Agony: extreme (prolonged) pain, intense physical/mental suffering, the (violent) struggle preceding death.
You try to be the old you.
The one I did not know, the flirtatious one, the one I imagine used to charm anyone.
There are still traces left of that one.
The longish hair . . . now thinning.
The strong built legs, torso, arms . . . scantily covered by your gown.
The eyes, smiling when you make sexist remarks and attempt to invite me to participate in that old game that worked for you so long ago.
But you can’t quite pull it off.
You are stuck in the present, refusing to loosen yourself from the past—because that is all you have.
It seems you suddenly realize this, and an endless barrage of words—grammatically structured, using verbal conjugations, nouns, adjectives, and others—erupts, using just one root word: fuck.
Agony . . . intense emotional suffering—for all you had and all you lost.
You grab your head and close your eyes, sinking into a meditative state, or is it the morphine?
Your fingers start twitching, your hand relaxes and slips from your forehead.
I watch your breathing slow down . . . become regular.
Suddenly you open your eyes and you are back.
You are unaware that you were only gone for a moment and tell me to wake you the next time it happens.
Your body has too many things wrong with it, you explain.
Your face distorts with held-in emotions and you look away.
Then you moan and start to cry; tears form in the corners of your eyes; you wipe them away—not angrily—helplessly, and you yell in agony, sentences strung together, barely comprehensible, but the message is there: you are here because you put yourself here, and it is not the first time. The excruciating uncertainty is not knowing if this is the last time—the violent struggle preceding possible death.
I watch and wait, until you turn to me; I am as lost as you are, desperate in a different way, not knowing how to comfort you.
I feel empty, only empathy—but it is impossible, feels pretentious, to identify with the intense emotions and pain you are going through.
Our eyes connect; you stare into mine, and I into yours, there is nothing inside me I can give you, and I reach outside of myself, “I do not know if you believe in a God, however you understand Him . . . or Her, but I can pray later or right now?”
“Please,” you say, “Please.”
I start, but after half a sentence an agonizing plea pours out of you, a soulful cry, “God, help, God help, help me.” I cannot follow everything you say—there is no need, God knows.
You sink away again, as if this supplication took the last bit of vitality from you, and again I watch your body relax.
This time you leave me longer than the last time.
I bring you back, only to tell you I have to leave.
“I will be back,” I manage to say.
The agony returns and is reflected in your voice, “I will be here.”
Neither of us know this to be true . . .
I am back.
You are here,
and we laugh
together . . .