"She's all right, isn't she?" He thought those words came out of his mouth. The light of the emergency room hallway was bright and sterile; the doctor shook his head. This was his way of telling him. The light of the hallway washed over a painting: purple irises, a local artist, an Elizabeth something. He thought how she would approve, even though the painting was crude. And then he pictured himself somehow, witnessing, bodiless, the way the truck slammed into the driver's side faster than thought, the way the windshield disintegrated to rock sugar in a sudden shower, the way the metal twisted and sparked and screamed, the way her head... good god! He could see it: the impact, swift, the burst and shower of the hot slippery red fluid all over the interior, soaking the upholstery, running in rivulets into the street. Ellen. It seemed almost absurd. Her period started and she was out of "supplies". And then this. Four years of marriage, good income, decent sex, no kids, Kung Pao chicken every Saturday night. A video. Now this. An ending, he thought. Then she was and wasn't there in that room. Did they pull a green sheet over her face. Would it frighten him to look at it.
Sicken him? Would he throw up?
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