We are in a cocoon. People come to bring groceries or bathe Steven, but we hardly leave. Somewhere, someone is driving with the window down, hair blowing in the wind. Someone else walks, holding a little ones hand, trying not to step on a crack. Girls giggle at the mall, and parents wish the home side was in the shade for the game. Another is thankful the gym is open late as he heads there after work.
The room is dark; the only noise is the oxygen machine as I spoon behind him in bed. I can't rest any part of me on him or touch his spine. But I can put my forehead by his neck and it is there we whisper as I silently cry. He doesn't stop me, but joins me.
Somewhere, she says the water is too cold to swim, but she really doesn't want to get her hair and makeup wet. A man slides up to the bar where his draft has already been poured. Elsewhere, as a woman stands in line, she wonders why everyone wants ice cream the same time as her. He marks the calendar, one day closer to that vacation.
Lips swollen, mouth with sores, eating is very hard for Steve. We've tried oatmeal, mashed potatoes, bland and blander. It all burns. Ice cream burns. We both know he has to eat. His lungs do not have enough capacity to cough now so it sounds fake then after several attempts is productive. There is no laughter or jokes, just pain and discomfort. I may just die of a broken heart before he does. Only God knows when this beautiful man will break free of his cocoon and fly.