Journal 4-Youtube prose readings

I watched a few different readings on Youtube because the school readings didn’t work with my practice schedule, but I watched some very good and interesting prose readings. The one I decided to write about is by Colleen Derosa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSLXX3r7oyI

The prose reading I watched was a young woman reading a story from the perspective of a 911 dispatcher. It starts light-hearted and witty, as she describes her path from being a nursing school dropout to going to her “cozy and dark corner” in the police station. She says she has always wanted to help people, which led her to nursing school and the police station, but was crippled under the pressure of saving lives and seeing blood. To her logic, this is why she chose to be a dispatched, to be “as far away from the action as possible” but still able to help. She described her daily routine of picking up the phone, talking to those in need and redirecting the call to the appropriate manager. Her mood often affected how she did her job, as is the same with most people and their jobs, which made the story relateable and funny, particularly a line where she talks about the usual call from a parent about their 16-year-old smoking pot.

The reading quickly changed gears when she describes a call she got from a Joe Wilson one day, who called after he fell from a ladder and fractured his leg. Being incoherent and unresponsive, the reader assumed the caller was another drunk caller and didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until later that she found out Joe Wilson had bled to death, and coming to grips with that weight is what set the tone for the rest of the reading. “I was the last voice Joe Wilson heard and the weight of that overwhelms me,” said the reader as the pace of her words reached a frantic level. “I don’t want this big role in this big play. I’d like to pull away, never hear another call again.” Much like she dropped out of nursing school because of the pressure, it seemed the reader was on the route to follow the same pattern at her dispatcher position as the weight of the trauma was getting to be too much.

Her next caller was a woman who was lost driving in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The dispatcher described to the woman how to get to where she wanted to go from where she was, a fairly easy and simple task for her, but the lost woman was very gracious and thankful, saying “thank you and God bless you” at the end of her call. It was that gratitude and that satisfaction of helping people that inspired her not to leave her job yet and instead, found a renewed love for her job and her passion of helping people. She closed with “I am a 911 dispatcher, and I like helping people,” in an upbeat and happy manner.

Not only was this reading effective in provoking emotions of sadness and laughter to listeners and readers, but the delivery of her reading was masterful. To me, the key to an effective prose reading is the tone of the reader and the reader I watched was so good at feeling the emotion of the narrator, speeding up at appropriate points and slowing down at others. This enhanced the impact and emotion of her reading to make it a truly memorable one and one that kept you interested the entire time.

The other interesting thing is that the writer decided to go with a character that is relateable to the audience and readers. Someone who is squeamish to blood and prefers to be away from the action while also wanting to help people is a character that most people can agree with. It was interesting to me that

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Journal 4-Youtube prose readings

I watched a few different readings on Youtube because the school readings didn’t work with my practice schedule, but I watched some very good and interesting prose readings. The one I decided to write about is by Colleen Derosa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSLXX3r7oyI

The prose reading I watched was a young woman reading a story from the perspective of a 911 dispatcher. It starts light-hearted and witty, as she describes her path from being a nursing school dropout to going to her “cozy and dark corner” in the police station. She says she has always wanted to help people, which led her to nursing school and the police station, but was crippled under the pressure of saving lives and seeing blood. To her logic, this is why she chose to be a dispatched, to be “as far away from the action as possible” but still able to help. She described her daily routine of picking up the phone, talking to those in need and redirecting the call to the appropriate manager. Her mood often affected how she did her job, as is the same with most people and their jobs, which made the story relateable and funny, particularly a line where she talks about the usual call from a parent about their 16-year-old smoking pot.

The reading quickly changed gears when she describes a call she got from a Joe Wilson one day, who called after he fell from a ladder and fractured his leg. Being incoherent and unresponsive, the reader assumed the caller was another drunk caller and didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until later that she found out Joe Wilson had bled to death, and coming to grips with that weight is what set the tone for the rest of the reading. “I was the last voice Joe Wilson heard and the weight of that overwhelms me,” said the reader as the pace of her words reached a frantic level. “I don’t want this big role in this big play. I’d like to pull away, never hear another call again.” Much like she dropped out of nursing school because of the pressure, it seemed the reader was on the route to follow the same pattern at her dispatcher position as the weight of the trauma was getting to be too much.

Her next caller was a woman who was lost driving in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The dispatcher described to the woman how to get to where she wanted to go from where she was, a fairly easy and simple task for her, but the lost woman was very gracious and thankful, saying “thank you and God bless you” at the end of her call. It was that gratitude and that satisfaction of helping people that inspired her not to leave her job yet and instead, found a renewed love for her job and her passion of helping people. She closed with “I am a 911 dispatcher, and I like helping people,” in an upbeat and happy manner.

Not only was this reading effective in provoking emotions of sadness and laughter to listeners and readers, but the delivery of her reading was masterful. To me, the key to an effective prose reading is the tone of the reader and the reader I watched was so good at feeling the emotion of the narrator, speeding up at appropriate points and slowing down at others. This enhanced the impact and emotion of her reading to make it a truly memorable one and one that kept you interested the entire time.

The other interesting thing is that the writer decided to go with a character that is relateable to the audience and readers. Someone who is squeamish to blood and prefers to be away from the action while also wanting to help people is a character that most people can agree with. It was interesting to me that

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Journal 4: Form & Play Anaphora

Love comes to those who wait,

Love comes when you aren’t looking for it, but

love is always around. So why can’t I be found?

Love, do you know my name? Do you know how to find me,

love? Can I look while I wait, or does that scare

love? Not as much as I’ve been scared by

love— if you can call it that.

Love is patient and kind, I read. Does

love like that exist on Earth, for humans?

Love seems hidden, and each day my

love becomes more rusted. It was used and then forgotten.

Love don’t run, you always said. But

love never knew how to stay. It’s hiding, and I’ve given up searching-

love won’t be found, and the rust is immobilizing. Thanks,

love.

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Journal 5

The phone rings and rings and rings in the middle of the night.  It keeps ringing after the machine picks up.  Finally you answer itgroggy, irritated, and befuddled.  It’s the call
we all dread and yet know will come more than once in our lives …  
The narrator’s (closest friend, lover, parent, brother, sister, you decide who to kill…) was
in an accident, is at the hospital, and will not last until morning.  He or she dresses furiously, jumps in his or her car, get to the hospital, cursing at the slowness of traffic,and the stupidity of parking attendants, and arrives at the person’s bedside.  What
happens next?  Describe the scene, be detailed.
The person has to die and the narrator has to be a witness.  There can be no miracles.You do not have to use this prompt.  First or third person.We will discuss other possible scenarios in class.

 

 

Jeff traveling to the hospital in the ambulance with his mother.Upon arrival Jeff isn’t allowed into the hospital room but is forced to wait outside. The doctors work to bring his mother back to a stable state. In what felt like hour, the doctors open the door leaving the room to the nurses. Jeff is allowed into the room with his sister Sally who is on the phone calling the rest of the family. Right after Jeff comes into the room, he asks around “what happened?!”,  she just finally reached a stable condition when Jeff arrived. It rained all day today, then the sky cleared during the night, creating a dense fog. A fog so thick that the it’s a miracle the ambulance made it here unharmed. The sky was like his mother’s mind today, something was wrong earlier at the house but he thought nothing of it. Later in the evening, she was watching tv on the couch then Jeff walked in. He greeted her but with a slurred speech, Jeff asked her if she had been drinking again but there was no alcohol to be found. Then turning back to his mother with suspicion she smiled at him but only one side of her face moved. He called for Sally, his sister and an RN out of concern. Once she reached to living room she gasped and called 911. Jeff sees her looking out of the window in the emergency room, in a trance. He himself is starting to disassociate with this very moment over the hospital ambiance. There’s the sound of the dull footsteps of the nurses , the familiar beep of the heart rate monitor, and his mothers light coughs as she lay with her eyes closed. Jeff is standing on white floor tiles, in a blank white room. On the wall, at the end of the bed is a chart with a smiley face on it, and numbers numbered one to ten. There is a curtain at the window, outside is a good view of the city. Except, tonight all that can be seen are the glares from street lights, billboards, and the flashing light of airplanes. Jeff watches Sally turn back to her mother, she is laying on her back with a face like stone. Her short red hair is disheveled, her ruddy cheeks have turned pale and stiff. Jeff stares at the T.V. that is playing some of tonight’s news, the text going across the screen is “man jumps off Chicago bridge”. Jeff is mad at that man. Who is he to disregard his own life when his own mother is dying? Why can’t the people who want to live, who at least have some purpose, get to live longer?! The rest of his family is eleven hours away, the only person that is able to come is their Uncle Tom. However, it is taking him longer to get to the room because of the thick fog and the emergency services at the bridge.Then suddenly, something strange happens, there is an eruption of beeps coming from the machine. His mother’s face tenses, and her breath becomes labored. He watches as Sally screams for the doctors. As the nurses rush back in the room to get his mother back under control, one stops and grabs Sally. The nurse begins to pull her out of the room, Sally fights passionately to stay by her mothers side. As the enviroment in the room becomes more chaotic, with overbearing tension. Jeff feels an unusual feeling of strength and peace. So unusual he questions if this is all real right now, or is it a just a dream? His mother’s body begins to spasm on the bed, yet all Jeff can think about is how insignificant his last words to her were. More nurses attempt to pull Sally out of the room, her screaming must be making the nurses more nervous. Jeff’s face turns pale once his mothers body finally rests. The room falls silent, Sally stops screaming. At this point even the nurses are in tears, as a matter of fact everyone in the room is in tears. Except for Jeff, who stares at his mother with a stone look. He hears a thump behind him and turns to look, Uncle Tom and a doctor are both in pain after colliding at the door. The doctor comes into the room after checking to make sure Uncle Tom was okay. Jeff then watches  the doctor sweep the room, looking at all of the unhappy faces. His walks over to the side of the bed and reaches down, opening up the draw to the dresser next to the bed. Jeff observes the him pick of a piece of paper of the draw, with his hand shaking. And watches, him sign it on the top of the dresser. Jeff feels a hand on his shoulder, as he begins to gaze at the window. The fog outside is gone.

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Journal 5

Journal 5

The phone rings and rings and rings in the middle of the night.  It keeps ringing after the machine picks up.  Finally you answer it—groggy, irritated, and befuddled.  It’s the call we all dread and yet know will come more than once in our lives …

The narrator’s (closest friend, lover, parent, brother, sister, you decide who to kill…) was in an accident, is at the hospital, and will not last until morning.  He or she dresses furiously, jumps in his or her car, get to the hospital, cursing at the slowness of traffic, and the stupidity of parking attendants, and arrives at the person’s bedside.  What happens next?  Describe the scene, be detailed.

 

Drained of color, drained of oxygen, drained of life, she was a ghost already. Violet knew the dancing amber beads of light behind Bernadette’s veiny blue eyelids were already halfway to the light at the end of the tunnel. She thought of the lanterns they cast into the setting sun on their wedding night. Violet grasped onto the image of radiance and warmth and love, as though the mere memory of the past could make the present a little more bearable.

This was completely unacceptable. No matter how much people tried to convince her it was just the nature of life or whatever. Bern’s phantom arms should have stayed tan under the San Diego sun. Her lavender locks and shining silver roots should have stayed with her. She should be back in their rosy bed-sheets from their apartment ten years ago.

No, she shouldn’t be here. No, it was not her time. And, no, everything certainly did not happen for a reason.

Voices of concerned friends rang in her head, soft words mutilated into hellish mockery. She knew going in that Bern was already seventy. She knew deep inside that she’d probably be a widow before forty. Right on time, the day before her fortieth birthday, a week before their ten year wedding anniversary, she saw the scene before her straight from nightmares. She held her soulmate’s cold, limp hand.

“Bern,” she whispered, “Do you hear me? It’s Vi.” In response, Bern’s breathing grew heavier, hoarser, and somehow even sicklier. “It’s okay.” Violet went on, kneeling to stroke her drooping face. She remembered when Bern’s eyes beamed with passion like wild fireworks, the most methodical chaos Violet had ever seen. In a violent flash, staggering lightening bolts of images paralyzed her. She held Bern’s hand tighter, hoping the touch would reach her, wherever she was now. She didn’t seem conscious, but her soul felt close. Violet sobbed, thinking of all the lonely nights with a bag of chips and the T.V. Just like college. Just like grad school. Just like when she moved back with her parents for the occasional year or so. This woman didn’t let her be mediocre. Everyone else always had. Truth was, she didn’t trust herself to make anything of her life on her own, without her partner.

Never much for words, she cleared her throat. She let clouds of tears smear the sterile room like paint. Bernadette moaned and, with that, her heart gave out.

The cursed flat line haunted Violet for the rest of her directionless life. They were going to open a yarn store together. They were going to move to Italy. They were going to go back to school, together. No, this was not her time. This was a nightmare at full volume.

And, sure, Violet made a decent effort in life on her partner’s behalf from then on, but she always missed her.

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Journal 5

Ragged and broken, his breath struggled to pull in air. The wheeze sounded like that of an old dog right before the family puts it down.

I had just arrived at the hospital, nearly having to be admitted myself. I came within inches of totaling my car twice on the way over. I went to the lady at the front desk who asked for a name then pointed me down the hall. I walked slowly, peeking into each room that I passed. The Intensive Care Unit is a hell of a place to observe. Each doorway almost emanates a somber glow. It’s strangely beautiful, numbing like nothing ever hurt.

I finally reached the last door on the left before the hallway intersected with another. It was the only room I hadn’t checked but somehow I knew what room they were in before I even took my first step into the lobby.

There he was. Ancient…antique. Laying on his back, propped up by pillows with tubes running down his throat and nose was my grandpa. I felt nothing. Well…what I should say is that I was indifferent upon seeing him like this, but I was instantly wracked with guilt upon realizing how little I felt. I mean in my defense he was fucking old. Like really old. 90 is a ripe old number for someone who smoked a cigar and drank whiskey with every meal. How bad am I supposed to feel? Shouldn’t we be grateful? He beat the average by 10 years!

I guess I understand why my mom and her brothers were all leaking like faucets. That’s the man who brought them into existence, struggling to hold onto that very life he bestowed. They had the front seats. Huddled around him they all took turns trying to reach him.

“We love you, dad. You were the best that we could ask for.”

“You’re not alone, pop. I’m here always.”

It went on like this for 20 minutes or so until the EKG started picking up pace. My brother, sister and I came over and whispered our “I love you’s” in his ear. I’m still convinced that the man was conscious of nothing but the previously forgotten mental capacity it took to simply breathe in and out. Yet he seemed ready enough, he wasn’t fighting what was about to happen, just trying to prolong it as long as he could.

“Beep!”

I can’t imagine my last few moments in a hospital. Staring up at a shitty ceiling, hooked into every manner of device one could conjure up in the mind, trying to deny me the only experience that I won’t be able to overthink.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!”

Put me in a field–no take me to the Grand Canyon. Yeah, the RV park where we stayed for a week when I was in 7th grade. Greg and I brought our sleeping bags up onto the roof and once we settled in and looked up, didn’t say another word for the 2 hours it took me to fall asleep.

“Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep!”

A sky like that gets your mind way too active for sleep. The frequency of shooting stars in a sky so brilliant is breathtaking. The creaminess of the Milky Way soft with the comfort of a hundred thousand worlds. We’ll be up there one day. Maybe not conscious but up, up and out there.

“Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…”

With a final wheeze his eyes opened wide. What we would give to know what he’s seeing. He didn’t even move, his eyes relaxed a little but stayed open. Now he was breathless. Sobs and hugs abound in this little world of ours.

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Journal 5

I feel a faint vibration next to my ear. I move to the other side of the bed to ignore the sensation. It starts up again… and again. It’s a continuous, consistent stream of vibrations.

“Which one of my drunkard friends is in their feelings tonight? I am gonna kick their ass,” I mumble as I reach for my phone.

“Hello, this is Sarah Smith from INOVA hospital in Fairfax. May I speak to Layla Adams?”

I try to respond to her but words aren’t leaving my mouth.

“Yes… it’s Layla,” I croak.

“Jonathan Murdock has been admitted here and is in critical condition. If you could make it here as soon as possible,” she said calmly.

I drop the phone and lay still in bed. I don’t know what’s going through my head – questions, fragments, and everything in between, my heart’s racing, and my vision is blurry. John ended up going out tonight when I told him not to. He was too upset earlier to make any sound decisions. Did he drink too much and get into a fight? Did he try to drive to Marisa’s house? For once I hope this is a sick joke.

I muster up the energy to sit up. I do so too fast and now I am light headed. I carefully limp out of the bed, put on my jeans, and grab the keys. I start up the car, but I don’t really remember how I got to the car. I drive over to the hospital in the dark and empty roads. My breathing is irregular, I realize as this as I am parking the car.

I run inside the hospital and ask for my best friend, but I don’t realize that the words coming out of my mouth are indistinguishable.

“Ma’am… ma’am… could you please repeat what you are saying? Do you need water?” the receptionist asks.

Next thing I know is that I am sitting in the waiting room with a bottle of water and a nurse beside me. I tell her I need to see Jonathan Murdock. She looks at me with concern, but leads me calmly to his room.

I stand at his door and stare at the damage. It’s not clear to me what I am seeing. This isn’t John. I think this is the wrong room. This is the wrong person. John doesn’t look like that. His face isn’t like that. He looks like all the blood had been drained from him. That his blood had been drained from that stitched up gash on his face. His lips are cracked and dry, as though he had not had a single drop of water in him in years.

I move closer to him and stare at his face. I’m pretty sure nothing is going through my mind right now. It still doesn’t feel real to me. Do I say something? Can he hear me? Will he respond? He’s not going to make it, they said. I think he will. He has to. Why wouldn’t he? My birthday is next week. He promised me we’d get stupid drunk together. He never did lie to me. Just watch, he’s going to wake up any minute now. He is going to recover. It’ll be like nothing happened to him.

The machine starts screeching. Just like in the movies. I’m not thinking but I think I am trying to get to him. I get held back as the doctors use their pedals to bring him back to life. I don’t think it’s working because the machine keeps going. Do they not know how to do their job? I think  I am yelling, but I don’t know. They stop and now it’s just the machines.

“Time of death: 3:33 am.”

No, he’s not. No. No. Miracles happen. God’s going to bring him back. I have not prayed in nine years since the last time my mother was in the hospital with the stroke, but I start now, but I don’t know if I am doing it right.

“God… please bring him back. You can do anything right? Please do this for me. I will never ask for anything else ever again. I just want my best friend. That’s all I want. I’ll go to church and right things with dad. Anything, as long as you do this for me.”

Nothing. He’s gone. I don’t believe it. He’s not, he can’t be. I pinch myself. I slap myself. He’s gone. This is real and he is gone.

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Journal 5: preparation doesn’t help

They say that knowing it’s coming makes it easier. I say that’s bullshit. Spending every day thinking it’s the last nearly drove me into insanity. At 99 years old, any day really could’ve been his last, but each day added a higher probability. I feared that any day I would get that call, but part of my also felt her was destined to reach 100. He was the strongest fighter I had ever met and if he had any goal in sight, he would reach it, but not this one.

 

My grandfather had been on the edge of death for years, so I would go through weeks without his mortality on my mind, but also months where I feared each day was his last. There was no serious illness he had, age had just caught up to him. He went through periods of weeks he would spend in intensive care, and those were the days I was most fearful. For the past five or so years, I would see my grandfather maybe twice a year, and every time we went, we treated it like it was the last. A few years of that routine went by without his passing and we thought “why do we keep stressing? He’s obviously not going any time soon.” Then we let our guard down.

 

I got a call from my dad during one of my lapses in thought of his health. Caught up in the early weeks of my last fall semester of classes, I pushed outside world thoughts out of my head. His call came while I was in a good mood, after getting lunch with friends and catching up on their summer adventures. This made the news of his plummeting health even more crushing. He had a day or two before he was going to pass so I dropped everything to go home and travel with my parents to his North Carolina hospital.

 

We got there and his condition had worsened. He began to forget who even my grandmother was and was in and out of consciousness. He was awake long enough for my family to talk to him one last time. He remembered some, but not any details. We just nodded and agreed with everything he thought to be true.

 

When it was my turn to talk to him, I had already begun tearing up and forming a lump in my throat. I went over to him and he called me by my brother’s name, who couldn’t make it that day. I didn’t have the heart to correct a man on his death bed, so I went along with it. He asked me about my latest races, something he did have right. I told him my most recent times and he began talking about the same mile race he ran that he told me dozens of times over the years. He started telling me and then his train of thought drifted to memories of jazz concerts and mixed drinks. He wasn’t even talking to me at that point, rather staring into space saying whatever thought popped into his head, some accurate, others completely off the rails.

 

I stepped away while his voice started getting weaker. There was so much more I wanted to say, but I knew it wouldn’t even register with him. We all observed as my grandmother went to his side as the nurse in the room whispered in her ear. My grandmother covered her mouth, kept looking at her husband, began tearing up and nodded her head. The nurse told us the plan was to pull the plug during my grandfather’s next slip out of consciousness and told us we had the option of staying. I stayed.

Almost seamlessly, my grandfather went from his talkative and lively self to a silent corpse. We watched from a distance as his last words were slowly muttered. “Holy moly” was his signature phrase for hard times, and they were his last. I could almost see his last breath crawl out of his mouth as his chest came to a rest. I couldn’t stop watching as I witnessed a man slowly turn into a corpse. The life in his face disappeared so rapidly. A shade of paleness came across his face and all of his limbs went limp. I was so focused on him, I didn’t even notice I began to cry. I noticed my family members crying around me as well and by the time I looked back at the body, the nurse had covered his face.

 

 

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Journal 5

The phone rings and rings and rings in the middle of the night.  It keeps ringing after the machine picks up.  Finally you answer it—groggy, irritated, and befuddled.  It’s the call we all dread and yet know will come more than once in our lives …

The narrator’s (closest friend, lover, parent, brother, sister, you decide who to kill…) was in an accident, is at the hospital, and will not last until morning.  He or she dresses furiously, jumps in his or her car, get to the hospital, cursing at the slowness of traffic, and the stupidity of parking attendants, and arrives at the person’s bedside.  What happens next?  Describe the scene, be detailed.

 

I am running. My mom and my aunt are behind me trying to catch up. Running. Don’t trip or fall. Just. Keep. Going. We reach the elevator. A security guard yells and asks who were are and where we are going right as we are about to go into the elevator. My aunt yells back “MY FATHER IS DYING” and so we keep going. I really wished at that moment of just standing in the elevator that I was superman and could just fly my way to the 5th floor. Getting to the second floor felt like 20 minutes. The third floor felt like an hour. We were almost there until we had to stop on the fourth floor. This couple came into the elevator and I am thinking why didn’t we just run up the stairs at this point. Waiting, waiting, and waiting for the elevator to arrive on the fifth floor. Crying, crying, and crying but I tried really hard to hold it all together. I am only human. The elevator finally gets to the fifth floor. And of course, it takes its sweet time to open its doors.

We run out. All we are doing is running. We get to the room. There he is. He already looks dead. Face is covered in dark dried blood. His body is covered with a light blue blanket. I can only imagine what it looks like. His face, I can’t stop staring. I literally have never seen him this way. His face. That image will never leave my mind. It was as if someone painted a deep rich red onto his face but I knew it was not paint. His eyes are slightly closed. I begin to cry. Out of fear and sorrow tears just keep on coming. He just won his battle with cancer and now this? Then I see him struggling to breath and I begin to cry violently. Very violently. I bite my finger to distract myself so I could stop crying but it didn’t work. I look at the heart monitor and the line is straight. I look at him and his eyes are fully closed now. I am done. I run out of the room and scream. Literally scream. Why did I just stand in front of my grandfather when he was alive for about 5 minutes and did not say a word. Did not say that everything is going to get better. Did not say I love you. Nothing. I just cried. Why didn’t I say anything? I just stared and cried. I didn’t pray or do anything. I watched him suffered and did nothing.

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Journal 5

The phone rings and rings and rings in the middle of the night.  It keeps ringing after the machine picks up.  Finally you answer it—groggy, irritated, and befuddled.  It’s the call we all dread and yet know will come more than once in our lives …

The narrator’s (closest friend, lover, parent, brother, sister, you decide who to kill…) was in an accident, is at the hospital, and will not last until morning.  He or she dresses furiously, jumps in his or her car, get to the hospital, cursing at the slowness of traffic, and the stupidity of parking attendants, and arrives at the person’s bedside.  What happens next?  Describe the scene, be detailed.

 

I am running. My mom and my aunt are behind me trying to catch up. Running. Don’t trip or fall. Just. Keep. Going. We reach the elevator. A security guard yells and asks who were are and where we are going right as we are about to go into the elevator. My aunt yells back “MY FATHER IS DYING” and so we keep going. I really wished at that moment of just standing in the elevator that I was superman and could just fly my way to the 5th floor. Getting to the second floor felt like 20 minutes. The third floor felt like an hour. We were almost there until we had to stop on the fourth floor. This couple came into the elevator and I am thinking why didn’t we just run up the stairs at this point. Waiting, waiting, and waiting for the elevator to arrive on the fifth floor. Crying, crying, and crying but I tried really hard to hold it all together. I am only human. The elevator finally gets to the fifth floor. And of course, it takes its sweet time to open its doors.

We run out. All we are doing is running. We get to the room. There he is. He already looks dead. Face is covered in dark dried blood. His body is covered with a light blue blanket. I can only imagine what it looks like. His face, I can’t stop staring. I literally have never seen him this way. His face. That image will never leave my mind. It was as if someone painted a deep rich red onto his face but I knew it was not paint. His eyes are slightly closed. I begin to cry. Out of fear and sorrow tears just keep on coming. He just won his battle with cancer and now this? Then I see him struggling to breath and I begin to cry violently. Very violently. I bite my finger to distract myself so I could stop crying but it didn’t work. I look at the heart monitor and the line is straight. I look at him and his eyes are fully closed now. I am done. I run out of the room and scream. Literally scream. Why did I just stand in front of my grandfather when he was alive for about 5 minutes and did not say a word. Did not say that everything is going to get better. Did not say I love you. Nothing. I just cried. Why didn’t I say anything? I just stared and cried. I didn’t pray or do anything. I watched him suffered and did nothing.

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