Its another day in the ICU. Accordingly, I'm still jumping through hoops to attempt to stay alive. I think one of my visitors said something about the Skinful Halloween Party out on James Island. I've never been to one, and this year was to be the first. I don't know if its tonight, or last night, or a week ago. Regardless, I'm going to have to take another rain check.
All of my friends tell me that it is a gorgeous autumn day outside. Allegedly. I'll have to take them at their word. It doesn't matter. I still have my powdery fluorescent lights, and all of the alarms that go off occasionally to remind the staff of something. Those noises used to freak me out. Now, I don't even flinch. The hall sounds of children running in the halls, the nurses joking around, coughs and the occasional wail, and company. Lots and lots of company.
In the afternoon, a group of my friends pays a visit. It seems to be abnormally crowded this time around. Not only are there more than two or three of my friends here, but the speechless, Pink Floyd faces are here. They are rarely around when my friends are present. My brain is extra scattered when they are all together.
My companions are close to my bed, and the unwelcome are hovering over my buddies' shoulders. I know enough to realize the strange ones are not real, yet I don't have the concentration or skill to control my reactions to them.
The taller Lurch-looking fella is standing about six inches behind one of the girls. He is definitely a threat , and I have a few words for him.
"Hey bud. Back up. Get away from her."
My friends continue to be understanding as my eyes dart. What I can only describe as dead people, can not be left unattended. I have to stay vigilant and keen. The little and bald, white carny looking guy is here, too. He is wearing the stereotypical wrestling uniform, again. He's the one that is the most irritating. Not only, will this guy not listen to me, but he seems to do things for spite. I don't need his shit.
My friend pulls up a chair, and leans in to tell me he loves me. With everything I can muster, I look him in the eyes and say, "Thanks, bro. Can you get me some chocolate milk, then?" "Whatever you need DWT. I've got you."
As I continue my attempts to have a conversation with the milk man, I can see the little carny man out of the corner of my eye. As soon as I let my guard down to shake my buddy's hand, he has the gremlin's bald head rubbing up on his elbow. Nuzzling upwards, like a dog that wants to be scratched.
That does it.
I swing my elbow quickly, hoping to smack this insect in the ear with it. I come up short, and catch only air.. Little Baldman is gone in a flash, and I'm left there to explain myself. I look up at my pal, and he still has a smile on his face.
"Dude. I'm sorry. There are people here. Dead people. I see them."
"I know, Donnie."
"No dude, listen. It sounds crazy, but they are here."
My friend puts his right hand on my left shoulder with a squeeze.
"I believe you, DWT. They're OK. They're not bothering any body."
My friends stay for quite awhile, but I'm not sure that they have always been the same ones. People are here on a constant basis, yet the conversation and environment changes. Some of them say there are people waiting outside to see me. Apparently, they can't come in until some leave. It would be too crowded.
"That's exactly what I've been saying!"
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