Chapter IV. Poetry, Pears and Men s Tears

So, I was still lying with tubes in my stomach and in my nose. Periodically they placed some more tubes inside of me for some procedures, and at those moments I looked like an octopus. The only openings that they left without any attention were my ears.

It was Wednesday afternoon and I was resting after the morning procedures. Suddenly I heard a voice down the hall: ‘Let me in! I must see him!’ and I realized: ‘Pasha’. He was my classmate. And he was a very close friend for me even though we had only been studying together for 2 years. He came into the room. He was together with my other friend and classmate – Kostya. I can’t even describe their eyes when they saw me. But I realized that they were about to cry.

They sat down on my bed. Pasha took my hand. ‘Mishka, Mishka’ he whispered. ‘I was so afraid for you. But it will be alright. It is alright now’. I saw tears in his eyes. I hadn’t ever seen him crying. Kostya was sitting silently. Some days later Kostya brought me a sheet of paper and gave it to me. ‘I wrote a poem for you’ he explained. This is the translation of it:

‘Well, hello, Mikhan!
How are you? I see – bad.
And we are together with Pasha!
He is tired a bit.
He takes your hand and says
‘We are with you, Mikhan, we are with you’
We didn’t talk to you for a long time
It was important for us to see you
It was the main thing for us to visit you
But we were with you a bit
And now we have to go
Mikhan is lying on his bed
He is very weak now
And he is about to sleep
So we have to go!
And the weather is hot… and there’s football (It is my favorite line)

Well, hello, Mikhan!
How are you? I see – better!
And Pasha is pleased with it!
‘You are in the graduating class of ‘06’
Here are your ribbon and your medal
And now we don’t feel anxious anymore
You are laughing and kidding!
The sun is shining, birds are singing!
Do you hear?
And all this light of the day is for you!
So, I wanna say to you: ‘Live!’
But now it’s time to sleep
Well, we have to go
But believe that there will be hot summer and football!’

Well, hello, Mikhan!
How are you? I see – cool!
So, let’s go to play football?
‘Of course! It’s not a problem!’
Well, Mikhan, you scored!
Going on playing… and Mikhan scored again!
It’s sunset… And it’s not hot
Oh! Mikhan! And here’s your guitar!
‘We will gather many times
We’ll have fun, we’ll have joy
Now and tomorrow!’ (These are the lines from the song I wrote about my class)
So, it’s the evening!
We have to go!
See you tomorrow Mikhan!
Remember about football…

I am not a good poet
And rhymes were bad
There are only the words
I can use them
It’s not a poem, not a drama
Just some words
But I wanted to write there to show how I respect you
And it doesn’t matter that it didn’t rhyme’

I’ll keep this sheet of paper forever.

So they had to go. That day I was visited by some more friends. They brought me fruits, but I wasn’t allowed to eat anything yet or even to drink water. I was still fed right inside my vein with the dropper. On the one hand – very comfortable, there was no need to work with teeth.

I had the last dose of drugs in the afternoon and after flying along the Universe for a couple of hours I woke up. The guys in my room were sitting and were weaving something with tubes from old droppers. Then they showed me – it was a cross. They hung it on my bed.

Wednesday evening came and it wasn’t funny but sad. Because on Thursday I should have been at the celebration at school. The celebration for the graduating class. I had been waiting for that moment for many years, but… I missed it. I was disappointed because of that. I was lying alone in the room (the guys had gone somewhere) but I got my mobile phone so I could chat with my friends.

The guys came back late, at about 11. One of them held a black packet, and I thought that there was beer or vodka, or alcohol that could have been stolen from a procedure room. But I was laughing out loud when they took PEARS out of the packet. Well, anyway, pears could have been stolen. They offered me one, but I thought that it was too early for me even to drink, and this was a whole fruit! I was about to think that doctors had brainwashed them and commanded them to feed me with pears for one more chance to cut me. But my doubts flew away with my soul after a dose of painkiller. The place I visited was glamorous… Somewhere between Edelweiss and the Everest…

I woke up in the night. I needed a toilet. I sat on my bed and realized that I was making a mistake. But I didn’t stop and made a sillier mistake – stood up. And that moment I realized that I was not at home on this planet. Everything was unreal. The ceiling was on the right, and the walls were up and down. I made the first step and felt myself like in space. But I didn’t feel any positive emotions. Then one of the guys woke up. He saw what drugs did to me, quickly came to me, held me and placed me back on the bed.
He said that it would have been better if I had drunk poison and died silently, rather than frightening him that way. The nurse came, saw me and said: ‘What are you doing? (Pause) Well… Nevermind’ and went away. I was afraid that she would tell about my adventures to the doctor and he would hit me for my travelling. I fell asleep and in my dreams there was football.

Thursday morning was sunny. Again the sheet was bloody underneath me right side, but I got used to it. My mum changed them every day. That morning I was allowed to eat a bit. For the first time.

The most exciting thing happened – all my classmates came to see me that day! Just imagine – 22 people! They wanted to have the holiday with me. They didn’t leave me because they are true friends. All of them. One of my classmates – his name is Gleb - he is my best friend. We have been friends since the first grade when we were 7. He came to me last, after everybody. He was standing near my bed. He didn’t say anything. He looked at me, touched my hand and I saw tears dropping down his eyes. Later he told: ‘I was really afraid of loosing you forever’. But that day I tried to make him calm, I was kidding and joking, trying to show them that I was almost O.K.

In the evening I had some more procedures, but they were not as awful as I had the day before. I was thinking about my friends, how they tried to bring the holiday to me. And they did. I am thankful for them very much.