Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 9 Theme - Linked vignettes

The sun was shining on the wedding party as people gave congratulations to the happy couple. Andrea and Jason stood on the grass, holding their two month old daughter. Andrea’s cousin commented on the baby’s nice complexion. “She must have skin like her dad’s.” Before leaving for the hall, Andrea’s Aunt Becky approached them to see the little girl. There was the usual “she’s so cute!” and “she’s getting big.” Becky later said to me “something’s not right with her color.”


When I walked into my kitchen, they were huddled together, cuddling their baby closely, and crying. “What’s wrong?!” I asked.

“There’s a message on the machine. We have to take her to EMMC right now.”


I pulled my car up the pump, in hopes that someone would take pity on me and pump gas into my car. I pretended to know what I was doing, but the young man noticed my stupidity, and helped me. After thanking him, I asked him how to drive to Boston. He laughed at me, in a nice way. “Straight shot through,” he said. “Going to visit someone?” “No, I’m headed to Mass. General.”


He held the back of the johnny together with his hand as he crawled onto the gurney. The orderly covered him with a white sheet. His wife bent over him while they cried and hugged. I squeezed his hand. Tears filled my eyes. “See ya in a while,” he said as the bed was pushed away.


You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when I am blue. You never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” The song keeps playing in my head as I listen to the washing machine agitate. Tears come with the song, every time. I stare out at the city spreading as far as I can see from ten stories up. Trees are bare. Things look so gloomy, just like I feel. After the laundry is done, I headed back to the PICU.


“What do you hope for Jordyn?” the reporter asked me.

“I hope that someday she’ll walk, and that her hearing and vision will be okay.”

The child on the floor couldn’t sit up yet, so she lay there looking at the toy beside her. “I hope she’ll learn to talk. Be normal.” My voice cracked with sadness. I didn’t look at the camera that was taping me.

“Why are you staying with her?” she asked.

“Because her father had to be rushed back to Boston.”


The teachers stood in the classroom doors and watched, as did I. Jordyn was wobbling down the hallway, unassisted, with her aide right beside her, ready to catch her if she faltered. Her steps were not smooth and graceful, but she was doing it. “She’s doing so good!” “She’s made such progress!” they exclaimed. I just stood and watched her, and let the tears flow.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly--all the fear and tension builds and expands in the readers mind because the connectors and explanations are left out--iot's the inbetween stuff where you work us hardest--you force us to imagine, invade our minds, and that is exactly what vignettes and linked vignettes are designed to do.

    Does it feel funny to you to write this way? Do you see how effective a piece this is, and effective because it demands a lot of its readers?