I have read books (Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelanzy) and seen films (one of which is nearly plagiarized by the title of this post, my apologies Mr. Hitchcock) that address this theme. Imagine your world being reduced to mundane, intrusive, and irregular excursions supporting care that you cannot give yourself. Your world reduced to what others allow you to see. I don’t have to strain my brain very hard to imagine that as I have witnessed it daily for several weeks watching KaSandra (KK to her friends) deal with the confinement and confusion imposed upon someone with a serious illness like cancer. I try not to stare at her but I do, and sometimes she catches me looking at her. I’m certain that must annoy her to no end and it makes me feel guilty every time it happens. However, I can’t seem to help myself. I am curious about what she is thinking, and I wonder what I would be thinking in her place.
As I write this post, trying hard to be extra quiet and light fingered typing across the keyboard of my laptop; I am stealing glances of her going in and out of consciousness, trying to nap. The TV is tuned to the CARE station playing soft instrumentals and rolling peaceful pictures of panoramic views of nature mixed with close encounters with flora, fauna, and various critters, woodland, aquatic, and airborne. Her mother is in the chair beside her bed, peacefully grabbing a rare opportunity to rest. I listen to the soft sounds of their breathing mixed with the constant humming and ticking of the machines that nourish her, poison her, and monitor her. The sunlight shines in from the window and illuminates her face while casting a shadow across her pillow. She opens her eyes and catches me, again! I look down quickly and tick off a few more words before I steal another glance, she is sleeping, I think/hope.
The window has caught my eye and my attention. This window is her main outlet to what is happening in the world outside this room. The Jacaranda trees that fill most of the viewing space are beautiful in their green and purple splendor, and if you block out the cars in the parking lot, the red brick architecture of the building makes a nice border for the picture she sees each and every day. The random elements of this daily picture are the time of day, the weather, and the people that walk through it at any given moment. That can be fertile ground for an active imagination, and I believe that she certainly has one. I wonder what she conjures up in her mind as she watches the world pass in and out of her line of sight. It’s a little like Paul Simon’s vision described in his lyric to “Homeward Bound” where he and his traveling companion are people watching and “imagine the man in the gabardine suit is a spy.” Makes me wonder, where do you go when you dream? Answer, anywhere!
And so, inspired to wonder out loud, I am imagining myself in her place, in that little bed looking out the picture window. Why, there must be at least a bazillion stories walking by this window. How hard could it be to capture one or two? Next post, chapter one of “KK Undercover – The Cookie Caper”