Hospital Notes (Or How I Passed the Time, Observing)


The room is laced with threads of afternoon orange (and a hint of pink). The lights are off. The drapes, embedded with lazy floral design, filter the sun. The air-conditioner has been fixed a few hours ago. My sister leaves the room to pick her children up from school. I wait for April to arrive.

Half-asleep. Her hand clenches, collapses, curls, then clenches again, as if pumping an invisible ball. I put on my earphones but the thunder outside beats the bass of this lyricless song.

Mother shifts her sleeping position. Her hand rises, almost waving, then gently falls down. Her breathing, calm, as if she’s not.

[I, on the other hand, struggle to breathe. A web of phlegm is still trapped in my throat.]

She shifts again. I make sure the tubes swathing her arm and head aren’t crushed. I make sure they stay put. I make sure they stay out of her dreams.


“Is the tupperware home already?” she asks, her voice dropping into a tired whisper.
“In the office,” I answer. “They’ve just washed it.”

[Last week you brought the tupperware to our office for my birthday merienda. It was filled with mac and cheese. Everyone in the office loves your mac and cheese.]

She goes back to sleep.


The nurse arrives with a machine. Mother wakes up. The nurse checks her blood pressure.

“110/70,” the nurse says.

She unwraps mother’s arm, leaves the room.

Mother yawns like a child.


I still have difficulty breathing.


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