Saturday, November 29, 2008


He opens his eyes and there is a pretty girl. there is a crazy slant to the world, but the girl emerges from the soft edges and she is pretty. This is the first thing that Evan registers, pretty girl in the smudge that is the world. He lifts himself higher on the pillow, only he doesn't really. There is a small movement, a rustle on the sheets that is a contraction of his muscles as he attempts a larger maneuver. He barely moves, and the pretty girl steps into the blur that vaseline smudges the edge of his vision and he is almost gone. He blinks and peers at the sift edges of her.

"Well, hello there."

His mouth is soft as unbaked bread dough. He can not be sure he has made words with it. He grins at her, an I've just woken from sleep bedroom smile, the kind he reserves for pretty girls who have woken up beside him.

"I feel a little strange this morning my love"

The girl steps closer. She peers into his face, she leans. Her breasts pull at her uniform. Nurses uniform.

"Are we playing doctors and nurses now?" he says.

A thin smile.

"Don't try to talk" she tells him. "Don't speak."

"There are no words between us." Evan laughs

Her brow furrows. "Your words may come back." She says, "Eventually."

"What do you mean? My words may come back?"

"You've had a stroke, Evan. That's why it is hard to speak."

But it isn't hard. He tells her this but it is as if she cannot hear him. A stroke? He is too young to have had a stroke, strokes are for old men who shuffle down the street with their faces all hanging loose and drool dripping onto their shirts.

He puts his hand to his face only his hand does not move, not even a fraction. He touches but he does not touch.

"I've had a stroke." he tells the pretty nurse in surprise.

"Don't try to talk," she tells him as if she can not understand, "There's plenty of time for that."

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