The Persistent Vegetative State of No

I’ve been fooling myself. I’ve been going along convincing myself the damage wasn’t that bad, wasn’t already done, wasn’t irreversible. I’ve been living my life like our precious dear isn’t terminal. Our best friend, our soul mate, our confidant, our light in the darkness…on the verge of darkness, gone from our lives forever.

I have to face this. I have to acknowledge this. I have to stand up and admit it out loud.

No is dying.

No is in a coma, a persistent vegetative state. I can’t stand the thought of pulling the plug, but it seems inevitable. The words permanent vegetative state have been muttered, and fallen on stubborn ears. No isn’t functioning, existing on machines pumping oxygen, fluids, and food. No is dying.

It didn’t start out so bad. No was unconscious, but we could still talk about No as if still alive and well. We shared stories of nights with No at our side, audible and visible. We shared stories of afternoons with No, dinners with No, evenings at the movies, and walks along the river. We laughed until we cried, and cried until we laughed again. Oh the stories! We each had at least one when No wrapped comforting arms around us and protected us from harm.

Sure, No was more unreliable than not. There were nights we needed No and No wasn’t there. There were walks through cities, day and night, when No was supposed to be with us and No wasn’t. But those weren’t the stories we shared, at first.

Soon enough, No deteriorated and machines took over failing processes. We lamented the dinners when No left an empty seat, silver all still in place. Who cares! we screamed, No was never really there for us to begin with! Stories rounded the room of missed movie nights, and dancing alone and walking alone, all the times we needed No and No was too busy doing whatever it is No does when No isn’t around.

Of course then we felt guilty for blaming No for not being there when we most need No. We made a collective pact to call No more often, to shout No when No was most needed, to let No know without a shadow of a doubt that No was important, that No mattered, that we needed No and wouldn’t ever let No go again.

Then we cried. We cried the purest cry we could cry. We cried for what was becoming the inevitable loss of No. We cried for ourselves. We cried for No. No has so much potential, and we feared deeply and greatly because No may never see the greatness that No could become.

Then we wiped our tears. No is dying. The intervention necessary to revitalize No is going to take more than we have on our own. It’s going to take more than we have together. What it’s going to take is nothing short of a miracle, but a miracle is what we’re asking for. At least that’s how it feels.

It feels like this loss is coming, this plug will be pulled, forced as it will have to be, and No will be wiped from the face of this earth, buried, gone, and eventually forgotten as time heals the wounds, as laments become memories, and memories become lost as stories aren’t passed down from generation to generation anymore. No will become a myth, a once-was that may not have really ever been.

*featured image Gravestone 3 by ~Kaitrosebd-Stock. Creative Commons image ( note by the artist, “not that picky, just not for profit use outside of deviantart.”

26 thoughts on “The Persistent Vegetative State of No

    • Le Clown,
      I could thank you for your compliment, but No; I would rather thank you for being one of the great writers I have surrounding me.


      • Sadly, she died in just over two weeks from her simple office procedure.

        Wow, I’m Debbie Downer today. Don’t mind me. This is a fabulous piece of writing. I just wanted to tell you that you got the tenor just right. 🙂


        • Now I’m really sorry to hear about your friend.
          Thank you for the compliment. I’m overly frustrated from guys refusing to accept my No and continuing to pressure me for sex, and the image of No in a coma came to me while driving. It felt apt. So I pulled up the list of the five stages of grief and set to attempt a style of writing I haven’t yet before, knowing I would be offending some.


          • It didn’t offend me at all. It just made me a little wistful and that, I believe, is the point. Good job.

            I’m sorry to hear that some people still refuse to listen to No. It is the most powerful word we have.


    • In my house, No is No, but then I don’t invite men into my home. This all stemmed from guys not wanting to accept my No to sexual advances and trying again and again to get me to change my mind.


  1. Pingback: Pushing Boundaries | This Is My Corn

  2. Isn’t it amazing the trouble two small letter and one syllable can create in a world over-filled with small minds and less agreeable words? Why can we just have a NO once in a while, without fear that someone will take offense or find our stance beyond acceptable?

    What is it about standing firmly behind NO that places a person on the shady side of the picket fence from the solicitor who just won’t take NO at face value?

    Loved this piece, Melanie. The reader can take it anywhere and always know where she is and what she’s talking about. 🙂 If you want real entertainment, read the whole piece and the comments out loud like I did. Do it with feeling, as if Carnegie Hall was filled to capacity and you were the entertainment. It’s a fantastic read.


    • I don’t understand. I can’t think of an instance when No means anything other than No. But then, I’m not one to say No to get someone to beg me to say Yes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yikes that’s some assumption that everyone knows what they want 🙂 i have heard “No” being inaccurately used in plenty of instances, from douchebag haircuts to conflict resolution in relationships. Oh well, to each is one. Yes yes yes!,


  3. Okay, I just came here to comment that your blog is just really cool. And quirky. I hope you take quirky as a compliment, because it really is one. I love your sense of humor and playful writing style.

    Anyway, I’ll be following and keeping up with any new posts…
    If you want to check out my blog, Mars Gone Mad, that would be super cool:
    Here’s the link:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve replaced my NO’s with door slams. I never say the word anymore (typing it once is okay-ish). If someone asks me a question I need to answer with a monosyllabic negative, I go to the nearest door, and I walk right through it, and I turn around, looking my accuser or my friend asking for an opinion, looking them right in the eye, and slamming the door. It’s best to wait several minutes before coming back out. I’ve inadvertently sat in on board meetings and coat-closet trysts. And if there isn’t a door nearby? I find one. I find a door and I slam it.

    “Hey man, you want this other Coke?”



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