AUDIO: "My Life:" Radio Dreams
This piece, recorded in studio by Colin Doherty, was aired on Vermont Public Radio in the summer of 2007 as part of an ongoing series with YWP students entitled, "My Life." For guidelines and other examples of student work, click here.
By Colin Doherty
Champlain Valley Union High School, Grade 12
It is cold in this empty hallway. There is too much white here. The walls, the sheets, the ceiling, all white. After a while, I start to forget that other colors exist at all. Then I see blood, and yellow tubing, and syringes full of every color imaginable. All I can smell is cleaning chemicals and the faintest lingering scent of whatever they cleaned up. I don't want to know what that might be. The hall stretches endlessly. I know that I am only feet from the door I'm looking for, but time stretches by as though I'm miles away, because I know she is dying."
I came here to visit her, to help her get well. At least, that's what I'll tell her. What we won't say, what we can't say, is that I'm here to say goodbye. We both know it, but how can we admit it? But it doesn't matter what we said, it matters what is. The reality is that I know she is dying."
I can't get over this. Why is it her, for God's sake? Why can't it be somebody else dying in that sterile wasteland, instead of her? I know I shouldn't say that, but doesn't everyone think it? I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't make somebody else die instead of a loved one - heck, dozens of "somebody elses" - just so they could stay with them another year, or a day, or an hour. It may be wrong, but that's just the way we are. But still, she is dying."
After a what seems like a million years of walking down the hallway, I finally reach the door. I open it. The room is clean, totally sterile. The bed is made, with the sheets pulled up in a perfectly straight line, and the pillow freshly replaced. There are no more tubes or syringes, no heart monitors or dialysis machines."
I am too late. There is nobody here.