It was different seeing him again, after remarking (how many days ago was it) … five days maybe a week ago on how odd it was to see him around a baby. Now very much like that same baby my father enjoyed smiling with and cooing at, he was swimming in a sea of impressions that though heavy with all manner of implications about us and his condition, held no meaning for him beyond maybe their calling him back to this small room where we stood waiting for him.
More so than any other things, the constant beeping of his heart monitor, the hushed voices that hung in a dour air that covered him over the hospital blanket; it would be the smell of disinfectant cleaner that would be his siren call. That smell was in itself an entire language, the closest we get to having a lingua franca, as it quietly informs everyone within reach, independent of the language they speak, that this room or subsequent building is dedicated to the service of those convalescing. Knowing him and the pride he took in his career in medicine, he would be able to name compounds used in that cleaner when he awoke. He would have a story to tell about his residency, and the carbolic acid soap they used to use. That was the thing I was most waiting for, a talk about these chemical compounds hanging together in a plastic bottle of a brightly colored liquid waiting to be deployed into the epic battle between macro and micro organisms. That how we communicate each word of common everyday talk is only a symbol of something else, of a deeper emotion which couldn’t be spoken, lest the banality of the world around us corrupted it.
Over the last 32 years we had been a very many things to each other friends, brothers, and up until we found ourselves here, interchangeably father and son. Now in the white-washed rooms, the memories of our time together fell like a torrent, and the constant shuffle of the nurse’s feet into and out of the room only added to the cacophony.
The first time I saw my parents sick, it didn’t mean anything. It never thought that anything could happen to them. They just would slow down. Now at 32 I’ve been sick my self and it’s the firt time I ever had to imagine that there will be a day where my parents wont be there. That’s crushing! You don’t really become a full adult until your parents leave you. There nothing to say. He is going to get better and will be out of the hospital in 2-3 days but I am unsettled and a bit fucked up.