the project has moved



Promises, Post 6

Tentative title number 3: Shut Up and Take It

Except I didn't. I quit.

I moved closer to the ocean. Cathreen came with me to my temporary housing. The night before I moved, I slept in a motel, and she said the words I'd been afraid of, and then anticipated, and then grown anxious to hear.

I have kept the promises, all except the one about the dogs.

Back at the hospital again, Cathreen suggests I continue the treatment on my neck. My spine, the doctor says, is without a crucial cuve. I have been living without this for how long now--and not even known it.

I figure my body knows me better than it knows itself.

Yet I lie down on the hospital bed and let the doctor do doctor things. I can smell the sweat of other people on the equipment he places beneath my neck and shoulders. I complain, and Cathreen complains, and I shut up and take it.

He is going to shoot electricity through my body the way he shoots it through Cathreen's hand. "Now you will seeing what it's like," she says. The doctor turns a dial but I feel nothing. "More?" Cathreen asks. "More," I say. Soon I feel a pulsing. "Does it hurt?" she asks.

I sweat in the same spot, sweat that will be passed on to someone else. "Doesn't hurt," I say.

The new apartment belonged to a parent of one of the students at the school--they were on sabbatical. Two bedrooms, open spaces. The beach nearby. I loved this borrowed life.

Before we went to the beef restaurant the other day, Cathreen asked for restaurant suggestions. I didn't want to choose the place. Neither did her sister. "You never decide anything," Cathreen accused. "I don't want the responsibility," I said before I could stop herself. Then her sister said the same, so I was safe.

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