The White Parade: I of VIChapter I: The Patient(s)The White Parade: I of VI9 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
They call him The Patient.
No one is really sure what his real name is, save the doctors and nurses who treat him, I guess—but really, what sort of shitty general nickname is “The Patient” in a place like this? This hospital is full of patients—most of them running out of patience for their diseases and the treatments that are supposed to help them. But somehow… It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to, or who is talking to you; say “The Patient” with the right amount of inflection and people automatically know. It doesn’t matter how they know—they just do.
It isn’t that he’s remarkable in any way. He’s tall, thin—the thinness in him probably more from his treatments than his diet or lack thereof. His hair is so blonde that in some lights people must think that it’s white, or that he doesn’t have any. There is the possibility that some
The White Parade: FinaleChapter VI: And on the Sixth Day...The White Parade: Finale9 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
His heart gives out in the emergency room. Doctors rush to fulfill their Hippocratic Oath. Intubate him first; get him breathing. Get the air in his lungs. While they do that, determine that this is the situation for the defibrillator, then get someone else to wheel it out so they can get his heart working. Charge it up…
The girl screams at the way his body jerks on the table. The heart monitor displays a sudden spike of green, stalling in its sound for a second before the spikes even out again, returning to the comfort of being a flat line.
She screams again. Again, there’s a spike on the monitor; again, it flattens out into an even line. They wonder why she’s still here. Silent messages get sent at light speed, even as thei
The White Parade: III of VIChapter III: The White ParadeThe White Parade: III of VI9 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A day passes. I find myself in his room again, taking more pictures. I don’t even think about it anymore; right after the last class is over, I catch the subway to the hospital, take the elevator to the fifth floor and knock twice on door 515. He never seems to mind. He never asks why I keep coming. He just lets me in when I knock and closes the door behind us—locking it to keep the unwanted medicals out. I bring the scarf this time, hidden inside a black gift bag I found in my closet the night before. When I give it to him, he seems rather…shocked. Not because it’s a scarf, but because it’s a gift for him.
He whispers a shy “thanks”, and then we get down to brass tacks.
“Did you hear about the girl in 522?”
It was only yesterday; how could I forget?
“I was in Claire’s room when the doctors ran past.” Click. “They said it was a…a ‘cod
The White Parade: V of VIChapter V: Four WeeksThe White Parade: V of VI9 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It’s a month to the show. A month. Four weeks, give or take a day…
“I can’t believe it. Prismacolor markers, pencils…oil paints, turpentine…brushes…” He stares at the bounty with wide eyes. “Where did you get all of this?”
I just grin and set down a bag full of canvases of various sizes on the bed. “I happen to have very good friends.”
Actually, Mac happens to have very good friends. Friends in places an artist can only dream to have friends.
“Are those the…?”
“Mm-hmm. I think someone said something about bringing in an easel later.”
“Really? A-an easel?”
“Mm-hm.” I open the window. A small breeze blows through the screen, but nothing strong enough to disrupt papers. “It’ll be easier than painting on the windowsill.”
“Yeah…” He goes back to staring at the
The White Parade: II of VIChapter II: PerfectThe White Parade: II of VI9 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“Why is she here?”
He’s sitting on the bench across from the elevator, waiting for me like he has been for the last week. There’s a square patch of cotton gauze taped to the inside of his left elbow, the telltale sign of the recently needled. His clothes are still the same (or perhaps, more believably, a different set) of cotton hospital pajamas in plain, standard white. He’s at the height of fashion in his clothes, at the very peak of classic American hospital chic that will never in a million years die out. If it ever does, then God help the masses without any other way of telling the difference between the medically experienced and the medically ignorant.
It’s the first time since our first meeting that The Patient has said anything to me, and the sound of his voice comes as a shock. The look of genuine interest etched into the permanent intensity of his face only serves to shock me further.
“Well? Are you gonna te
The White Parade: IV of VIChapter IV: 3AMThe White Parade: IV of VI9 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“Once again, I can’t stress how…terribly sorry we are about the mishap this afternoon.”
“N-no…no, it’s fine. Honest. I won’t sue unless I develop a habit for the stuff.”
They chuckle nervously. “Regardless… That was a careless move on our part. It could have been worse than a sedative.”
“Is he always that difficult?”
“You mean, ‘Is he always that hysterical?’”
She nods. “He’s never been…that way before. I’ve never seen him like that.”
“Yes, well… Normally we wait until you leave. When you left we just assumed—”
“That I was gone for the day.”
“My camera was there. All my stuff…”
“We didn’t see your things; he must have put them somewhere for saf
Those Who Continue...May you be in heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you are dead!Those Who Continue...8 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
- Old Irish Proverb
Growing up, there were always four of us hanging around together--three, if you count that Gerry didnt live in Bay Head like the rest of us. Gerry was from further north, from Belleville, but his mother was a friend of Mattys mother and was never very fond of the dangers offered to a kid living in the Newark area, so she would bring him down for a few weeks every summer. Even as a kid, he had a talent for imagination. A regular dreamer with a big heart to match, he was always wandering around with a sketchbook and pencil always finishing an old idea or starting on a new one
Ricky was a quiet kid growing up. He was skinny, with ember-red hair and glasses that made you wonder who was writing his prescriptions. Smart, though. Good with his hands. He was always taking things apart and figuring out how they worked--and then making them work better. Raised by hi
L'Amore Alleva la LealtaMy parents screwed up a lot, starting the day we were born.L'Amore Alleva la Lealta7 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
We were born on Easter Sunday, 1986, as twins. The family story goes that Mom started having contractions in the middle of the homily and didnt say anything until her water broke while she was receiving communion. She didnt want to walk out in the middle of Mass, believing God would be angry with her for that.
Im not sure if I believe it or not.
My brother was born after me. I was forever the older brother by four and a half minutes. Just four and a half minutes. And because of those four and a half minutes, for nearly the next twenty years, all I ever seemed to hear was, Badi del suo fratellino. Take care of your little brother.
(Little brother. Despite being identical, he was bigger than me--not by a lot, but he was. Enough that it made it easier to tell us apart in pictures. It was not so much a nature thing but a nurture thing, in the long run. I was always told that I was a little shri
The Plight of PygmalionHis lips pressed to mineThe Plight of Pygmalion7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Cause my heart to run freely.
Life would be more perfect
If only my puppet boy
Was a real man.