Though of course we don’t know for sure, Vernon’s nurse suggested it would be a good night to stay here. I have a hotel room just a couple of miles away, but I’d rather be here. I think a couple of hours ago, I was feeling a lot more romantic about the idea. Now I’m just tired and achey and its not even 2 am. The bright side is that I’m sure people start moving around here before six…so less than four hours to go till morning. I can do this! I’ll just think of it as a red-eye flight. I can’t sleep on airplanes either.
I did try sleeping on a mat on the floor by Vernon’s bed, then tried the couch in the lobby area. But this place isn’t made for overnight guests, and there is always some activity going on. For now, I’ll just sit in the lobby, not sleeping. I have my computer with me…and in that, my pocket world of well-wishing friends. It’s not the middle of the night everywhere! I’m never alone if I don’t want to be.
One of these friends just sent me some Rilke to read. I’ll share a beautiful passage here (from 9th Duino Elegy):
Why then do we have to be human, and keep running from the fate
we are made for and long for?
Oh, not because of Happiness —
that fleeting gift before the loss begins.
Not from curiosity, or to exercise the heart,
which the laurel could do too….
But because simply to be here is so much
and because what is here seems to need us,
this vanishing world that concerns us strangely —
us, the most vanishing of all. Once
for each, only once. Once and no more.
And we, too: just once. Never again. But
to have lived this once, even if only this once,
to have been of earth — that cannot be taken from us.
That said…Vernon is still here, a part of the earth. I’ll go and check on him now.
Nothing too different. His snoring is louder, his breathing still shallow. (We noticed the change earlier this evening.). That man has a strong heart. A lion heart. He’s still very hot, so I put a cold flannel on his head. He does not seem to be in pain. I just whisper to him a little and then let him sleep. Everything necessary has already been said.
And now its 2:20. Moving right along….