She's a good friend, an old friend, from 12th grade on. One of those friends about whom I could tell many stories from youth that all seem wild, and from more recently, that all seem brave.
We hadn't seen each other for a while so took the complete helplessness of being on the schedule of the emergency room as a chance to catch up. Kids first--we know each other's kids well, so this isn't as boring as it can be at times. Then we drifted off into the conversational equivalent of speculative fiction. We imagined how the accident could have been worse, then whether or not we should blow off Christmas and go away, and where we would go if we did.
I got to cover her with blankets, to help her drink water, to go with her to be X-rayed, and to help her up when no one would give us a straight answer about whether or not she was allowed to move. As it turned out, she wasn't. By then we were already across the hall, by the bathroom. You snooze you lose, hospital people.
When the attending finally came in with the test results, he clearly thought I was her lover/partner. He addressed me with that level of seriousness, and told me all future variables on her care and what we needed to do about insurance. I didn't correct him. It felt good to be taken into account, as if I were essential--more than just the friend.
My mind leaped to Chagall. Chagall the magical, Chagall who painted dreams in the sky. An odd association, yet I understood.
|Altar Window All Saints Tudel|
When A. was let go after her accident, I drove her home to her husband and daughter and said goodbye. They asked me to stay; I didn't want to stay. I gave her husband the instructions that had been told to me, when I was her partner for a little while--her significant other, rather than just her friend.