The machines beep steadily, almost impercitbly against the whooshing sound of some machines I feel somehow inside myself. The room is dark, or my eyes are closed. I can't feel anything except for the hare-like beating of my heart. I am not awake, and not entirely asleep either. I am somewhere between startes of consciousness. But I can hear.
"Hey, tweetie," comes a tear-soaked voice to my right. "how are you doing today? Your mother wanted to come with me, but she.. she had to pick up your Granny from the airport. Everybody wants to see you, tweetie. Don't you want to see them too?"
I do, I say. Of course I do, Dad. I want to see Grannie and Mom and Buddy and everyone. But right now I just want to open my eyes. Why can't I open my eyes, Dad?
"They told me that sometimes, reading aloud can help. I brought some of your books. I hope I picked the right ones."
Why do you sound so upset, Dad? And help what? What's wrong with me, Dad?
"Let's get into it, huh?" he clears his throat, lauching then into Burroughs' Naked Lunch "I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons..."
I know you hate this book, Dad. Why are you reading it? What's going on here? Why aren't you listening to me?
"...my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square-" he cuts off midsentence. I hear the scrape of metal chair legs on linoleum, footsteps. Muddled voices talking with some gravity. The whooshing machine makes it impossible to really make any of it out.
I only catch the last part.
"At least let us wait until her Mother is here. It would be wrong otherwise."
Dad? What's wrong? Why are you crying? Dad?