|2004-07-24 - 7:54 a.m.
i sit looking over my father's bed. watching his chest rise and fall. looking up at the moniter with the zig and zag of varying heartrate, blood pressure, temperature. triggered by the slightest beep to make sure he is still alive. counting the number of tubes extending from his body. he is science fiction. his tentacles drain different colors into different measuring receptacles. his chest makes fruit punch. his catheter, apple juice. his stomach, grape juice. he looks like a one-man welch's factory. he has an epidural for pain management so i watch him phase in and out. when he is in, he is totally coherent. we are amazed. and when he is out, we are happy. i asked him to tell me his experience of the narcotics kicking in. first, the pain goes away, then he goes into space. then his tongue gets heavy. god bless the epidural. the pain goes away before he even realizes the drug is in. they told us he is their strongest esophagectomy patient ever. he is unreal.
i spent the entire day by his bed. while my sister was at dinner, i started to feel like my life was under a microscope. all of these events are so exaggerated right now. my father. my life transitioning into new york. my isolation. but then i quickly realized that it is not that at all. life is life. it is my own lenses that are the microscopes. i seem to only see magnified realities. giving me such great pain, but also soaring such great hights.
i sat there alone. watching my father who is also alone. and i felt genetically alone. like it was in my blood. right before my father went in to his 10 hour surgery, i had written him a scathing letter. it held back nothing. he and i had fought the night before and i could not hold back the truth of our entire life together. he apologized the day before the surgery. but i wasn't accepting. i will be with you every step of this journey, i told him. but i will not accept an apology. let's get through this first.
so i am sitting by his bedside and out of the blue, out of a narcotic haze, he opens his eyes and says, i can't believe i fucked up so badly. i can't believe i didn't even know.
one thing at a time, harvey.