If I could be who you wanted
Midagi, mis ma kirjutasin väga ammu.
If I Could Be Who You Wanted
I forgot to breathe.
“Breathe. Breathe. Breathe!” I told myself over and over, each time trying to fill my lungs with smoky air, smelly air, air full of carbon dioxide, air full of other people’s germs, viruses flying around. I gag. Involuntarily.
I don’t know how I ended up here. I open my eyes, look down. Five, no, six floors and then wet asphalt. If I would jump now will I die? Or will I end up in a wheelchair, unresponsive, mucus dripping down my nose, catheters and tubes connected to every orifice of my basically dead body, only my brain screaming inside my head: “Kill me! Would somebody just kill me already?!”
I shudder from the thought. Last look to the pavement, last breath. I close the window and turn around, my nape propped against the cold glass. It is dead of winter, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m sitting here, in this hospital, listening strangers moan and groan, scream and sigh.
So I sigh. Maybe for a millionth time this day I sigh. And sit down next to your bed.
“You are such an asshole,” I whisper, not wanting to wake up the vegetable next to your bed. Maybe I’m unfair. Maybe he is just sleeping. But he looks comatose. So why do I whisper? Am I afraid you will wake up? As unlikely as it is?
“Asshole. I want to punch you,” I whisper again and squeeze your cold fingers. You don’t respond. Just the sound of ventilator pumping air in and outside your body.
“You stupid, stupid asshole.”
You don’t reply. How could you. You have tubes in your throat. Maybe a bit of sign language then? No?
The vegetable next to your bed farts loudly. I burst out laughing and almost instantly here nurse approaching, feet menacingly tapping on hard hospital floors. She even walks like she’s constantly judging. No wonder nurses from last shift warned me not to get in her way or she will throw me out. I’m not even supposed to be here. Visiting hours are from 9am till 5pm. But I doubt you will choose to die during visiting hours. You are too much of an ass for that.
Steps stop. Door creaks. Ray of light. “Shh! This is your last warning!”
I don’t respond. Maybe she’ll believe I am also sleeping. That I was sleep laughing.
Night nurse leaves. You are still unresponsive.
“You are still an asshole. You are a fucking asshole.”
My face is wet. It seems I have been crying. Sleep crying, maybe, because I don’t remember or notice when I started crying.
“Do you remember, this one time…” I start but trail off again. It hurts so much, to think of the time when you weren’t chained to this bed here.
“Do you remember that Radiohead concert? How we couldn’t stop laughing because Thom Yorke looked so creepy with his eyes like bug’s. Do you remember?”
I smile. I remember how we finally stopped laughing when “Fake Plastic Trees” came on, and how I looked at you secretly, your eyes glued to the stage, to that creepy Thom Yorke, and your lips moving: If I could be who you wanted…
This moment I wanted to scream, I wanted to write it in the sky with flaming letters: YOU ARE WHO I WANT YOU TO BE.
But I didn’t say anything.
I rest my forehad on your stomach. I don’t think your body has ever been so silent as it is now. All those afternoons when we laid on the grass, counting clouds passing over our heads, my head on your stomach, my head moving with your every breath. And when you started laughing my head moved to the rhythm of your laughter and it always ended with my hair on my face.
I miss the feeling of your fingertips brushing my hair from my cheeks. Your hands are cold and your body is so silent it’s terrifying.
“Do you remember…” I start and once again I trail off. Maybe you are screaming inside your head right now. Maybe you are screaming for someone to kill you already? And I am here, trying to think about all those special moments we had. I must annoy the hell out of you right now.
“Suck it up!”
I giggle. This is stupid.
My back is turned to the window but I feel it’s getting lighter. I feel the sun slowly creeping out, starting new day, cold and hopeless, day before Christmas. Isn’t it weird we call it Christmas Eve, even though it’s a whole day? It would have been… I count. Three, four… It would have been our eighth Christmas together. Wow. I have loved you third of my life.
“So, do you remember the first Christmas we had together?” I start whispering again. Breathe. I have to remind myself to breathe. Thoughts, memories of you and I are rushing through my head, my veins are pulsating, I forget to breathe. Breathe.
“This was a warm year in general,” I continue, whispering slowly at the beginning. But as the thoughts rush by I have to speak quicker to say them out loud before they escape my mind and I’m left with emptyness.
“It was a warm winter. You were wearing that weird coat, do you remember? God how I hated that coat. You never took it off, even when you were writing you wore that stupid coat. And the I bought you this leather jacket for Christmas and as you tried it on, I snuck out for a fag, took your coat and took a bottle of starting fluid and I burnt your coat right there on our front lawn. Did I ever tell you I’m sorry?”
My whisper is turning into furious silent rant. “Because I am. I am sorry. I was an ass. I am sorry. I am sorry. I am so sorry…”
Hospital room is all bright now, I have to squint my eyes to see anything at all. My head hurts, my fingers hurt from squeezing yours. Your hospital gown is covered with smudges, it is my mascara. I must look like a proper crack whore, I think absentmindedly.
Sounds like next shift is about to come in. Nurses hustle in the corridors of this God forsaken place, people are being born, people are dying. Christmas trees are being decorated, presents being wrapped. Maybe some mental chick is burning her lover’s coat somewhere this very second.
“I am so very sorry,” I say once more. The doctor steps in, two nurses with her, silent shadows filling out paperwork. Doctor asks for my signature, I write it down. Squeeze your fingers one last time.
I’m so sorry.
I stand up, kiss your cheek. Tubes coming out from your mouth. You look strange, weird. I can almost hear you screaming inside your head.
You were always who I wanted you to be.
As I walk away, I hear the ventilator stopping. I close the door. I don’t hear you scream in my head anymore. Only earworm left is Radiohead.
If I could be who you wanted…