Saturday, July 24, 2010

Staying Afloat

It doesn’t help to remember that you were always a little lopsided in your gentle gait. The way you cocked your head in the morning to greet me. And weaved through the pulsing greens and the flutter of bubbles, like a jet plane slanting dangerously near the clouds. I tried to be prepared. I even tried to avert. Prevention is better than cure, I kept saying as I shelled and plucked at moist little green peas and let them drift near you.

But the day did arrive, when I saw you frantically somersaulting in little circles, as if you were caught in a scary, invisible Ferris-wheel mechanized by your delicate system. Whoever said you were incapable of emotion. I could spell out glints of helplessness, panic, and fear in your glassy eyes, as you fought to regain control over your body and straddle it upright. But things went awry.

How sincerely you tried. And how much you tried. Relentlessly. Recklessly. Over and over you tumbled, and steadied, tumbled and steadied, before you were crushed down onto the rock bottom. What irony, I say. You struggling to stay afloat when you were marvelously designed to gracefully glide. A failure in the fundamental machinery. No cure, no room for remorse. 

Does that pacify? Does that save me the harrowing “If only...” thoughts playing music on my strands of guilt? It does and it does not. The lack of control, the inability to formulate a solution, the ineptitude to accept the lack of one, churned in rhythm with your topples of struggles.

I see yet another being I cared for,  through impenetrable glass walls, deemed incurable, lost to fate. The big person outside the glass walls - I was God, to you. The one who could determine your short-term fate - to live or not to live, to have or not to have, to eat or not to eat. But someone much bigger watches me through an even bigger glass dome, and you through your little cube of glass, through the dome. He perhaps decides some aspects of our combined fate. My power reaches only so far. Beyond the glass dome, rests the reigns of my feeble power; the muscle to provide the torque of change, the magic wand of cure.

To euthanize or not. To lean on hope or resign to stoic acceptance. The cycle in my mind wheeled with your efforts. After a courageous week of your dogged struggle to stay afloat, you slowly gave up. Fighting till the last breath, twitching till the last spurt of energy.

This is to commemorate your tough fight against survival. And to mark my prickling disappointment on witnessing all of it, down to your sad, pleading eyes. 

Rest in peace, little pet. 

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