go in, sit in your designated chair, drink water from the big plastic cup they keep for you, with your name on it in black sharpie on the lid, and wait through your several hours of chemo. Drip, drip, drip, go the IVs. Beep, Beep, Beep, go the monitors. A never ending drone that you eventually learn to tune out. But every week it is like the first time all over again. A cacophony of sound, banging through your head, until you learn to turn it all down and hear what you want to hear.
“Hi there, I’m Becky. What are you in for?” she asked you, beaming.
“Hodgkin’s… some trial drug chemo experience. You know, the one we all sign up for,” you tell her with a laugh. “What about you?”
“Oh, just maintenance Chemo. Ovarian Cancer.” She says, the smile wilting a little.
You can’t help but cringe. Ovarian… that’s a death sentence. Ouch. Of course you would never say such things to her, upbeat, encouraging, positive, that’s how all the strong cancer patients face the day.
“Doesn’t cancer just suck” you say in response. All the fun and we even sign up for this crap” you murmur.
She laughs, “too true.” She glances at your girlfriend and sees the knitting she has pulled out. “Oh that is so fun, what are you creating? Oh, and I didn’t catch your names…”
“I am B, and my girlfriend is SaraBeth.” You answer her.
“I am knitting a shrug” your girlfriend answers. “I mostly make up my own patterns, but this one looked cute, so I thought I would give it a whirl.”
“That is really great! I wish I could do something like that. Bet that will take a while.” Becky says.
“Oh not really, if I don’t finish this today, I will have it done before next week’s Chemo.”
“That would be amazing, you will have to bring it so I can see it! Hey Kelly, I am due back same time next week right?” She asks laughing, knowing the answer is of course yes. “What about you B? Are you due back same time next week?” she asks you.
“It would seem so” you answer, laughing yourself. Something cuts you off though, a tightening in your throat. It would seem that this time things are different. Your girlfriend drops her knitting and gets the nurse over there. Codes are called, the room moving into a flurry of activity. Mere moments, that seem to last an eternity there is a room full of staff, and they are pumping you full of antihistamines. Your veins feel like ice, the room feels too hot to breathe.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! I love to hear from you!
Here is another piece I wrote for you! I hope you enjoy. This one is in the second person! Something new for me.
Your Writing Ritual
Every year you participate. NaNoWriMo, to everyone in the know. When you have to explain it, it becomes National Novel Writing Month, but when talking with other writers, who haven’t heard tell of it, you can’t help but feel a certain superiority. How could they not?
All year long you plan ahead, thinking to that one month where you will write with abandon, hammering out as many words every day as you can muster. Bemoaning the fact yet again that you took on this challenge, yet somehow finding the moxie to finish.
This too though comes with its own little mini rituals. You of course can’t write without your proper writing kit. Which has to include your favorite pen, the blue fountain pen, no others will do. Even though at the end of the day you are going to be typing on your laptop in Scrivener. But who can blame you? That pen is lucky! It holds the key to your muse. But then don’t forge that you have to do the writing down in the waiting room at the Mayo Clinic. Sure that sounds strange to many, but there is something about the ambiance to the place that allows you let go of everything else and just hammer out those words faster then you can even type them. It truly is a mystery how a place matters, you just know it does and so you must stick with it.
In those sad times when you can’t go to ‘your spot’ to write, you have learned that you must write at nine p.m. at night. No other time will do. It is the magic moment. You prepare yourself, always making sure you are home by seven so that you can start getting things ready to write. It is a process. You have to pick the right tea for the night, you have to find your writing kit, make sure you have the right snacks setting by your computer, not to mention get your friends on hangouts ready to sit and write with you.
Really, what self-respecting writer does it alone?!? It is imperative that you drag your friends, kicking and screaming into NaNoWriMo with you, of course. They also give you someone to bemoan the word count that you are behind on, yet again. While comparing yourself to that one gal who finished her fifty thousand words in the first week. You just know that she cheated, there is no other way to have accomplished such a feat.
After you have your friends lined up, you go back to your tea and actually go through the process of heating the water, but you do this the old fashioned way. On the stove, in your whistling tea kettle. Pouring it over your tea, you savor the flavor as you contemplate what you are going to be writing about this time. Knowing full well that when you get to your computer and that blank page is blinking at you, the words will never come.
Sitting down at your computer, blue fountain pen at hand, tea steaming near you, and bag of Cheetos in your lap, you gently place your fingers on the keys. Lightly stroking them, waiting for the inspiration you are sure is never to come, but then the impossible happens… words start flowing out of you and you are off, lost to the world of words that will amaze and delight you when you stop and read them. Finding more than double your usual word count in half the time. Wondering what magic has befallen you, thankful your muse was not fickle this time.
Well, there you have it, another piece helping my writing grow! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments below what you thought!
Well, there has been a change in plans, but the lists are soon to come, I am sure! Instead, may I share with you a piece I wrote for one of my creative writing classes. This is a piece from my memoir collection, please don’t hesitate to tell me what you think!
The room was silent, death hovering in the air. It was so thick you breathed it in with every breath, a heaviness that was cloying. Her eyes flew open, clear for the first time in days. A stark contrast to the glazed over look she had lately.
She ripped off her oxygen mask, something that had become an accessory over the course of a month. Leaving her lips ragged and chapped. There was a wildness about her, a finality in that moment.
“Fuck” she swore. The word loud and sharp in the darkness. Her eyes looked around wildly, her hand grasping. I moved up close to her, taking her seeking hand in mine.
“I am right here, love. It is alright.” I assured her. The hand I clasped tightly, cold and limp, a jarring contrast to the heat of mine and the strength she always had.
Her breath wheezed in, raggedly a couple times. A heavy cough rattled out, foam and blood dotting her lips. She shook her head no and slammed the recliner shut with a strength that had been lost to her days ago, surprising us all.
Looking directly in my eyes, a calmness settled over her. “I love you” she whispered to me. The finality in her voice makes me suck in all my air, holding my breath to keep the tears threatening to fall at bay. Her eyes widened and all the air left her in a final ragged gasp. The room going silent in the predawn hours once more. Stunned silence keeping us all still only moments. Kenny reaching up, feels for a pulse, grabs his stethoscope and says quietly to the room, “time of death 5:43” the tears running freely down his face as he calls his own daughters time of death. My wife was gone.
I hope that you enjoyed this piece, and again, leave any thoughts in the comments below!
Well, I have had a few posts written and wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to set them up to post… so you will soon be seeing some posts of lists. Why? well because I found lists elsewhere of course! I mean… isn’t half the fun of blogging following what others are doing or have done? Alright, I don’t usually jump on bandwagons or even do things that others are doing… but I thought the lists were fun, so in the following days you will see a few lists from me.
Hope all is well in your little parts of the blogosphere, I am still just trying to stay afloat! (Oh, and I discovered minecraft, so you must forgive me… it would seem that would have been better served being called MineCrack! Yes, it IS that addicting!)