Vida Janulaitis

Through the fog, I tried to move. There was someone telling me to lift my legs, my arms, and then to turn my head from side to side. When they asked me what I had for breakfast I couldn't remember, but I remember falling down the stairs when I hit my head. I had brought a box of used clothing to the church bazaar, missed my footing I wonder if that's where it all started. I don't recall living here in the City of Angels, but I know I like the sound of it. My head gets dizzy every time I do my therapy, lift this, walk like this, and after I'm so tired. I wonder if I'll get better but then again I didn't know I was sick.

Each day I wait for someone to visit me. I look around and I see all these people. What do they do all day? I know they come get me to eat, sometimes after I fall asleep they wake me to give me a shower. I always thought that bizarre, why would you wake a person at night to shower them? The clock is in front of my bed, time seems endless.

There is no life here but eating, sleeping, and gentle people telling you to move this way or that way. Some of the other people don't listen. They just fall asleep. I notice some people disappear, one day they pass you in the hall, the next they're gone. Will that be my fate? Will I simply be a memory to someone one day? When that person forgets, will I simply fade away into oblivion? If I can't remember, how can I expect anyone else too.

I don't feel part of things anymore, even though I do exist. My body doesn't seem to understand what my mind is telling it. Something's wrong. I use a walker now and I slowly make my way past the women in white. They all smile and wave. I hear them dimly how great I'm doing, I turn the corner and keep going. This nice lady opened the door for me and I felt the cool air. I thought that strange, usually through this door it's quite warm.

On my skin I feel tiny bites. The dimness becomes brighter and I see triangular flakes with sharp edges. The glow becomes unbearable, I close my eyes, and when I open them I remember everything. Everyone who was gone is now here. I leave my shuffling behind and walk over to the crowd. At least these people know who I am.

First published: November, 2003