Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

A Long Night’s Labors

Good morning, Luthien.

Rise and shine! The night is ending, the sun is rising to set the indigo sky on fire and a new dawn awaits you!

Actually, I hope you are staying in bed and enjoying these mornings. After all, the dawn’s greatest promise for me is an end to the night’s toils and being relieved of duty to go home. Of course, it won’t be home much longer. (The new lodging has a fireplace!)

It was quite a night. I rarely sat the entire twelve hours. They were glad of my company, but I’m afraid I could not say the same for them. They were crass and profane and discussed sex positions to the same degree as the last time I worked this floor. I work them all, you see, and often I never know which it will be until I arrive. Who ever thought a hospital would be home for me? But now here we are, two years later and this place really is my turf.

This floor is for injuries of all kinds. The stories can be devastating, but also optimistic, because there is reason to hope they will heal and restore a normal function. Tonight I nearly cried with one of them, a gentle man whose wife died in the car accident that put him here. Forty-four years they were married, and here the scars of abrupt and terminal deprivation is not yet two days old. It’s never easy to know what to say to someone like this. What can you say? “I understand”? Of course not. He asked if I was married and I told him I wasn’t. I asked him about his bride. He truly despaired and didn’t want to continue without her. How could I blame him? For all I know, I would feel the same way. There is no easy way out of such torturous, precious pain. It doesn’t hurt the heart…it becomes the heart itself, infusing every fiber and filament of our being with pain and ache, powerlessly grasping for some strand of fate by which to unmake the horrible events branded into the pages of history. My heart goes out to him, but I think in telling me some of his life, in having someone take time out of a busy night to kneel by his bed and listen for a quarter hour, it helped.

The view up here really is among the best in the city. Seven flights down, I have an aerial vantage of the surrounding houses surrounded by a frosty coating of snow, and the road stretching off into the distance with what few cars have business on the roads during these wee hours. It’s not unlike a Christmas village. It makes a body wish he could fly.

A cold drive is answered by a hot shower and warm bowl of oatmeal. I’d have had a hot bowl waiting for you too this morning, if you’d been here. I’m sure there will be plenty of these nights in our future, when the honeymoon ends and I return to work. I’m sure I’ll come home tired and maybe smelling less than optimally. Who knows what germs cling to the fabric of my scrubs, so of course I’ll wash. But maybe you’ll have breakfast already for me, or at least you’ll sit with me and drink your coffee while you hear my stories. (You’ll never want for good stories at shift’s end.) Maybe you’ll still be in bed by the time I’m ready to crawl in. Maybe you’ll turn toward me in the growing light. “Did I wake you?” I reply, concerned. “No,” you can reply, tracing my chin with your finger. “I’ve been waiting for you. Why am I always waiting for you, Beren Estel?”

Only because I haven’t found you yet, my dear. I’m still looking, and still praying. I am friends with the lady who cuts my hair, and she called last night to suggest the granddaughter of another client I’d met in passing, who all agreed I was a “very nice young man” and perhaps worthy of their granddaughter. Of course, you know I’m skeptical of such arrangements, but it needn’t matter right now anyway. Whether or not you are waiting beneath the sheets, I am ripe for them from a long night’s labors.

Be warm and safe today my dear. Don’t work too hard.


January 8, 2014 Posted by | Loneliness | , , , , | Leave a comment