Unconcerned

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Unconcerned


If I were a cat, I’d sit in a window unconcerned watching a topsy-turvy world spinning out of control. Unconcerned, I could purr at the cute, rambunctious little boys and girls over yonder on the schoolyard playground. Unconcerned, I would look curiously at the cluster of yackety teens walking shoulder to shoulder along my street. Unconcerned, I would calmly observe those misled churchgoers filing into their place of worship, unconcerned about their brothers and sisters. However, I might bare my teeth (cats can do that, can’t they?) at my neighbors’ audacity, hosting an overflowing house party endangering the lives of their guests. I might extend my claws and pretend to scratch the face of that man who keeps taking a step forward unconcerned for the woman who keeps stepping back trying to maintain a safe and proper distance, concerned. But I am not a cat. I’m the father of a young man. Nine days ago my son was one of the foolish ones, unconcerned.

I wonder if they know he can hear. Years ago when I was on a ventilator recovering from life-threatening injuries incurred in a fatal car accident, I overheard a nurse, who was reducing my medication to determine if I could override the ventilator, say to the ICU doctor in a familiar sounding twang that when she gets home, *I be cookin up a tote sack fulla pokeweed*. Well, I like ta died. Born and raised deep in Arkansas, I would’ve killed for a mess of them greens and wanted to say so. I even tried to smile.

I imagine my son can see his mother, who died in that deadly car crash. When I was on the ventilator, comatose, I saw the face of my father. He was facing an image of his mother. They were in a train station with tall windows sending forth sunbeams from heaven, I reckoned. He was holding a briefcase I understood contained a cure for polio. All he had to do was get the serum to my doctor, and then I would be healed, able to walk, and play with the normal kids.

My son’s hands are tied to his side, but he won’t be yanking the tube from his throat: they’ve attempted the ‘see if he can breathe on his own’ procedure twice now.

I wonder if my son can see me even though I’m not there. I wonder if he can see his mother all fixed up and pretty. I wonder if he’s seen a cure that he will never have.

I wonder if cats can scale the side of a building. They can’t do that, can they? If they could I’d traverse all sides of the hospital searching with a fury until I found my son. I would stay by his window night and day, unconcerned about a messed up world.

Unconcerned


 

If I were a cat, I’d sit in a window unconcerned watching a topsy-turvy world spinning out of control. Unconcerned, I could purr at the cute, rambunctious little boys and girls over yonder on the schoolyard playground. Unconcerned, I would look curiously at the cluster of yackety teens walking shoulder to shoulder along my street. Unconcerned, I would calmly observe those misled churchgoers filing into their place of worship, unconcerned about their brothers and sisters. However, I might bare my teeth (cats can do that, can’t they?) at my neighbors’ audacity, hosting an overflowing house party endangering the lives of their guests. I might extend my claws and pretend to scratch the face of that man who keeps taking a step forward unconcerned for the woman who keeps stepping back trying to maintain a safe and proper distance, concerned. But I am not a cat. I’m the father of a young man. Nine days ago my son was one of the foolish ones, unconcerned.

I wonder if they know he can hear. Years ago when I was on a ventilator recovering from life-threatening injuries incurred in a fatal car accident, I overheard a nurse, who was reducing my medication to determine if I could override the ventilator, say to the ICU doctor in a familiar sounding twang that when she gets home, I be cookin up a tote sack fulla pokeweed. Well, I like ta died. Born and raised deep in Arkansas, I would’ve killed for a mess of them greens and wanted to say so. I even tried to smile.

 I imagine my son can see his mother, who died in that deadly car crash. When I was on the ventilator, comatose, I saw the face of my father. He was facing an image of his mother. They were in a train station with tall windows sending forth sunbeams from heaven, I reckoned. He was holding a briefcase I understood contained a cure for polio. All he had to do was get the serum to my doctor, and then I would be healed, able to walk, and play with the normal kids.

My son’s hands are tied to his side, but he won’t be yanking the tube from his throat: they’ve attempted the ‘see if he can breathe on his own’ procedure twice now.

I wonder if my son can see me even though I’m not there. I wonder if he can see his mother all fixed up and pretty. I wonder if he’s seen a cure that he will never have.

I wonder if cats can scale the side of a building. They can’t do that, can they? If they could I’d traverse all sides of the hospital searching with a fury until I found my son. I would stay by his window night and day, unconcerned about a messed up world.

 


Submitted: May 03, 2020

© Copyright 2021 mike buckley. All rights reserved.

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