Into the stars

3:33 PM

   For the past three months I constantly hear beeping. Sometimes in short beeps. Sometimes in long ones. But there are always there. I am on the edge of my dream, about to wake up, the alarm is trying to wake me and yet I never wake up. Never. Each time I edge closer to consciousness I am annoyed by the sound. I never like beeping. It means impending danger. It means the laundry needs to be switched. I means my phone battery is dying. It never means anything good.
  And I am pretty sure there is nothing different about these beeps.
  As much as I wish they would, no one ever turns them off.
  They say that hearing is the last of our senses to go and I can confirm this. I had no sight. I could feel sporadically. A finger against mine, a small hand on my leg or on my chest. Every once and awhile dry lips against my cheeks. And once I felt tears. Or raindrops. But probably tears. Because I do believe I am in the hospital.
  Beeping isn't the only thing I hear. I can hear voices. Sometimes they speak between themselves. Sometimes they are speaking to me. But my favorite is when I hear this tiny voice singing, seemingly now oblivious to all the machines around him. He sits close to me. I assume he is probably on my bed since I don't think two year olds are taller than hospital beds. Along with his tiny voice there are tiny pulses against my bed. In my darkness I can see him swinging his legs back and forth against the metal bed and I wish I could smile. I try to engage the muscles but....nothing happens. At least I don't feel them engaging. Just like when I try to raise my hand and bash that inferno beeping into Neverland.
  The other voices talking amongst themselves are easily separated into each person in my family. My husband: worried, gruff, each time sounding more and more hoarse like he isn't sleeping properly. And I can actually feel guilt when I hear that voice. Because here I am getting the rest of my lifetime and he isn't sleeping.
 My mother: shrill, emotional, crying. She never seems to have dry eyes in here and never seems to get used to the beeping or the sight of me. At least she says as much. But what really aggravates me is that she tells him to stop singing. I hate it when she is here when he is here. When he is here I only want to snuggle against the sound of his sweet voice singing.
   "Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are."
   I just might decide not to talk to my mother when I fully wake up.
   The other to voices are my two brothers who come in doing what they do best: distracting the others with their wit and humor. It is good for my husband. I hear him laugh every once and awhile. The laughter relieves his hoarseness for a moment.
  My brothers also make him laugh.
  They practice their stand up routines and I swear I can hear myself laugh along with the rest of the family. Along with my husband. Even with my mother who I seem to forgive once I hear her laugh. And then the best comes around. There might be a squeal of delight that precedes it, or a gasp of wonder or absolute silence. There is no predicting what might proceed it, but there is predicting it. A tension of anticipation fills the air a split second before my small son bursts into laughter. His tiny laugh I likened to a chipmunk. So adorable I want to cry. Apparently crying is not allowed while in coma either. So strange.
  And then, as he continues, I fill to bursting with the desire to laugh. Inside I hear myself laughing along with him. I can't feel my lips curve up or my lungs expand with air, but I can hear it.
  Just barely, but it is there. Perhaps it is the laughter of my soul.

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