Category Archives: Recovery

Recovery Room

dense-fogWalking up the block away from the East River, it’s hard to see through the soup…fog drifting in and out, clinging to things invisible with wispy wet tendrils. It reminds me of my husband’s brain tumor, and also the endless days of gray near the shore at certain times of the year. You just start to think the sun will burn through and the next thing you know, it’s pea soup again!

We have to get through the soup first before we’ll know where we’re going. My father, a private pilot, was right in life as in flying. We have to get through that creepy uncertainty of not knowing what might be just ahead, if anything. If anything…yes, let’s hope there’s something there and we’re not lost in nothingness. Fog can make you feel so absent, even when you know where you were when it first rolled in.

Straining to catch the change in atmosphere, every little gradation, imagined or otherwise, that might indicate a marker to hold onto, I can just make out a painted sign high over my head identifying what seems to be a restaurant, from the look of a bar and tables inside the amber glow from its window. ‘The Recovery Room’; bright red letters on the sign identify with strong intent. How clever! A few blocks from some of the best hospitals in the city, the irony of this suggested oasis of comfort cannot be missed. Did its proprietors intend all the nuances coming to mind? The bar dispensing pain medication, momentarily dulling the senses, while patron strangers ask if you’re all right—if they can get you anything to make you more comfortable.

They seem caring so you reach out and smile at them, knowing full well the connection won’t last long. Diners inside the restaurant who’ve left the bar for their tables shake off the stupor, initially welcomed, of their drinks’ anesthetizing properties. Are you ready now?  A waitress in uniform tries to assess your level of preparedness to move to the next stage of recovery. But sitting alone at a table it becomes obvious that one doesn’t recover in one of those rooms. It is perhaps a beginning of consciousness, but by no means a recovery. I slip back to a semi-conscious state, maybe a dream of the last few months.

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