September 24-27, 2014: I’m out in the world now. It feels slightly scary. These people don’t know what happened yesterday. They don’t know that I need them to be nice to me. Most of the people are good. Some are bad. I’ll regain my defenses soon.
Marcella’s dad, Mike, is one of the good ones. I dated his daughter for two-and-a-half years, but I think that, in a way, we were never properly introduced until he heard me sing for her Monday night.
I was dressed in some of my autumn clothes - red corduroys, green socks, my “aerial view of autumn leaves” dress shirt, the brown “Sad Professor” jacket that Marcella bought me. But emotionally, I was naked. I had trouble making it through R.E.M.’s “You Are The Everything.” And for some reason, when I got to their song “Find The River,” I had trouble singing the line, “there is nothing left to throw but ginger, lemon, indigo, coriander stem, and rose of hay.” I don’t even know what that MEANS! There’s just something about Michael’s voice.
There’s a little black boy going room-to-room, peeking in and saying “hi!” to anyone who makes eye contact. We love him. I’m back in Quiet Room and I can hear him in the next room playing games on a computer and talking on a cell phone. “WHO DIS?!?” I have to imagine that he lingered outside Marcella’s door for a moment or two while I played her a 45-minute bedside concert.
I played my songs “Knit Hat Girl” and “lets make folk babies,” Neil Young’s “Silver And Gold” and “Razor Love,” The Everly Brothers’ “Crying In The Rain,” “Long Time Gone,” and “When Snowflakes Fall In The Summer,” and R.E.M.’s “Suspicion,” “Sad Professor,” “Electrolite,” “The Lifting,” and “I’ve Been High.”
I played part of my concert in the bathroom that connects to the room. It sounds huge in there. I figured her eyes were closed anyway so I’d go where the good sound is. I wasn’t sure if she was listening, but I just kept going. It had been a while since I put everything else down and just played a bunch of songs off-the-cuff.
I just took a walk around the emergency floor. I don’t understand how someone can have the constitution to be an ER nurse. I don’t get it. But I’m glad they’re here.
I got some texts that scared the hell out of me so I raced here to St. Mary’s. Her immediate family and some friends were surrounding her bedside. I had just been watching The Roosevelts with Jamal and Tater Tot. I’d even dozed off a few times. But when I saw the number six, I knew the evening had changed. During my hurried drive to the hospital, I recalled that I’d recently taken a picture of a set of die displaying the number six on Marcella’s patio table. As I took the picture, I thought, “I bet six will mean something to me soon.”
Her aunt told me “this could be it.” I walked out of the house into a beautiful, late summer evening. Everything looked the same but somehow fake.