I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Only Water


The minute the door to the elevator closed I knew I had missed the only water fountain on my way to the doctor’s office.

Still perspiring from my run, I cursed at not having packed a bottle of water. I’d have to drink from the water cooler in the waiting room.

I had taken a cup from that cooler minutes before I was called into his office and heard “the results are concerning”. It has been years, and I have not taken a sip out of that water again. The thought of unleashing a set of events by drinking from that cooler scared me.
I smiled at my own absurdity trying to calm my mind. I scanned the room and spotted a woman crying while her mother robbed her back. I wanted to tell her that I had been that way years ago silently crying in the waiting area full of people who appeared much calmer and much older than I was. I was younger “too young to be here” the Nuclear Technician had said.
I could offer that to her, tell her that one day her life will resume normally or as close to normal as she allows it to be. But the cup of water in my hands brought me back to reality. How could I give her reassurance when I was standing there wondering what drinking from that cooler could do to me in a few months when I return for my test? Fear still rules my life.
I could tell her, however, that the fear will never leave her, but at some point it will be put away on a shelf to be taken out every so often when an event triggers it. It will no longer control her life, only segments of it.
I poured a second cup and walked over to the phlebotomist when my name was called. She laughed at my silly remarks as I sat down. I felt better; I was again my smart ass self. After all, this water cooler was not the same as that day. And today, I would not hear those words.