If you’re reading this, it’s February third, or at least the nurse told me it’s February third, and since I’ve got no other choice than to believe her, it must indeed be February third. I’ve been in a clinic for the past several hours, lying supine in an uncomfortable bed with fluorescent lights stitching the ceiling, casting the room in violent unnatural white. An electric glow washes over everything, casting out all darkness. They’ve removed a bullet from my right shoulder, or fragments of a bullet. I am not hurt badly. According to the nurse I am lucky to be alive, and perhaps she wasn’t speaking about the bullet but more or less life in a broader sense. You’re lucky to be alive, she said, but then again that’s a relative statement, something a person would say when they don’t know you. If I am lucky to be alive, then what does that say about luck?
I’m leaving the clinic in two days, they say, which will make it February fifth. If you’re reading this. I feel fine, if a bit sore. Please don’t worry about me, I’ll recover and will be on the road again soon, delivering parcels and scratching in this notebook. The pain medication has me drowsy. I’m getting older, Jennifer. But then so are you. But you’re not reading this.
Through the battered rectangular doorway three security police walk the hall of the clinic with their authority on display. Hush precedes and lags behind them. The uniformed men have sidearms looped in their belts, standard-issue black hats snug atop heads shielding eyes that scan the halls and peer suspiciously into rooms. They’re looking for someone. The clinic seems at capacity. I lie watching and wonder what they know about me, if anything, what they’ve heard through the wire, because we’ve all had our name sung upon that current at one point or another. We have all been targeted at least once.
I need to get back on the road. One of the bullet parts embedded an inch into my deltoid muscle. A deep, dull pain pulses through my right side as I move the pen across the page. The nurse has stated her displeasure at my insistence to write. I’m going to need to rebuild my strength, one word, one line at a time.