I’m sitting in a hospital room. The walls are white and stark with a carefully measured antique blue feature wall that compliments the faux wood cupboard and floors, not too mention matches perfectly the elliptical printed hospital gown that is loosely draped around my fathers body, which is emaciated due to the organs who have decided to fail him, long after he failed them.
The room is loud with the sound of an Italian folk song coming from the TV (The Godfather is playing), the compressor for the bariatric mattress and the bi-pat machine that mimics breathing and pushes my fathers chest up and down, doing more than we can to keep him alive.
Earlier today my step-mother looked at me, “They don’t know,” she said, “they don’t know that your father is not an ordinary man.” I turn my head to look at him—it appears that all evidence is to the contrary.
So we spend hours with tearless faces staring at small screens with digits on them that swap and change like watching keno, but the cash prize is life or death. I watch the zig-zag lines move up and down for so long that even the anomalies become a pattern, except when there is a pause, and a flat line, and for a moment you wonder if this is it.
Later sitting beside this man’s bed and looking into his gluey eyes that are almost closed but still see me for a moment. The reality of flying out in two day is hitting me hard, knowing that I will never see my Dad in this lifetime again.. there is nothing that prepares you for that.