Saturday, October 18, 2008

Obsessed (3)

The ride home from work, for Lawrence, was aways slow. Calming. In some ways he relished the spare moments with nothing to do. His mind would wander over the events of the day. No rituals. No stopping and starting over again. For whatever reason the car was his safety zone. A place where he felt free from the clutter. A place to listen to the let go of the stress of the day.

But today was different. Lawrence's thoughts returned again to the day that ruined his life. Thoughts he usually only allowed in those fleeting moments at the window sill in the locker room. He saw her face again. He remembered his cocky swagger as he entered the operating room. He had told the family that this operation was routine. That he had done hundreds of them. That she would be just fine.

But she wasn't fine. Thirty minutes in she started to bleed.....and she never stopped. Lawrence tried to stem the red tied of death that sprung from her belly like a torrent. But instead of deterring.... his hands became clumsy. Knocked about between waves of futility he struggled to gain control. And somehow his loss followed him home from the OR that day.

The red tied of death ripped a hole in his heart. And the hole enshrouded his marriage in dependence and it too hemmorhaged, exsanguinated, and died as quickly as the poor girl on the table. So Lawrence did the only thing he thought he could to avert going completely crazy...he went kinda of crazy.

His rituals inhibited his life. They marked him to all those who cared to look. They changed his priorities. But they allowed him to creaste a barrier of safety between him and a total mental breakdown. There were now rules. And rules could either be followed or broken. As long as rules were honored....he would be safe. Patients wouldn't die....marriages wouldn't break up...and Lawrence could bear to look at himself in the mirror again without complete disgust.

Today, however, was a major departure. One of his most strict rules was that he would never think about this again except at his normal specified time. He was breaking the mold. He was going out on a limb. And damb it felt good. Maybe it was time for him to let himself off the hook. Hadn't all his colleagues had patient's die on the table? Hadn't he done some good in all his time as a doctor?

Lawrence made a promise to himself as he pulled into the garage. Tonight when he called Carole he would apologize to her and her husband. He would tell her that he had an epiphany and it was time for him to move on. He was going to thank her for being so patient. And most of all he was going to tell her that he would never bother them again.

Or so he thought. It was not even in his relm of imagination that when he called later that night Carole wouldn't answer her phone.

Something that she had never done in five years.

No comments: