Is there no alternative? We stand at the window and watch the bundle of wires struggle to breathe. Less than an hour on the earth and already his existence is impossible outside of this place that measures his life on two charts: one for vitals, one for billing. We hold hands and resist the urge to check our phones. In the months to come, we will retrace our steps down these linoleum-tiled halls into the departments of various stone-faced specialists who’ll assure us that there’s nothing permanently wrong with him, to which I’ll reply, under my breath: except the obvious.
Chas Carey is a public servant and member of the multidisciplinary performing arts collective Wolf 359. His writing has been featured in outlets such as NPR’s variety show Live From Here, the American Public Media children’s podcast Smash Boom Best, and the long-running Hearth Gods reading series in New York City. He holds an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College. His website is chascarey.com.