• i pray so •

The last thing I said to my daughter before she left home was, “Stay soft. It’s one of your best features: it looks good on you. I’ve lived this long without building walls, and I have never regretted it. You’ve got such a beautiful spirit. I am so proud of who you are. Keep being yourself. Don’t let life make you hard.”

I think she got what I was trying to say. Life can do that to us.

This morning, when I was in pre-op, when he asked about the band-aid on my forehead, I stupidly lied, and told the interviewing anesthesiologist I had “banged it’, not badly, but just enough to be embarrassed about.” Wrongly, it seemed the right thing, at the time.

Then, after my arthroscopic procedure, in post-op, under the influence of what remained of general anesthesia, to the RNs, who were easing me back to reality, like a drugged up bone-head, I revealed why I had had that band-aid on, when they asked about it, and if I felt dizzy or nauseous, that I had “…dug out the mother of all blackheads, and that, embarrassingly, had made rather a mess of it.”

I could see that the nurses were professionally pissed, for changing my story, but they didn’t let on, but for a knowing glance between them. After all, when lives are at stake. Bonehead!

What I didn’t say, was the second part, as to what had had me in a torrent, the other day, as to what was tearing me apart, that, “in a fit of pique, and rage, over incarcerated babies, I had done this thing to myself,” (but that I didn’t want everybody to see me crying over spilt tears, pointless suffering, and needless want.) Avoidance seemed the best avenue. Then, too, and again, because I didn’t want to bust out crying, again. Damn. Grown man that I am. (But, damn, if that general anesthesia isn’t so like a “truth” drug. I just blurted it out, the part that I did. Bonehead.)

I hate to lie, but I worried, I guess, that they might have seen what I did as self harm, and maybe, to some extent, it was; but I feel so damned helpless, to help anything or anyone, these days. Especially those I would save, if I but could. But I can’t.

More powerful men than me have taken hold. The foxes are in charge of the henhouse. The world is getting ass backwards from everything I was taught. Plus, I did dig out that festering slug, which no longer has a safe harbor, in me. Would that I could dig out the tick that is really bugging me. The one in the White House. But history, surely, has to play out its part. I am almost entirely sure it will, thank Bob.

In normal life, if I have to hear, “Don’t be so sensitive,” one more time, I may go mad. I have no wish to change, at this late date, and doubt if I could, if I wanted to, which I don’t. Stay soft? I wonder, did I give my daughter good advice? I can’t be sure, with any certainty, but I think so. Oh, yes, too, my love, I pray, so.

~ Tim Burchfield



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