I stood out on the patio in the dark, the cool breeze rushing past me and through the door, over to Blane, who was sitting on the sofa watching tv. I’d gone out there because I could hear a helicopter. I know a care-flight when I hear one.
I think I do, the heli pad was just outside the ICU backdoor, and when one approached or left our hospital, the unit would go silent, the nurses and patients would freeze, even the machines seemed to hold their breath for a moment.
There is a term for this in French, when a crowd goes quiet all of a sudden, “Un Ange Passé,” which literally translates to “An angel passed.”
Anyway, I get this thumping in my chest when I see those helicopters and a million thoughts race through my head. Usually deep dark fears relating to my own life, such as, are they transporting some teenaged driver from a car crash? I’m feeling this phantom ache for some parent out there who might be suffering the unimaginable.
And just as the copter passes directly over us, the blades frantically chopping air, Blane says what he always says in his very best fake British accent,
“You, Yes You, Stand Still Laddie!”
And I laugh as though this is the very first time I’d heard it because he’s just taken me out of a place I didn’t need to be.
I don’t think he knows the mental dynamics of the situation. Why I laugh at that one consistently, while his other ten or so other canned jokes barely cause a change in my facial expression. Like the Kevin Bacon one. Every time he sees that actor he says, “Bacon and eggs.” Blane doesn’t even have to be around, if I see Kevin Bacon, I hear it in my head. I try not to show that it drives me nuts because I am certain he is testing my patience.
Twenty-seven years to the day, and I haven’t cracked.
In my heart, I know this is one of the things he admires most about me. He says both of his parents had absolutely no patience while he was growing up. So, if I ever did explode, it would kill off something magical for him. I would never want to do that to someone who can make me feel like I’m in a Pink Floyd song. Ever.