He was big and he was black, like a football player. He caught my eye when he moved into my view at the end of the long corridor. The t-shirt that he wore was a giant field of solid bright color that gave him vibrancy, a glow above his khaki pants. I moved quickly. My hospital gown fell loosely about my thin frame. I weighed 102 pounds and was able to move with the ease of a squirrel through trees. I was a shoeless dancer with a great performance on my mind. I darted to the room across the hallway, my gown falling from my shoulders.
"Get up! You can leave now. We have survived. You are all better. We are all fine!" I shouted in the direction of one room and then another, spreading great news. "We are all safe!" I declared before I was whisked up.
In an instant the big black man scooped me up into his arms to cradle my body tightly to his. My arms were reined in. He lifted me up so swiftly that there were no jolts. My head was level with his beautiful face and I was able to see his eyes as he focused on his task. I was swept from the hallway floor and cascaded gently into my own bed. It was a strange amusement ride, not to be forgotten. He certainly must have been well trained. The whole action took seconds. My bouncer disappeared as quickly as he had arrived. I was a bit puzzled as to what harm I had done and chalked it up to the fact that I might have let the cat out of the bag too quickly. The nurses came in with a cloth coat that they slipped over my head. Two straps on the side buckled conveniently to each side of my bed. In some worlds these items are referred to as restraints and are a little less restrictive than a straight jacket. To me, in my world, it was cozy fun. The coat was like the canvas that I painted on and the stitching was layered and straight. The jacket was quite large for my body and I was able to push both arms, one at a time, out through the opening for my neck.
"Ta Da! I am free!" I said gleefully as people got re-situated. I always had the ability to make others laugh and this time proved no different. Being confined to bed was not a problem for me. The aides gave me a small cup of juice and turned on the TV that hung up in the corner of the room. Oprah was on! She was telling everyone that the worst was over and that millions of people had survived. She stated that most of the hospitals of the world had become havens and had gone untouched by the upheaval of the earth. I thought, "Oh yes, how true. How lucky we are." The noises that I had heard days before from outside were horrific, a soupy darkness churned about causing a long storm of crashing and creaking. Oprah continued to report that the rebuilding had already begun taking shape. I felt a type of surrender that elevated the moment. Ultimately, there were no attachments to the material world. We attached ourselves to a primary source of gentleness. I was so excited. The feeling was love.
We all sat listening. Joel, my boyfriend of three years, sat in the big blue boxy chair next to my bed, the place where he had slept for three nights. And a young woman that I didn't know sat in a chair by the wall across from the foot of the bed. My room was in the new wing of the hospital, a high floor of an atrium. Just outside my window was a roof of glass. Above, white fluffy clouds swam through the sky. There was a discussion that I didn't hear. With the TV now turned off, Joel leaned forward to tell me what I had not heard. I may be moved to different section of the hospital. He held my hand, tears pooling in his eyes, "I will never leave your side."
These words were the truest words I had heard in my life's entirety. They were like soft velvety hands holding the weight of my head. Such words cause all the wounds of the world to heal shut. For that moment all the struggles that I had weathered brought forth a prize. I had not one single worry in all of the world, not internal or external. We were all things beautiful. The sunlight pouring in from the atrium brightened the room as it moved across our path. Joel's words, his heart, brought forth our new beginning. "You mean we are getting married?" I wondered. He said yes and took his little loop earring out of his ear and put in on my finger. It was plenty. It was beautiful.
The woman sitting at the end of the bed, her book closed on her lap, started to cry. "What is your name?" I asked. "Juliet," she replied. Ah yes, I saw now that Juliet Capulet sat among us although not many would ever notice. She was light skinned and fragile and showing a history of endurance.
"Why are you crying? Did you lose Romeo again?" I prodded as she hid her tears. Her long straight hair framed the curves of the side of her face. Juliet moistened her lips and settled back into the chair. She picked up her book, trying to read it, but couldn't seem to find where she had left off.
This moment, this life, with Joel's hand in mine and his earring on finger, was worth waiting for. I felt whole and content. This was our moment. He is the man that will not leave me, the man that has really never left. This was our temporary utopia when we were completely together.
I didn't have to say much more. Juliet heard all my thoughts, capturing the subtle inclination. It was a silent understanding where much was grasped within minutes. Her eyes were now dry and we both sat in the silent stillness of knowing. We both knew that no one escapes the problems that arise from learning, yet we each can choose if we wish the struggle to end. We lacked power, but not command. As time unravels, there is less and less risk of our being interrupted. We grow stronger with every horizon we explore. Just as with our changing world, there is no technical solution, but as we rebuild, we must admit our capability of regressing back to dysfunction. For transformation to work, the rules must continue to evolve, a constant intervention. We must reinterpret the facts and reshape them for the time we are in. We do not play a game that we must win. It is a game that we must keep playing. This is our temporary utopia.
Sky in flight
Ragdale Series: "Some call it luck, I do not"
Negative to Positive brain light box
100 Tears, Part 1
Juliet by Philip H. Calderon
MY GAMMA WAVES
A love story involving a 21st century artist, a woman who experiences a "breakthrough." Past, present, and future merge in thirteen stories that express different forms of love.
Set in different regions and times, thirteen interconnecting lives explain why specific contemporary artworks were made.
My Gamma Waves is a story that presents the iconography of the artist's personal cosmology.
Early excerpts (2000-2002)
There's A Lady In My Locket
Waterfalls of White
Elevator to Somewhere