the most wonderful time of the year

The d’Verse prompt is to write about a city at night and I’ve chosen to post a haibun about something that happened to my wife and I 31 years ago in December.

The apartment is mostly barren still. No lights or tree. Too poor and my girlfriend Diane too sick. It’s only been two weeks since the Addison’s diagnosis and immediate hospitalization from the endocrinologist’s office. Death was close then. I ask her what’s wrong. She feels light-headed. Drive me to the ER. She sits up and passes out. I call 911. The EMT’s arrive. She lays in bed talking. I hover and watch. I notice them exchange puzzled glances then panicked ones. Diane notices too. She asks them what is wrong. One blurts out, “Ma’am, I don’t how to say this, but you have no pulse and no blood pressure but you are talking to us!” Diane answers with typical snark that she’s obviously not dead. I ride in back of the ambulance. I have no way back home now. If she dies I want to be there. They find a pulse, it’s been nearly thirty minutes. She falls unconscious. Siren wailing, over the Q-Bridge, New Haven night skyline lit up for Christmas.

black harbor water
stars pivot magnetic north
snow still days away


30 thoughts on “the most wonderful time of the year

  1. I came back to look for you, Brian, and here you are with a very frightening night in a city that would normally have had more light than darkness, which is why your final line of prose is so poignant. The haiku is stunning.


    • Thanks Kim. This is an episode that we both remember well and have told many times to medical personnel. From the remove of three decades it has become more humorous. The first of several Christmases spent in hospitals. This is set in New Haven Connecticut.

      Liked by 1 person

        • She’s doing alright. Still taking care of her and not working. The next hurdle is surgery on Dec 1st when she has a fistula installed in her upper left arm. She’s currently doing nightly nine-hour peritoneal dialysis and the fistula is for possible hemodialysis in the future.

          I’m doing fine. Writing daily and keeping the house going. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • My father was a renal patient for most of his life – I remember visiting him as a small child. He also had fistulas – in several places – and was on dialysis for ages. The writing always helps. A joyful, peaceful and warm Thanksgiving to you both.


    • Thanks Grace. It was the beginning of a long journey of medical procedures through the ensuing 30 years. It never gets any easier. We are both fine at the moment thanks for asking.


  2. A very moving haibun and you have come a long way since this moment. Medicine has moved on so much as well and I hope the surgery will go well on 1st December. Sending you both love and blessings across the miles and wishing you a happy Thanksgiving 💖


  3. sMiLes.. can relate
    with Dysautonomia..
    they say a life long condition..
    not technically detected until
    my late 40’s..
    but well
    in an emergency
    room.. they could
    find no blood pressure
    for me too.. it was a bit
    of a religious
    i might
    say too..
    at 21.. then..
    for them at least.. hehe..
    but wasn’t much fun in a real way
    later in life when i almost did not recover.. with a side
    of total exhaustion to exacerbate the symptoms then..
    interestingly.. aspects of it do mimic Addison’s disease..
    and for me dancing like an Olympic athlete with strength
    training same
    makes it
    in symptoms now..:)


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