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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

excerpt from the prologue of "FAITH"

          The body on the ground was not unfamiliar. Pale and cold, she lay on the dingy floor of the Flushing-bound number seven. The others that gathered around had their own whispers and opinions. I am right there with her, envying her position.
          "Hang in there, girl," one of them said kneeling and grabbing hold of her wrist.
          "The paramedics are on the way," said the conductor who already alerted the trains behind us to spit out the "sick passenger on the train ahead" bullshit. She is more than sick.
          The death rattle is kicking in. It is what the doctors would call the accumulation of excess fluid and mucous as the subject breathes in and out. The breaths can get loud and disturbing but so far they are mild, giving the people huddled next to me and around her hope that she will make it through.
          I know she won't. If one of these people knew what they were doing, they can relieve her upper airway rattling with deep suctioning. Guess there is no doctor on board.
          Her breaths are in intervals right now, respiratory patterns common with those about to die. The usual victim takes several breaths, then stops, then takes several more breaths. This pattern is driven by the autonomic nervous system after much of the rest of the brain has already shut down.
          She is at four breaths now, and the patterns will incrementally decrease.
          Why did I let this happen to her?

thoughts/comments? i could use them right about now :)