March 19, 2008 | Ben: THIS IS YOUR BLOOD! THIS IS YOUR LIFE! This isn’t anything you make art with, THAT’S SICK! This is your friends, your family, your children, your future! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF?!?!
On phone with J.R.
March 15, 2008 Harlem, NY | It should have been my hand he was holding, my skin on his, my face he saw last. He was volatile but on his good days, he adored me. I was his youngest. They say he was a horrible man but I at least owed him my presence on his deathbed because he was my father.
Doctor advises Ben to admit me to the hospital
Ben: You know what the biggest insult is? That I’m always around death... people who—all they want to do is live, and here you are, just wanting to quit!
I keep telling him it doesn’t hurt and he just looks at me like he’s staring at someone else, a stranger. Maybe he’s better off…
Day 3 at Clark 8
March 21, 2008 | Shabbat dinner no pens, no pencils no battery operated candles.
From a mother's perspective
EMT on their way. Ma splashing water at me to wake me. Wish they didn’t overreact. This wasn’t an attempt. I just wanted my heart to stop beating so fast. I wanted to breathe. Sleep. Ben is going to be so mad.
He won’t let up. Won’t stop following me wherever I go. No locked doors. No closed doors—not the bedroom, not the office, not even the bathroom.
It’s as if he senses that things aren’t what they used to be. He won’t ask to be walked, won’t bark for food, won’t nudge me for his ball. He’ll just sit there watching my face. And when the tears come, he’ll slowly inch toward me and rest his little head on my neck, his muzzle bobbing as I heave. I just want to sleep.
On my way down from Broadway, three blocks from where I first met Tennessee, laid a dead yearling. It’s as if I’m just now realizing that not everyone is going to pull out of this the same way. I had to finally admit to myself that not everyone is salvageable. Call it fate or circumstance but some of us are bound to survive and some, despite their best efforts, will perish. I realize now that it was guilt all along. I feel guilty for being fine when he obviously wasn’t. I’m afraid for him but in all honesty, I think I’m more afraid of ending up like him. That part is even harder to swallow.
The residents talk to us like we're children
March 22, 2008 Clark 8 Expressive Writing Group
"Time is all I'm ever going to miss." - Patient G.