Saturday, April 10, 2010
That Day (a monologue)
That day. The day I was meant to fly to California. That day the phone call came. That day that would have been my mother’s birthday had she survived her cancer… The phone call came. I heard it in her voice. It was 10am. The doctor identified herself and I knew. Well, just a few minutes before 10am, and I had my alarm set for 10 and the phone rang before the alarm went off, and I heard it in her voice. “This is doctor so and so…” and she didn’t need to keep going but because it hadn’t been said yet it wasn’t true yet, so I just said hi and listened, and she continued… “ So I have bad news.” And I knew. I didn’t need to hear the word “cancer” but I kept listening. I held that phone to my ear and I was breathing, and I was floating. It was like I was floating in this ocean. I floated in the ocean as she said “there were cancer cells found…” and I floated with the fishes and I floated like a boat on water, and I laid on my back in the ocean as my eyes began to water and a frog grew in my throat and I said, in the crackling of my voice, “thank you for calling,” and she wished me luck and I hung up the phone. And then the welling of air came over me and, like a tidal wave, silent and terrifying, it washed up from the sole of my foot, through my knees as they shook, past my hip, through my groin, through my belly, past my breast and over and around my heart and inside of my lungs, up my throat like a spouting volcano, and out through the top of my head and through my mouth burst: air. Air that escaped me from the depths of my soul and formed the loudest, most audible moan that has ever been produced. And I fell onto the floor of my bedroom and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed until everything in my soul was let out, and I cried and I curled up into a ball and tried with all my might to disappear. (pause) And then, at some point, I got up. I wiped the tears off my face and I got up. It certainly wasn’t the end of my screaming. It was far from the end of my crying. But I knew that I had two choices: to hide under the bed and cry until it killed me, or to get up and fight for my life. And there just wasn’t enough room under my bed for me to hide.