Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Impossible Face Scratch

I stood there watching him and trying to understand how could a body look like that, the position was inhuman in it’s deformity and in my mind’s eye (my curse, believe me, since this mind is very graphic) I tried to figure out where the arms were and where the legs were. And then it became clearer, he was struggling to pull out an arm from under the sheets to scratch his face. I was mesmerized, it was such an arduous affair, it took him a very long time to free his arm from the tangles of the sheets, but then just when I thought it was free and he was ok came the next almost impossible task of finding his face to scratch it. He tried and tried, but his obstinate hand would not succumb, it would not go to his face. I thought of going there and helping him, but to me it felt more like an insult than an act of kindness.

I was frozen. I could not look away and did not want to be caught staring. He would definitely not catch me looking since he was so busy with his affairs of face scratching, but I did not want the nurses to see. My mind was racing with thoughts trying to understand what it would feel like when such an act that we unconsciously perform becomes the task of the day. What would it feel like when all the day comprises of is a face scratch, a yawn and maybe a shifting of the leg for 2 inches and you would be done for the day, your task list will be all checked and clear and ready to face another day of such monstrous duties.

There and then I decided to write a will that if and when it ever gets to this someone that dearly loves me will need to shut down that damn machine and out of  love too. Lawful, unlawful I do not care, I do not want to be there. It is not dignified, it is not the way it should be.

My eyes started to swell with tears and then I heard my friend say lets go. His dad passed away a few minutes ago. Later looking at the dead body of  my friend’s father, I wondered if he knew how lucky he was, he was definitely in a better state.

Be happy you can scratch your face.

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