Patricia Elliott

Aug 2 1997

by Patricia Elliott



They called me, said, William is gone, We are sitting in the room with
  him, overnight. The ICU wing. I pace around for a while, flooding with
  thoughts, images and emotion. I go up, they let me in. Nurses are puzzled
  that we sit with him, About 5 of us old friends. There he is,looking a lot
  like he did when I met him in Texas decades ago. No hair now, fuzz, large
  beak nose. I always thought him handsome. His brow right for how damn
  smart he was. I go over, hold his arm, cold, he is a gray. I kiss his
  cheek and sit down. I get the details, how he wasn't feeling well, they
  called an ambulance. He had decided not to repair a faulty valve. He had
  gone through heart surgery several years ago. I was wishing he had tried
  repairing that valve, damn hard losing him. Actually I mean it will be
  hard not having him around.
  Dean was visiting, told me that William had said "I'll be back" then on
  the ride he lapsed into sleep, so last verbal words but last ones in the
  journal, which is what matters because the man was a writer, was "love,
  that is all there is".
  We all sit around, occasionally calling a friend somewhere to tell them
  the old man was gone. Left too many messages on machines, a lot of people
  felt him close.
  James, one point went over to the bed, then kind of crumbled, fell across
  his old man, shoulders shuddering, some sort of crying meow. I knew this
  grief would consume him. I had a flash of worry. I thought that I had
  never seen James so beautiful.
  Later I wrote the bardo piece, surprised to see it here, floating in some
  unnamed space.








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