The sun traverses across the sky and shadows move along the floor, but you are still here in the infusion chair, connected to the drip by a sharp butterfly needle and an umbilical cord of plastic tubing. The drip is so slow because the last time it was so fast that your blood pressure spiked and you couldn’t breathe. You saw this in your chart, which is where everything lives now.
The drip is a brilliant bloody red, a jewel. Later, you will be in the bathroom and you will pee a violent purple streak into the bowl, and you will cry like you did last time.
Time is weird. You’ve been sleeping a lot during the day and waking up in the middle of the night. Since you’ve stopped working for a while, the alarm means nothing to you. The only places you need to be are at home or in the infusion chair. You used to mark the hours by the things you did, the shower before dawn, the coffee on the train, the lunch when the sun rose high in the sky.
Now you shower in the middle of the night and eat lunch after you’ve slept through the afternoon.
Only infusion day has any structure anymore.
The shadows skitter across the floor and you see the nurse before you actually see him. He untethers you from the drip. You are full of purple and poison and fear. You manage a smile. The nurse’s name is Keith. He is between you and the window, blocking the sun. Keith’s shadow lies long on the floor. He slides the slender butterfly needle from your port and daubs at the dot of blood at the surface of your skin. Keith bandages you and walks away toward the door, and all you can see is the sun, the sun, the sun.
Amy Kiger-Williams holds an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Yale Review Online, Gone Lawn, Ghost Parachute, and Juked, among others. She is at work on a novel and a short story collection. You can read more of her work at amykigerwilliams.com and follow her on Twitter at @amykw.
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