The shape of my skull reforms itself at will and I find myself thinking of her without wanting to turn the thoughts away. A head without its brain is much lighter than you’d expect.
Thinking of her felt like writing, both difficult to approach in sobriety. And by sobriety, I mean anything – legal or illegal, expected or unexpected, addictive or not. She was an alcoholic, an emotional one that found herself swimming in exposure and simultaneously treading water to seek cover. I loved that woman almost like a mother, and one afternoon while cradling her empty skull, I found myself mourning her like a child.
I wanted to ask where they’d taken her brain, and whether they had any intention of returning it, and it took me stepping back to gaze at her without anyone else in the room before concluding it was better that way.
Someone warned me long ago not to drink, smoke, or get involved with anyone that did, but they’d lived a life of limited exposure to the ills of humankind, without realizing that I like many others were born to be nurses, and you don’t direct nurses to take a hands off approach to the lives placed in their field of influence. Separating the hate of disease from love of others is called care. Taking it a step further and caring in love is called compassion and just like medicine, it heals.