||[Nov. 22nd, 2005|10:19 pm]
Marsha's temperature is 100.9 tonight. They'd been giving her a course of antibiotics, which stopped recently. Tonight she said she was afraid of dying, the first time she's said so since the really bad time at the beginning of the year.
I'm afraid too.
She falls asleep and then wakes up and tells me she's just resting her eyes. She's more articulate than she often is with this degree of fever. A lot of the old speech artifacts are here -- very short sentences, repeated repetition of phrases. But she gets her point across. When she wakes up and catches me at the computer she says "I'm not asleep." "I'm not asleep." "I'm not asleep."
She's sleeping now. But she's right. She's not asleep. She harassed the nursing home until they cut her dose of pain killer in half -- said she couldn't access her emotions. "Body trumps spirit," Rose May Dance says. And I think that's going to prove true, too soon. But if anyone is a counterexample it's Marsha. Eight years ago I wrote:
It seems that Atropos won't cut your thread,So it must be thirty years ago, near enough, that she was diagnosed. May the angel of death be gentle with her; may Atropos give due honor to the thread She finally cuts.
but frays it, strand by strand. You now regret
your knees ("start here; stand up; twist there; reset"
was quicker, neater, safer than a slide)
now nimble memory, fingers, quiet bowels.
Because they aren't there, they block your way:
your sinew threads a labyrinth. Who'd say
what spinster spun it, from what shroud or cowl
it came undone? Old Inexorable
Herself has hesitated twenty years
at snapping it: you're tough. You feel Her pull,
the bends and raptures of a deep descent.
You fear, and learn the other side of fear,
as divers learn the secrets of ascent.
She just woke up for a minute as I was putting blackberries and small cubes of cheddar cheese on the table for her to eat later. "Will work for berries and cheese," she said.