Life lets us know in subtle and unsubtle turns that we must be attentive to our innermost selves, or else we place ourselves and others in danger when we lose our way. That moment in which we are taught this lesson is dumb agony, ripe with tragic comedy, dripping with a depth that is ironic in its vacuity. We stand revealed in our humanity, bathed in blood, upset by regret but relieved by a renewed sense of a terrible divinity that somehow threads our solitary fragility back together again, humpty and hallowed.
All it takes is one spare moment of inattention for the glass to shatter on the precipice of the sink.
Such a simple act, imbued still with such force of meaning, unveiled only thereafter in the throbbing blood from the gaping wound. Reaching for the glass, the dishes done, already lost in anticipation of sitting on the couch with whiskey in hand–it was within that moment that darker forces aligned, necessarily, against me. For I had allowed myself to fall asleep while still awake. There is no greater crime against life than to deny its full terrible beauty and reside in unnatural complacency.
I was then reawakened, as the blood swelled out unstoppered by any pressure I could apply. It seemed silly, how frail and fragile my body really was. I was overwhelmed with annoyance, a deep frustration that now my shallow dream of a productive afternoon on the couch with a glass of whiskey and a netbook was ruptured. The reality of the swiftly ending spring break set in. The dark shadow of work, sleep deprivation, and high stress loomed like storm cloud guillotines above the one day that was left. There was no going back, now. I was bleeding too much to pretend that I could sit there staunching it with a paper towel forever. Fat globs of dark red blood, almost beautiful in surreal insistence, splattered out unerringly onto the kitchen floor.
But I also felt a sense of relief. Now I was awake again. And in a cosmic light, that could be seen as a gift. The 7 hours in a late night ER with criminals and crazy people, the stitches, and the pain were a small price to pay for that reminder of what life is about.