It’s always white. The bed sheets and the pillow. The ceiling, the curtains. Everything is white. It stings. It’s relentless. White is an unforgiving color.
I hate white.
White is always what I wake up to afterwards. After that deep, still blackness. The sort that reels me in, makes me numb, and steals my breath. It’s hard to stay in the darkness. Someone always pulls me back a step. But I’ll always have one foot in the black.
When I start breathing on my own again, it’s harsh. The air is sour and burns with chemicals. I can barely see from all the white. My body is weak and slow to respond.
I lie still. There is nothing to do but wait. My mind turns rapidly. I feel bitter. At a loss. My chest swells with resentment. Defeated. Failed.
I know this routine all too well. There’s always questions. Question after question. I run out of answers. So, most of the time, I say nothing. I just want to leave that searing white.
Today, it’s white again. I wake up alone, my head pounding. The white is like a drill, boring at my skull. I sit up and lean forward, resting my forehead in my palms. I groan, weary from pain. My body is weak, as usual. An IV snakes around my arm. My mouth tastes terrible. I roll my head in my hands as I look to the side. I notice something on the table beside me.
I slowly pick up my head from my hands, reeling a bit as my headache surges. I grope at the table and grab the edge of a bag. A note on it says, “For Kieran Sullivan, Room C113.”
Without opening it, I think I know who this is from.
In an instant, my pain begins to fade.
White can be alright.
Morning sketches -
6 days ago