At one point in his memoir, Daudet describes staying at a sanatorium, one of those places where everyone understands what everyone else is going through. He talks about the strange pleasure of searching for the patient whose experience of illness is most like his own. Today’s version of the sanatorium is the Internet, where you find a vaporous world of fellow-sufferers, companions in isolation and fear and frustration, as well as practitioners who have made it their life’s work to understand why a segment of the population always feels unwell. I fell into the rabbit hole, and emerged in another world, online.
His blue eyes,
Fluid filled and
Sclera stained strikingly yellow.
Mechanical hum’s ambiance
As machines consume him,
Refusing essential death.
Staff walk hurriedly by, attending
To mysterious tasks that lie beyond
The realm of his sickness.
Monitor pings send her running for a nurse,
Nothing of consequence, finger movement
Has set the oxygen probe askew.
She concedes once again to straightening his sheets.
He and I know death is near
But unable to speak he stares blankly –
Her fallacy is hope.
Eternal mechanical humming.
White sheets crisply folded over.
Denial has become her accidental prison.