this evening is my first day on the job. the training trial period, sort of like life:
for some heavenly duty of sorts; a military nurse for God. The idea is to go
and pick up the wounded angels of Armageddon running along the front lines, (some dimension
prepared just for this) pulling them aside, relieving them of their armor.
i’ll take out my bag of tricks: God’s morphine and His tourniquet. Now and until then, he tells me his potions
are potent and his pre-hospital care is powerful … so i start with this. its small but its a start
and its taken me long enough to conjure up some sense of purpose.
you first have to realize you are small
your big plans are skepticism. your small ones, volunteer work.
your life is a resume; practicing in the mirror for the long awaited interview
i could be wrong but i’m not
i could be wrong but what if i’m not
i tucked in my polo shirt which i never do but they never have uniforms in extra small or even small, because uniforms were not meant to be customized or to fit. i tried to fit the profile, hair tucked away in bun, slippery nose with falling glasses.
i tried to look pressed, ironed, worthy. i go to open the cottage door (cottage is their term for
anything not plastered with stucco and pink paint; not uniform) but its locked. Of course. I knock and a woman twice my age but shorter opens the door, baring the same tucked polo, thrift store khakis hemmed, sliding thick rimmed glasses with question-mark eyes.
You must be the new girl.
yes, yes of course
in time with the persona.
you then have to realize where you fit
because some people learn best in quiet light,
others in do or die situations.
and God lets us figure that out
through one painted window at a time
immediately, i felt awkward, like an intruder. sorry. this was a quiet place with
musky, milk glass lighting; antique static. the living room straightened with old people in rows
of withered skin and aimless eyes. they don’t say hi or welcome me because they don’t know
me but they know that much. Dusty roses and muted green damask tapestry stuffed tautly
forming against their bony backs, paints a false picture. Fake flowers abound, the TV
is just on and a waxy wipe-off calendar blares pathetic goals for each day:
exercise, Thursday the 1st.
bingo, Friday the 9th.
Today is staring off into space with applesauce and Respiradol dried to corners of cracked speechless lips and blank daydreams shuttering only by anything familiar and nothing here is… but that’s not written on the calendar.
the next ambition is discovering falsity,
because where one hopes many doubt.
this will take a lifetime to sift through
but with earnest virtue you will.
if you love this, than you will.
she leads me into the medication room and in my loud young limbs and pin-tucked mouth, i ask too quickly:
what do you want me to do.
let me put some of them to bed and then i’ll show you around.
so i sat there observing, tarrying with the moments passing. is this God’s idea or mine?
i’ve already judged the room and my place in it: too fake. too boxy; plastic antiques. replicas of
comfort. its a shade too quiet for my age and i’m a tad too quick for their hands.
i can’t take it anymore:
Ya know i can help; i don’t want to just sit here.
well that one needs to be changed; she goes at the very end of the hall behind you on the right.
she’s pretty easy but use a high pitched voice, she likes to be pampered.
what is she talking about? i’ve never even held a baby. i’m too proud to ask. i reach for the cold clammy creature, walk with her down the hall. young and old, new and used. its sort of purposeful like Mary and Elizabeth; we’re fulfilling something… perhaps me.
last you realize small hands do big things
your place is where God puts it
The truth is in the moment, what you skim from the top of it.
i could be wrong but i’m not.
and we’re all just really practicing, aren’t we?
i caught on to the quietness. they live in dreams of things that made sense once. so i pretend
with her. its the only thing i could think to do. are we in the 40′s maybe? two young damsels
glorifying our best features in a powder room, fixing a loose hem, a snagged stocking:
here let me help you with that.
i fumble with the washcloth; well this is awkward. what? God i don’t know.
wait Hon’, umm..you’ve got a punch stain your dress.
Oh thank you sweetheart, she says to me.
Can you believe she said thank you? and here i am sweating and shaking trying to work with this discomfort: the interplay of dignity and delirium.
it wasn’t bad for a first day; i broke my own mold and washed the feet of God for the first time.~