On my worst day he brings roses. Only six and he never minded to remove the red SALE sticker, but they are roses. Antiqued and delicate as he imagines I still must be, he leaves them on a shelf because he doesn’t know what to do with them. He doesn’t have a vase, or vaahse he enunciates, and I’m suddenly apologetic that I can’t get up and cut the stems, find a large beer mug, solve the problem and ask him not to ever say that word again.
The day is my worst because my foot becomes cramped as the leg spends hour after hour and day after day in a single position leaving the muscle to work itself up to where it constantly spasms. The kind of cramped where if he sits down next to me I swear he’s making it worse because his hand touched the bed and the movement rippled and can’t he just stay still. The day is my worst because my face is still not right. I see wreckage. The day is my worst because I can do nothing but wait. What’s really atrophying here is my vitality. What’s really rotting here is time. I could explain in detail what each hour of the day looks like. The way boredom is like an infestation. I sit sometimes and say nothing for hours, letting him pace around me checking temperatures, refilling ice bags, waiting for me to crack open and spill out. He could be my hero if there were tears to wipe and blankets to wrap around me. I’d be easier to love if I were openly devastated.
I wonder where we’d be if we hadn’t had the big fight, the week apart, if we hadn’t furiously made-up just days before the accident. If I hadn’t made him atone. How would this be different if he hadn’t come to the scene? He saw my car broken down into pieces like a Lego tragedy and me nowhere in sight. Identified himself as family and became my caretaker. It’s not like he’d stop now, anyways, even if he wanted. I wonder what this would be like if he didn’t feel beholden to me.
I am a broken doll. I wait to be dusted and relocated. Repaired and restored. He has to be there in case I need to move, in case I need something. He used to leave. Used to go out and run errands, take care of things, have his own life. But he discovered I would wobble around the empty house high as a kite and reveling in the fact that I was responsible for my own transportation from bed to sofa, soft space to soft space. Something as stupid as a water glass refilled gave me away and the reprimands came gently albeit sternly. I learned to leave things where he leaves them. And now I listen for the key in the lock, car leaving the block and pretend to have all the freedom in the world. Anymore I can’t walk unaided. The drugs aren’t strong enough and I become less rebellious by the day.
It’s still light out. And he’s gone for the moment. I’ll remind him when he returns I haven’t eaten. I’ll ask if a shower can be worked in to tonight’s plans of laying down followed by more laying down. He doesn’t like that I insist on showering alone, it’s hard on him and I could fall in the bathtub and he would be just destroyed. He spoke this morning of the future when I’m better. I don’t always see an afterlife to this but I nod and I’m quiet, he’s had enough stress lately. I hold my breath and try not to decay. He talks and talks about things we’ll someday do. I turn my face. Ask if he can move me to the sofa. He stops talking and reaches out for my elbow preparing to get me up and bring me to where ever I want to be. Captor and hostage, hostage and hostage.
At least there’s roses.