Saga Of The Blackout Nurse

Being the most notable section of the ER epic, in which it took me seven attempts at a quadruple bypass to get one stent. Where I wrestled with schizoaffective while demanding I be sedated, then blacked out from said sedation and … went apeshit? Seeing as I would always walk home the two miles, it must have been some truly crazy shit.

On the second attempt, though, I had the great fortune to run across S, who knew how to talk to a crazy person. I felt like I were the human embodiment of a warm dinner roll. Some people make you feel cozy. I do fall in love easily, but I certainly had never thought I’d find someone like that. I just had no idea what was … exactly happening, as I was blacked out. I couldn’t see her, for instance. She looked like a glowing blur. We talked about all the mental torture of living near home, and how extreme it gets. It led to tears, and big sincere smiles, and in the morning … I thought she was leaning in from the sunlight, but it wasn’t her. My face fell so quickly the first-shift nurse had to say, “It’s okay. I’m good, too.” I believe I just shook my head at that.

A few attempts at a bypass later, I came to from a very long blackout in the middle of my mom goading me into violently bizarre behavior. I remember looking up at the white board where the nurses write their names, and there was S’s name. I remember closing my eyes slowly, in that way people do when they aren’t going to do a facepalm. S was there, in some capacity. I couldn’t see her this time, either, but I recognized her voice. She was laughing bitterly, in a high voice.

I … (sometime) later … said to “her” — because now I’m not sure it was really her — “I’ve been thinking about you every day since I last saw you.” The nurse laughed at me. I suddenly was … that was it. I had to get the IV out, and I somehow made my way back home, to my apartment.

I did get a stent, finally, but however many times I’d been back, she’d managed to not be there. No one asks to be thought of by people they themselves aren’t thinking of.

The ‘Pathétique’ Story

I had a friend once that I was close to, and as a token of friendship shared with her a link to the second movement of Beethoven’s ‘Pathétique’ piano sonata — which is one of the most famous pieces of music in the world, and generally considered one of the most breathtakingly beautiful. Truly a compliment to one’s heart. Because she could speak French, however, she couldn’t get over that it was called the ‘Pathétique’. To her it was as if I were unknowingly accusing her of being pathetic. What I still think about was that it was probably meant more in the spirit of “pathos”. It’s a gentle, romantic masterpiece. Karl Haas used to open his nightly NPR show with it. That’s how I originally knew it — as a fixture on the classical station. (I’ve discovered that part of Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony, also titled ‘Pathétique’, was used as the theme to the late-70s version of “Romeo And Juliet”.)