You like the rest of this cage I know well. I could draw all of you with my eyes closed.
But you, I know the best, as I stare at your hands all night long.
I watch you dance round and round. I count your seconds with you as I don’t trust you. I see you moving, but it feels not right. Are you tuned? I worry that time has stopped and my family is captive by you.
Our neighbor has a sign. A sign of numbers. I’m assuming you like numbers so I share this with you. This sign I know all too well. I made them every year as a teacher. “100!” The 100th day of school. A time of celebration and math lessons masked as a party. Our neighbor is celebrating 100. 100 days in here. A sign to thank the nurses and staff. Acknowledging how wonderful they are.
And I want to rip it down. I want to stomp on it.
I want to rip you down too. You aren’t my speed. I need this to go FASTER. I need Jacob to have a life again, not in months, NOW. Do you HEAR ME?! NOW! I demand you…
And you owe me.
I don’t sleep anymore because of you. My body just tics and tocs to the “new normal.” To your timekeeping. I am also not tired anymore either…thank you? Maybe I should thank you for giving me a rhythm that doesn’t require sleep.
If I only can get my heart there too.
So we are alike now. We just keep going and going and going. Maybe I run on Duracell too.
You know what? You should get a new gig.
This place is NOT the norm. There are other clocks that can be found at swimming pools or at gymnasiums, happy places. Once, Jacob, Benno and I saw a clock that you would have been in awe of. We went to NASA, we SAILED there, and saw the clock that counted down, not up. Crazy concept for you I”m sure.
And get this. Outside of here, you are worshiped. They literally spend their days looking at you. You are their metric of success. They race you all day long. You are the center of their universe.
You’ve seriously got the worst gig. You got screwed.
Oh boy do I get it.
Because I spend my days in this nightmare counting too.
Not down, but not up either. There is nothing before or after. There are no “plans” here.
So you just count things.
You count your child’s hemoglobin levels, white blood cells, you count the seconds until you see signs of the morning. You count the children. You count their families. You count lives that will never be the same.
You watch it all.