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    some very harsh
    and blurry eyes of mine,
    I begin regaining consciousness
    start observing
    the immediate world
    around me.
    I figure,
    I didn't go to heaven...
    not a chance for that,
    just back to hell,
    right here
    in the earthly realm
    of modern medicine.
    I guess
    I should be thankful for that,
    for it can always be worse.
    I can
    now see
    that both of my arms
    are heavily bandaged
    and are extremely painful
    where I guess steel sutures
    are tightly embedded.
    and then
    there's this subtle
    yet constant hissing sound
    in one of my ears,
    which I'm sure will finish me off
    by driving me completely mad
    if something
    isn't done
    about it
    then of course
    I think maybe the hissing
    is deep inside my head,
    that it's the result
    of a boundary I tried to cross
    last night
    I'll end up being this way
    for the rest of my life.
    who knows?
    as my
    vision improves,
    I can see a nurse
    coming towards me
    as she checks out some iv lines
    inserted in one of my hands.
    she follows the lines with her fingers,
    I guess making sure there are no kinks,
    all the way up to an automatic iv dispenser.
    she also looks at a couple of iv bags
    feeding into the dispenser,
    seeing if they need
    to be changed.
    evidently not
    she punches
    a few buttons on the small machine.
    realizing I'm awake,
    she sweetly smiles at me
    and says hello
    with a welcoming voice.
    the nurse then straightens out a cannula
    that somehow ended up
    next to my ear
    the hissing sound
    replaces it
    back under my nose,
    the cooling oxygen
    quickly soothing me.
    she picks up my chart,
    makes an entry,
    replaces it
    heads out of the unit.
    place looks
    all too familiar,
    as it should.
    it's the same intensive care unit
    Shara was placed in
    after first touching down
    from the ER.
    except she,
    most unfortunately,
    had to undergo
    some serious stomach pumping.
    I'll never forget that night
    the memory of the hospital team
    trying so desperately at retrieving
    all those Valiums and the liquor,
    getting what they could
    of that sludge
    from out of her.
    I remember
    the same sterile walls
    and the shiny clean floor
    with that same splash
    of hospital-green color.
    and all these machines
    everywhere I look,
    all of them on wheels
    crowding about the place,
    all right here set to go,
    ready for the next emergency.
    I can see
    the Good Doctor
    coming through the ICU station
    in my direction.
    he looks serious,
    yet I can see a slight glimmer
    of a smile on his face.
    "look who's up and around.
    it must be great to sleep in,"
    he modestly says
    as he enters my unit.
    he finds my pulse
    along my wrist,
    and while checking it,
    continues saying,
    "I've got some bad news for you...
    you're going to live."
    "I've got a terrible headache,"
    I tell him.
    "that can happen when you lose
    a considerable amount of blood,"
    he informs me.
    "I also have something else going on,"
    I alert him...
    "snapping-like dizzy spells."
    "how often are they occurring?"
    the Good Doctor asks.
    "about every ten minutes..."
    I answer.
    "wouldn't worry too much,"
    he tells me.
    "for what you
    put yourself through last night,
    I'd say you're lucky to be alive."
    he continues talking
    as he checks my heart and lungs
    with his stethoscope,
    "so tell me what happened.
    I got Shara's report.
    now I want yours."
    "I don't know exactly..."
    I try explaining.
    "I got upset...
    thought I could make a point...
    I somehow lost all control
    and then it happened.
    I can't remember much more."
    you cut your arms
    to prove your love for her?
    nice touch,"
    he surmises.
    "and you also leveled the playing field.
    I knew there was something odd about you
    when we first met.
    what do you think?
    that you and Shara are joined at the hip?
    which isn't such a bad idea,
    I mean being that close to her.
    she's quite a sensual beauty.
    but you don't have to do what she does.
    just don't take it over the edge next time.
    I'm a psychiatrist...
    I've seen what love can do.
    and I know what it can't.
    try to be smart."
    "where is Shara?"
    I ask.
    "how's she doing?"
    "she's actually fine...
    I'd say remarkably so,"
    he informs me.
    "she handled the entire ordeal,
    all the way from getting you here
    to getting everyone here
    galvanized to help you.
    and then calling me.
    she's a regular pro...
    but then she has the experience."
    "but is she all right?"
    I inquire further.
    he tells me,
    "interestingly enough,
    this whole thing kind of awakened her.
    I mean she's never seen anyone ELSE
    slash their arms before.
    it was a brutal sight for her.
    and who can say...?
    this just might wake her up
    from doing the same
    horrible things to herself.
    we'll see...what time will tell."
    I timidly ask,
    "are you going to give her
    the same lecture you gave me?
    you know...
    about walking out the door
    and never coming back?"
    Good Doctor
    looks over my chart
    while asking,
    "you want me to?"
    "not especially,"
    I answer.
    "but you've got to do what's right."
    he says
    as he replaces the chart.
    "just as soon as she's finished
    reading Modern Bride...
    I think she's picking out
    her wedding dress."
    the Doc
    sends me a sly wink
    followed by a big smile,
    continues speaking,
    "I'm going to sign you out
    of here in a few days...
    but you have to take all your medications,
    which I think you will
    since you got her taking hers.
    you're also going to therapy.
    and to top it off,
    I want to see you
    at least once a week."
    I pinch
    the sleeve of his shirt
    to get his attention
    and ask him,
    "how did this happen to me?"
    "how it happened
    is actually an incorrect assumption.
    the question is WHY?
    he tells me.
    "I don't think you have what she has.
    I don't think you're even close.
    further testing might bring up
    other possible options to consider.
    but as for my hunch...
    I think you overloaded yourself.
    you became depressed.
    just look at your life...
    you work some very long days
    and then you come home
    to some monster nights with Shara.
    you just had enough.
    all you needed
    was that one spark."
    "but it felt like I lost my mind,"
    I tell him.
    "listen carefully,"
    he says,
    "sometimes losing your mind
    actually CAN seem that way.
    but we can treat it.
    for now...let's just concentrate
    on getting you well.
    we'll have plenty of time
    down the road to locate
    other reasons."
    with that,
    the Good Doctor
    leaves me here to stare
    at the walls and the ceiling,
    leaving me plenty of time to think
    this happened.
    the answer lies
    in the simple fact
    that every single time
    I think of Shara,
    it brings
    a glowing smile
    to my face.
    then there
    is this fear of losing her.
    might have
    a lot to do with it.
    (c)2015 Miles Ciletti
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