Nurse Andrea is finished taking Llelands vitals. Her uniform is standard issue, glaring white,very official her shoes sensible. “He’s made tremendous progress. This is the first time since his accident that he does not refer to himself as an automaton”. “Android”. “Yes, yes android”."What is that incessant noise? Shut the window please". She looked down from the second floor at GI’s carousing with young women. The doors were flung wide open like a Frigidaire, the convertible tops down and the radio blasting. As nurse closed the window a young man caught her eye. He took a swallow of his Coca Cola raised it to her and saluted. As she closed the blinds "I think it’s called jitter bug". "I don’t care what you call it just keep it away from me." Lleland is dozing off as she straightens the sheets. She looks at the doctor with a growing helplessness, "go on now Nurse Andrea, your sympayhy is not needed and will not serve him. Better to face reality and be done with it." She couldn’t stop looking at him. What a stunning specimen of a man before her. "Katie… kat, don’t forget, we have an appointment with the Doc tomorrow". She wipes the beads of sweat from his brow. His blue eyes opening and closing, pausing, blinking as if he wanted to tell her something. - There are terrible things we learn as we mature. The meaning of words for instance "grave" and not as in sarcophagus. Grave as in holding the deciding power to end a love one’s life. The responsibilty of making the right choice. Where being wrong is irrevocable and there is no good outcome to either. Dire straits is much the same though one knows the course and dangers of the straits as in navigation, but the water ways of our personal paths are uncharted much more murky, black and anxious, slow terrors imagined that literally choke one and turns grown men into children. It’s truly sad. It’s frightening but until everthing a person relies upon is taken away, his ability to reason and make decisions for one’s self, one does not know the meaning of vulnerable.
"For all the times I have believed the universe was out to get me , I give thanks for all the times it has spared me ". "Great, that is a good start. You are making improvement". A half smile crept upon my face and for a moment I was content, a feeling that something had been resolved. A stillness came over me a sensation that is foreign to me came to rest upon my chest. We sat there, I and the doctor in a sense of holy bliss. I could hear my heart beating. I could hear my breathing, my chest rising and falling in smooth, rythmic and plesant lines.
"How is your mindfulness exercises coming along?" "Fine", I answer as default. I look down for a monent at my tattered shoes, smile to myself and let out a comforting sigh sort of a truthful laugh a chortle I guess. I thought be brave, be honest. I felt it coming up like an overflowing sink. "Not good". "And why would you say that, you suppose"? A bit of anxiety arose as I answered. "It’s difficult I mean, not the actual exercises per se but difficult to take the time to take care of myself. I can and do tend to serve others, readily and without much effort. But to take care of myself to think of me first seems selfish, indulgent and even ungodly. Dont you think?" I looked at him with searching eyes seeking his approval in a fatherly manner."He replied, "What do you think Lleland?" "I guess I’m afraid of being alone, rejected abandoned in my hopelessness with no one to help. I am not the best person to take care of myself. A memory came across my dashboard so to speak. I started weeping, crying, wailing, shaking to my core". "What is it lleland?" Through the tears a running nose and spastic movements I spoke with a dysphonic resonance, "I…I was, I couldn’t bring myself to say it".
Bending light, folding space and jumping into different dimensions even for split seconds takes its toll. I knew when I left Earth, left Katie I would never see her again. I’ve been on this voyage too long. My son who was in utero at my time of leaving does not exist anymore. Perhaps some part of me still exists in some future generation but all that I have known, all that I have counted on, loved is lost. I have been running from this, running, running because the truth, the truth is damming-final. I’m tired. All I have feared justly or imagined has come to pass. I am alone. I am lonely. Desperate for some human contact that I might feel human again causes a wilting of spirit. Katie is dead. My son is no more. I gave it all away for what? Belonging to others, belonging to humanity is all we have. What we desire frightens us so much we push away, destroy, kill until no emotion good or bad, friendly or foe, delightful, serendipitous is engulfed as light in the funnel of a dark hole, a dimension I am morbidly acquainted with and cannot escape. The madness of mind is tedious my broken heart my hell. Goodbye Katie. Goodbye my son. I loved you.
Neptune - Voyager 1 NASA
Fire and blistering ice pelted the ship all day. It was frightening at first beautiful next the lilac sparks of argon as they burned and dissipated. The colorless expanse of the universe was lit with clouds of colors neon lilac and electric lavender the metal fragments falling like the sparks of a welders torch and covering the ship with purple ash. I watched the storm gathering in the quietness of space. How is it in space that such violent eruptions go without noise? Sure sound does not travel in a vacuum but nonetheless it is there stifled but seen as light. How dark is my universe for all the knowledge and understanding that can be found and is at the ready with the touch of a finger, I cannot understand my simple heart? I want to be loved. I want to be appreciated. I want to be seen and truly heard. This is why I am jealous of humans because they burn. The vacuum in my android heart mimics longing but my artificial intelligence turns it into data, numbers, sequences and falls silently upon my consciousness in spectacular nothingness no hope, no relief.