I met his voice before I met his eyes.
I heard him rambling on endlessly about the vast, empty but simultaneously overflowing universe. He would say the meaning of life could be found somewhere between the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls in the morning and forgiveness. To him,everything was a thought just waiting to be pulled in, to be processed.
His voice was silvery when he would speak of the universe, nature, and little wonders like hand sanitizer, and brittle when life support was mentioned. Though disembodied to me, it never felt like his voice was just a floating being in the void. When he read Dr. Seuss, his voice became delicate and breathy. While reading E. Lockhart, it became gravelly, intricate, and intriguing. His laugh sounded infectious and came from a deep place on sincerity.
I hear monotonous voices enter the room and muffle conversations.
“Low on glucose, get a refill Rosenthal.”
“Check the blood samples immediately.”
“Condition still stable; not any worse, but not any better.”
“It’s been three months and nothing is changing.”
“I’m sorry, but we are going to have to take her off of life support. There is nothing more we can do.”
I want to say something, to do something, to give some sort of sign that I am still here. This isn’t just an empty body. I still feel each needle and hear each cry. I am still within this frame.
The voice belonged to a nurse who cared, who loved maybe a little too much. Maybe he became attached to my numb frame and the perseverance of the belief I was fighting. Maybe I was all he had. He was all I had. Either way, he brought me light and life in this cold, dark, sterilized world.
I never met his eyes. Only his voice.
But his voice was all I could have ever asked for.