I don’t know why I can’t shake it. This image. This memory. It’s like there are things that were never meant to be, that are so obviously wrong it seems ridiculous to pursue them as possibilities, so when they actually happen, it’s like the mind can’t grasp it, can’t look at a person lying on a table who was your sister laughing just a few days ago and say, yes, this is real, this is her, this ugly thing with the red skin that’s too dry to sweat. Strange numbers are flashing on the monitor overhead, and you know they can’t be real, because no one’s blood pressure can drop that low while they’re still alive, but how can you say no when the monitor, green-on-black, is indelible truth? This is you standing beside her, and this is uncertainty.
My first thought was: They cut her hair. How dare they?
Can’t shake it. Can’t get too close to it either, most of the time. Just poke and prod at the edges, testing the water.