A few days before winter, some people clean their chimneys; we clear the hallway. Bags of equipment will soon fill the narrow space. The people in green uniforms need space for pink ampules, for masks that mist, for machines that measure and for all the bags they carry.
Breathing tubes are like a hallway: always needing to be cleared to make space. Children bring clutter to hallways and airways. A few days before winter, I start to clear both. The people in green uniforms will come to help me when the passages become too narrow for air.
Clear the hallway. Unlock the door. Let them in. Breathe.
Impractical and strange dream like thoughts come late at night when sleep is halted. Why isn’t there a road designed as the crow flies? Or a zip line? Surely the wind would fill his lungs with air… Or scare him to death. On these nights, my mind sees his lungs like a parachute, they fill with air as he speeds over the city.
I remember my apartment in Dublin. Crows used to sit outside the window on the balcony. They looked like they were trying to steal my soul. I shut the curtains to hide from their creepy stares. I remember I’ve only seen crows in flat places. Are they unable to fly straight over hills? It’s probably a myth anyway. I don’t possess an encyclopaedic knowledge of crows. It seems easy to manage a straight line when there are no obstacles. Our world is too complicated for crows or straight lines.
The people in green uniforms walk into the little room off the hallway. He clings tighter. Their eyes read machines and they interpret numbers, pallor, resp rates. They come with compassion and kindness when time allows. They see the needs in the room beyond the machines and medicine. They sometimes take over as the numbers get worse. 88. Everybody scurries down the hallway and through the front door. They take him away his airways are too messy.
With lights flashing they drive too straight through the bends. It’s as if they are trying to draw a straight line to the hospital. If you drive as the crow flies it’s faster. The green uniforms straighten roads designed by lovers of corkscrews. The line between our house and Newtown has too much clutter: hills, houses, structures, water. Clear the hallway and make a clear road for those that need to breathe. I wonder if I should have lived closer? Fucking real estate!
Thankfully there are no creepy crows, just the compassionate people dressed in green. In winter and spring I clear the hallway, unlock the door and let them in. They drive Faster, straighter, like a zip line to Newtown with lights flashing.
Straight, as the ambulance flies.