You are lying in a cemetery. Completely above ground. Completely alive. You are lying, in a cemetery, completely alive, next to a grave. You are lying in a cemetery, completely above ground, next to your grave. And before now, I hated the word "lying." "What do you think?" you ask me. I wait a moment. "You should cross your arms," I reply. "I just wanted to see if I would fit."I.
I didn't want to go to the doctor's appointment with you. Not because of you. Because I don't like doctors. But you turned your eyes on me. "I need you," you said. And even though one of your eyes is bluer than the other one, I can't resist them. So I went. And now I know it's a good thing I did. Because if I hadn't, you'd have found out you were dying by yourself.V.
There is nothing worse than being told there's nothing you can do. I wonder if you know that. The doctor said it, and I didn't believe it. The second doctor said it, and I didn't believe it. The doctor said it again, and I didn't believe it. You said it, and I didn't want to believe it. There is nothing you can do. Of course you know that. There is nothing I can do. Except drive. Well, except guide your arms through all of your sweaters, and guide your buttons through all of your buttonholes, and guide you the insurmountable impossible sixty two steps across our floor. Except hold you up. Except hold you up, just to let you down. To let you down impossibly carefully. To let you down into the car. Into the passenger seat of your own car. Drive, even though I didn't want to. Know where I'm going, even though I didn't want to. Keep from crying. Get out of the car. Even if I don't want to.II.
And if I'm being honest, I just don't want you to die.VII.
"Are you scared?" I think you're probably asleep. But I still hold my breath in case you answer. "No." I hold my breath some more. "No as in you never have been? Or no as in you aren't anymore?" I think you're probably asleep. "I've never." You're still breathing. "I've never had a reason to be." Breathing or sleeping. "The Grim Reaper." Breathing. "The Grim Reaper and I," breath, "are just." Breath. "The Grim Reaper and I are just acquaintances." I can't stop the tears anymore. You can't roll over anymore. You can't touch me anymore. You can't feel me anymore. I can't see you anymore. But one of your eyes is greener than the other, and so I can't stop. "I love you." I think you're probably asleep.IV.
"Let's go to the cemetery." Your voice comes out of a silence longer than my ability to count. But I never forgot what it sounded like. I walk across the floor. "Why?" I ask you. And I don't know how I intended it to come out, but I didn't intend it to come out like that. And I don't know more than I know. And I forgot what my own voice sounded like. "There's just something I want to do." You swallow. I see the effort. "Need to do." "There's nothing more you can do." "Well." I walk across the floor. I bend down to reach your eye level. I feel bigger and smaller than I have ever been, all at once. My hands rest on my legs. And I want to say something, but I don't know what it is. So I just look. One of your eyes is bluer than the other one. I don't know when my hands left my legs and found your hands. You don't know either. "I need this. And I need you." One of your eyes is bluer than the other one, and because of it, I can't resist them. I walk across the floor. "Okay," I hear myself breathe. I turn off the alarm clock.III.v.
I know there's nothing more I can do. But you are quiet, and one of your eyes is different than the other one, and I just want to give you everything. I just want to do every thing. I just want to do something. So I pick up the alarm clock.III.
Our home looks nothing like our home anymore. And I should know, because I was the one who tore it to pieces. I was the one who moved and bartered and broke all the furniture to make way for the hospital bed I'm not supposed to sleep in. I was the one who rearranged and calculated inches, to make room for you and for this. I was the one who wrote about every time we touched in case it turned out to be the last. I was the one who did everything I could, even when I knew there was nothing more I could do. Even when I knew you'd be leaving soon.VIII.
I call for you even when I know you've already left.X.
My phone rings at four oh two in the morning. But it isn't you. So I don't pick it up.III.vi.
I want to do everything, but giving you my days doesn't give you any more of your own. I want to do everything, but I keep knocking into the bed I sleep in even though I'm not supposed to. I want to do everything, but I can't stop the tears. I want to do everything, but everything I can do isn't enough. I want to do every thing, but I can't stop.XI.
You are lying in a cemetery
"Something Like the Blues" originally appeared in the Jet Fuel Review.
Daniele DeAngelis Walker is twenty-three years young, but her soul feels much older. An avid lover of colors and words, she graduated from Drew University with specialized honors in creative writing. She works in the publishing industry and lives in New Jersey with the fiancee she never thought she'd have. Her piece was inspired by watching loved ones lose others to cancer and by her own caretaking of her mother.