Forty Minutes

They can’t be serious.

Me having a conversation with myself?

To begin I will have to picture everybody naked. Now don’t start squirming in your seat quite yet. This is about me. Full disclosure, my brain is automatically set to overdrive. If you’re still reading, hang on to your hat.

4:30 a.m.

Dear God! Look at the magnificence of daybreak. Should I stay awake for sunrise or go back to sleep? I’m already wide awake. Let’s see how it plays out. Good gracious, the colors cannot be matched. Muted peach, mango, mix of blue into a purple haze.

Open the window a little wider. Listen to the bird song. All’s quiet. Jeepers, I’m awake before the birds. Guess I’ll go to the bathroom. Yikes, it’s freezing out here in the hall. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. I love the sound of the percolator.

Check the temperature on my phone. 56 degrees F. Summer’s late arriving this year. Last year too. Every year, of course.

Funny, how we all call it, “my phone”. Back in the day there was no such thing as “my phone”. We had “the phone”. It came with the house, attached to the wall. Everyone used it.

Should I move to Wickford? That loft space of Joslin’s is a bit dark. Not sure there are enough windows for me. No deck either. Wickford is such a yawn. Cute little village but not enough stimulation. Certainly not enough mix in demographics. They roll up the sidewalks at 5 p.m. for cripes sakes. I miss the ocean and the college crowd already. But I could get a dog. They say that there is never a friend quite as loyal as a dog.

Ahh, nothing feels like the first hot sip of coffee.

Yesterday was exhausting. Guess I didn’t see the triggers coming. But it wasn’t about me anyway. It was about my best friend in life. I can’t get my head around his prognosis. Twelve to eighteen months? Jesus H. Christ. Don’t cry. Dr. Oncology announced it last week just as though he were talking about a lab rat. None of the four of us in the room flinched. Each afraid to cast even a side glance toward another that an avalanche of tears may ensue.

My best friend is a commercial shell fisherman. Big, strong bull-raker. Twenty to forty feet of metal stale into the water. Manually raking clams from the bottom for your feast. He dug two hundred pounds of them the next day.

Yesterday, though. My best friend had his port-a-cath placement at RI Hospital. For the chemotherapy. Then, hopefully the immunotherapy. The least I could do was to drive him there and stay with him. After everything he’s done for me.

Through thick and thin, he’s been there. A more loyal friend is not to be found. Lose him to stage IV esophageal cancer? Twelve to eighteen months? A world without my dear, sweet friend? He is the most kindhearted person I’ve ever known. It just cannot be.

Yesterday, though. Seems that the four or so hours I waited could’ve been worse. Wandering the halls, searching for meaning I said to myself, Wow. That guy is handsome! There goes another. Where were all the hot looking young guys in scrubs when I worked here?

Oh, my friend? He and I were sweethearts a long time ago for an exceptionally long time. We’ve both moved on but have remained the best of friends through eighteen years of ups, downs, life, near death.

I wonder if I should move to Wickford. It is rather a quaint seaside village. I would have a water view to the north and the east. I’ll be closer to a large group of close-knit friends. Save money. Write more. Photograph more. Travel more. Perhaps make new friends. One day I might get a dog. A second runner-up to the most loyal friend I’ve ever had.

5:10 a.m.

Geez, will you look at that? The splendor of that sunrise.


Written in response to writing prompt,

“A conversation with myself”

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