Wish on the moon

At home, everyone who's meant to sleep-in for the night has retired by 11p.  By 12a, one may steal mere pecks on cold noses– sadly, for us bear-hug enthusiasts.   Long-suffering help open up in PJ's to let this bedraggled cat in, serve dinner as a cold-core mess, then leave me to wind down with terminally blue journals & saxophones.  So when 930p comes around when there's still no hope of an early escape, I just may dig in for a solo flight, dine out with TIME magazine, then chat with those hospital-bound patients who share a similar insomniac fate. 

Mellow yellow-- no blues in the night.
You can learn a lot from patients, if you give up the time for a close listen.  Its a tough trade for domestic comforts but, given my idiosyncrasies, it sure beats Discovery Channel & my own worn fantasies.  Besides, I always did favor autobiographies, and there's hardly any b.s. between people in a life & death situation.  Nope, no time.  Then there's this inexplicable rapport.  Both hurts & highs flood the breach in my direction– a paradoxical control?   Its as though they mean to stamp out disease by force of personality. Well, my ears are right for this job. I do allow myself some empathy, but never pity.

So I listen and learn what Dizzy Gillespie was like, how a billion dollar enterprise was conceived, a mean politico's hopes for the country in his lean youth, how a farmer sold his own future to send a son through grad school, Japayuki travails, how MacArthur posed Leyte beach shots, the joy of dreams fulfilled, the lingering wonder over a beloved.  Lives well-lived, ends similarly so.  Then there are the stingers, sadder than any disaster dealt by fate: the lives filled with regret.   Unfaithfulness, abandonment, paths not taken, promises broken, what-ifs & should-have beens.  The willful sacrifice and irredeemable loss of that something they never knew.

Man! While we are young & stupid, we roll our eyes & close our minds to such tales.  Lately, this job has me reading regret like the Surgeon General's warning on a pack of smokes.

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