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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It Always Rains In November

I don’t get that some bloggers (and I guess writers in general) can write about their innermost thoughts and intimate details about their personal lives (and knowing those would be read by faceless strangers) like it was the most natural thing in the world.  Somehow I find the idea too intrusive, and a little self-indulgent.  There are things about ourselves that we simply can’t share with others. In my case, a great many things.
For years, I can’t even talk about my son who died at just two months old. I kept my feelings bottled up. When somebody asks me about it, I just shrug and say, well that’s just the way it is, and promptly change the subject.  
Seven years after Jedidiah (that was his name) died, I woke up one morning sobbing and bawling; I was crying my goddamn eyes out for a son that died many years ago. It wasn’t as if I dreamed about him, or that his “spirit” visited me or any of that nonsense; I just opened my eyes this one morning and bam! Wept and cried like King David grieving for Absalom.  
It was cathartic.

Jed died in the hospital. He had been there for several days. The night he died, I was with him while his mother went out to buy medicine that the doctor had prescribed, but which was not available at the hospital. The doctor had told us that the child was in a serious condition, so we knew

I kept talking to Jed as he lay there, telling him stories I read when I was a kid, telling him that his grandma and grandpa would take him to Disneyland, talking to him about anything. He just kept staring at me, and I could have sworn that he understood. I knew somehow he understood: that I was so fucking scared I was shivering, scared that he would not get to see his first birthday, scared that he would not get to meet my father and mother. And his eyes seemed to be saying, Sorry Dad, but that’s just the way it is.
Goddamn it. 

I was talking to him for what must have been nearly an hour when I noticed that his eyes had lost focus. I stood up from the bed, and called for the doctors and nurses. They came promptly and tried to revive Jed. They did this for about thirty minutes. By this time I couldn’t see anything.
They finally gave up. There was this one female nurse however that didn’t stop and kept on trying until finally she too stopped. I went to my son’s side. They left me there for some time. Later they came back and told me sorry but they had to take him away.  
His mother arrived with the medicine. She came into the room. The doctor was there and I was signing some papers. I still remember the look on her face when she saw the empty bed.
We looked at each other. She sat beside me and I put my arms around her. She wept silently.

It was November 6.
Years later, on November 19, 2006, my father died.
I am tempted to say, go fuck yourself, November, but that wouldn’t make any sense.  All the same, I can’t wait for this month to be over.
It’s the rains; I hate the rains of November.

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