The World I Made for Her
James Bletchley has been in intensive care in a New York hospital for 50 days. When awake, he is an acute observer of his clinical surroundings. He watches the arrivals, ailments, and departures of other patients, his own drug regimen, and the various machines he relies on for breath and nutrition. He hears the medical opinions spoken softly or laced with jargon and he learns the intimate details of his carers' lives. He hears conversations as they attend to his intravenous injections, and the jovial comments they address directly to him (though he can barely respond). He spends hour upon hour observing their movements and expressions. He has seen the small white scars where his gregarious Irish nurse Brigit injects herself with fentanyl and he has seen the sadness that haunts her colleague and fellow country woman, Nuala.
In his dreams and even in his comas, he falls in love