The Corridor

I love you and I need you, I wish that I could see you.  I’m travelling down this corridor alone, strapped to this trolley with doctors by my side pushing through door after door.  I can see the light shining but I’m not sure if it’s for me or if it’s for everyone around me.  I cry out, not pain not in horror, I cry out in confusion.  I need you and I want you, to be by my side again.  Memories flood my frazzled mind, a skeletal hand clasps my own and tells me it will be alright, it will be okay.  I can help but feel that this is a denial, that my body is failing even as I flail in the half-light of an under-funded hospital, staffed by sleep walking staff with the warmest of hearts.

I need you and I want you, I can hear voices in the corridor, not my own or those around me but others, crying out in equal pain or in anger at the wait.  Where are my sons, where are my daughters?  I wanted to say to grow up in peace, to love your family, friends and neighbours as one, to move on or to leave if you need to.  We understand, we want you to be happy, we need you to be with us.  I love and I need you, and I wish that I could see you.

The final corridor, my body is checked in.  Checked once that I am who I say I am, that the arrows painted on my limbs are correct and that my brain is related to my body and my body is related to my name.  I say I am who I am and they take it on board, and I’m made to wait at Heaven’s Gate.  Two blonde angels guide me, make me comfortable on the slip green sheets which matches their sleek outfits.  Only bras and knickers must be under their gowns I think, wondering who they share their bed and younger, supplier bodies with at night.  My own is broken, battered and torn.  A mess of surgical scars, shortened limbs but above average, well we won’t go into that but it is according to a litany of my previous lovers.

I want you and I need you, I wish that I could see you.  I laugh, laugh at the futility of it all.  The drugs, I yearn for the warmth of the morphine, of the wicked sleeping potion to crawl up into my veins and up into my arm and to flood the chest cavity and consciousness itself.  I yearn to sleep with no dreams, where the minute that passes is not a minute but a moment between awake and awake.  My eyes linger on one of the angels, filling in the paperwork in the corner of the room, haloed by broken bodies on stripped back beds.

I need you and I want you, I wish that I could see you.  I’m moving, I’m moving, but I’m not moving, there are no words for this.  Through the first set of doors I am pushed, name confirmed once more.  Am I aware of what is going to happen to me and why it is happening?  Yes, yes I scream still dreaming of the green robed angels in the theatre waiting room.  Just do it, yes the heart always beats fast.  I need you and I want you, but I just can’t seem to see you.  I stare at the anaethetist’s eyes as the plunger is gently but firmly pressed down, a milky white liquid seeps into my own bloodstream diluting reality.

I needed you and I wanted you, but I just can’t seem to have seen you.  I wake as if I have been asleep for years.  I crave water, yearn to drink a thousand litres of the freshest water available.  I want to drown in crystalline lakes and to never wake.  A tube has been down my throat, a mainline into the neck is still present.  I wish that I could have seen you, I’m sorry to have left you.  I close my eyes again.

Reprise: An Experiment. Part II.

~ Running in the night , screaming at the light

of a thousand stars dying and the all engulfing love

and tyranny

of skin on skin ~…

…~ Of memories long since buried

beneath the ocean of the beloved

that haunt

me still ~…

…~ Pain is pleasure and pleasure is

gained through the experience, but

there is nothing

and no-one ~…

…~ We are the sum of all we are,

what bullshit do we seek, when

thrills, high or low, can be found

on every corner street ~…

Do words mean anything when there is no context, no fabric into which they are weaved?  Are they meaningless if they are spoken to the ether, scored into the sky, taking no physical form nor permanency?

Electric

I’ll pleasure pain as pain is pleasured, only by my hand alone can I bring the misery that the thousands seek!

D calm down, please take a moment to reflect on what you are saying.

Fuck you and your medicine, your magic stick is nothing but a staff of false promises, you blaspheme even as you breath!

Do not spit on me D, please! Get off that table and come and sit by my side you errant child, let me listen to your troubles – let me smooth your ruffled hair.

I’ll stamp and I’ll cry as much as I feel I should, your words hold no meaning to me!  Only the dragon that can be tamed will calm me, and we both know they do not exist!

What…what are you on about?  Take a minute to breath in deeply, let that breath invigorate your body and calm that vibrant mind of yours!  Please, for heavens sake, do you not know I run a place of peace and tranquility?  You are ruining that not just for yourself but also for the others around you, for your nearest and dearest.  Your mother and father seek the beautiful son that they once knew, they hold your love in their garden of peace.

Oh please, hold your pity in wild abandon you insufferable dog, do my parents know how much you are paid by the hour?  It’s bullshit and you know it!  There is naught so fine nor fair as you ripping people off, stealing their life savings by pretending to bring families together, families that should stay long apart and grow anew if you ask my opinion!

I am NOT asking your opinion!  You will listen to me and to me only D, you have one last chance before I call for help.  You know what will happen when I call for help, there is no coming back from that – it is a black mark on your record, one that will deny you jobs, stable employment, benefits and care.  I do not take that decision lightly but please do not push me.

Ha, a curse on you and your profession!  You think you hold such sanctions above my head, er as I sit in your office?  Please,  hold back your vanities and delusions of power.  I know MY rights, I know my place.

Well, if you think that is so then please I will let you go and it will not rupture my heart so.  Begone you foul wicked person, take your jest elsewhere, to a place where it can affect man nor woman,  where the cold dry walls are your only audience.

The Review

‘…and you are locked into a debt of which you will never become released of, I am certain of this and it is clear in my thoughts as such.’

‘But sir, don’t you deny the very foundation of being able to see beyond your own situation, of bringing hope into not just your life but also ours?’

‘What a petty imagination you have, for your futures I see nothing but dark horizons and cascading torments.’

‘Well be done with your thoughts and imaginations then as it is clearly visible to us that you have no such qualms in harming us with your words and misdeeds’.

‘Petty fool, please! Calm your house and make it in order, even though I fear it will never become so!’

‘Twice now you have called myself and others before you ‘petty’, but grant that I will not!  We are not petty sir, nor miserable or locked into innumerable heartache, no sir, we are just, kind and civil.  Our steady boat has become only rocked once by this heavy handed court and I, for one, will not have my name besmirched for any longer.  It is a duty of the law, yes, the law, to guide in it’s civil advocacy the way in which we point our democracy (in this I agree wholeheartedly), but this expenditure in this adventure is surely just a mess, an exploitation that matters not a jot to the jailor or to the lawyer.  Think twice before you call us petty sir, for we may yet bite the ass of the man before us!’

‘Order! Order in the court of law! Hark hear how thy sing such praises of only of yourselves, you disreputable rogues.  It gladdens so to sit here and judge, preside over your fate and decree it so: 7 years hard labour for your financial irregularities, not a day more but not a day less.’

It was at this pronouncement that the witnesses in the stand burst into a flood of tears, wetting their lapels and dousing their frocks in so much salted water that the barristers and lawyers feared for their lives.  The judge, jowls and all, had become, by this point in the proceedings, annoyed by this ragtag band of misfits before him.  The sentence was harsh, he knew that, but it was just, it was acceptable and it was do’able.  It was at this thought that his rage subsided and he became more relaxed in posture and tone.

Epiphany

Clarity did not come from a hard day at the office, nor did it come from a bracing open air walk or from seeing his family locked in a loving embrace.  Instead clarity came from the drained pint class.   It came from the empty pint glass that clanked down onto the wooden bar as the bell rang ready for a lock-in.  It came to him in the pub, rising above the roar of the regulars, above the awful impressions on the microphone, above the blare of a population letting of a weeks worth of pent-up steam.  It was at this point that clarity put aside all thought and all distractions and came to him in the form of a clear mind.  It blazed for a singular moment only to be lost in the haze of the alcohol a second later.  He could only grasp at the tendrils of the thought the next day, but he knew that the ritual would be repeated the next week.

Repose: An Experiment

 

  • The physical scars are my tattoos and they are my identity, of this I am sure.  The mottled brown skin, the lines that gently snake down both my thighs, help ground me to this earth in a way no mere object can.
  1. Sitting on the white plastic toilet in a sanitized room, forgotten and sobbing, whilst an orange alarm softly glows in the glum yellow light.
  • A few scars have been kissed several times by the cold blade of the surgeon’s scalpel, the limbs drained and bled, the bone gently replaced by metal.
  1. Learning to walk once again: hands steadying on the grey frame, one foot forward and one long silent inward scream released.
  • The flow of the blood up the arm; the nauseating but welcoming wave of painkiller, muscle relaxant and fresh oxygen combine to make the eyelashes flutter, the nurses grip that much tighter, the lights that much brighter, the machine beeps that much colder, my battered body that much older.
  1. The camaraderie that endears the long term patients to cluster together, the adhesive that bonds them, and the angels that watch over them.  The simple dichotomy of a child’s mind.
  • Food that is welcomed wholeheartedly into baying and desperate hands, the food that represents the familial bond.  Breaking bread with friends outside of that hospital environment, with the fresh air and clear blue skies and freewheeling squawking of the seagulls reinvigorates a tired body.
  1. The scars that sit silently, bubbling and boiling, ready to ruin a Thursday night with the T.V.
  • A visit to the emergency room; a quick stab of a needle and a swish of glistening scalpel; pressure, pressure upon the limb, watch it drain, watch it drain; the glittering of a thousand stars at night as the wheels glide over the tarmac.
  1. The book chronicling my experiences and more, given up around page 30.
  • At my most fractured, strapped to the bed, broken but healing, here then were people that cared, the conduits of a beauty unparalleled, the seeds of a love sown with the deep blues and pure whites of their uniform.  Of the nurses who took their time to talk, of their radiance and gorgeous faces.  A friendly radiographer taking the time to explain how his mysterious machines worked.
  1. The acceptance of your fate, whether on the operating table or in a newly prescribed drug, would be taken as a given, but was never fought for.  For all the wealth accumulated through the suffering of others.
  • Discharged and disowned, just one in a long bitter queue.
  1. The book I wished I had wrote when I had barely finished reading it.
  • The dream that I am yet to live.