I was drowning in bland, yellow, liquidy chicken soup. I needed food. To eat. To chew. Damn this soup to the depths of Hell. I caught a glimpse of the hostess (lunch-lady) scurrying past my room and beckoned her with my not-so-feminine shouts. EXCUUUUSE ME. I had been chatting to her previously. She was sympathetic and continuously told me to thank the Lord that I was alive. No, lady. Thank modern medicine. I had curbed my sentiments towards this so-called Lord ever so much. Nurses were so obtusely religious and shunned those whose thoughts and beliefs were contrary to their own. I bit my tongue for I needed their help to mend and get the Hell out of here. It was quite tedious. Restraining myself. She came in, hands clasped to her chest, flashing the most sincere smile she could muster. I asked her to bring me a menu for the doctor had taken me off my liquid diet. I lied through my teeth and she nodded graciously. For breakfast I was given apple juice and weak custard. Breakfast? Are you kidding me? Custard? Where are the eggs and bacon?! I will dictate my lunch and dinner choices this time. There were several options for lunch but the fruit and cheese platter made me salivate. Yes. I shall have that! For dinner it would be roast chicken and vegetables. BRING ME FOOD. She beckoned me to sign the menu choices and my fingers failed me. I could barely hold the pen. I gripped it in my left hand and proudly scribbled an X where my signature would go. She laughed a sympathetic laugh and left, menu in hand. The thought of cheese and fruit and savoury biscuits excited me beyond belief. In walks the mind therapist. Her again. This walking facade of fabricated smiles and mousey brown hair. I fell for her charms for she was the only one that seemed to care about how my mind was doing. Obviously, foolish woman. Is what she’s paid for, after all…
I told her things. Things of anger and remorse. Things of neglect and fearful sleep. She lapped up my misery and even shed a few fake tears while documenting my lack of sanity. I foolishly took to her over the days. I lied about a lot of things initially purely because the idea of head doctors infuriated me. Slowly her ways took hold of me and I opened up, but still I omitted a lot. It was her birthday today and she was in high spirits. I bid her pleasant salutations and offered her a box of chocolates that I was given by my dad. They tasted of burn and char, as usual, so she might as well indulge where I cannot. Perhaps then she’d stop flashing me that sympathetic smile… More sympathy… My lunch arrived while she was there and I could not be bothered with her any longer. Please leave. Leave me to my fruits and cheese! She stayed… The nurse opened up the platter and set the delicious morsels neatly in a line for me to access. I was eternally grateful to her, wonderful woman. The shrink rambled on asking questions. I told her I want to eat. Go away. Our session is not over, she says. Well, bill it to my medical aid then. Is why you’re here, right? Money? No pretenses. She leaves, with a look resembling hurt on her face. Really? Come now, woman. I carefully placed a bit of cheese on a tiny, salty biscuit. What a task but I did it. There was some sweet-smelling green melon as well. Every time I tried to lift it to my gaping mouth, it fell tragically to the ground. Bastard melon. Eventually I sort of flung it into my open mouth and almost did a cartwheel, as if, when it landed successfully. I chewed the moistened fruit gleefully only to taste, you guessed it, burn and char. I spat it out. Perhaps the cheese would go better. More burn. I felt like flinging the platter to the ground and stomping the delicious morsels with my swollen, incapacitated feet. But I left it there. Staring it into submission. Come on, mouth. Come on, brain. Let me eat. Please. Please? Sleep.
I woke to my parents looming around my bed. The fruit nurse followed with a wheelchair. She said that she would like to take me outside to get some sunshine, it’s a lovely day. Sunshine. What a wonderful, thoughtful woman. She also said that a doctor would be by later to remove the staples from my surgical wounds as well as the two drains currently attached to my abdomen. I did not mind these drains. What bothered me the most was obviously the catheter. But that could only be removed once I was able to move myself around. Sigh. My mom draped a fluffy black robe around me once they had lifted me into the chair. On my lap was my drip, my bag of urine and two bags of dead blood. Gentlemen, contain your erections. As exited as I was to be actually going outside, I felt terribly self conscious being wheeled past all of the abled people in our path. My mom was cooing sweet words of encouragement in my ear as I felt the impending panic slowly set in. Why was I panicking? This was a good thing! Progress! I was terrified and overcome with joy at the same time. These conflicting emotions left my stomach knotted and my head clouded… But then… Sunlight hit my skin and I felt alive for the first time in weeks. My overly emotional mom had the tears ready and was smiling gleefully. The trip to the spot of grass was bumpy, sending shrieks of pain through my spine. I was completely oblivious to it. My mom and dad sat on a bench next to me while the cheerful nurse wandered off for a smoke. The moment was pure and fresh. A new memory to hold on to. I was grateful for it. Sitting up in the wheelchair was difficult and painful. Ignore. Bask in the present, delicious sunshine for soon you shall be back to your pillowy prison pushing pills into your perplexed face. Yes. The smells were all new to me. Grass, pollution, cigarettes, my mom’s floral perfume, my dad’s salt and vinegar chips that he was carelessly munching much to my dismay! A lady was walking towards us. She did not look familiar but wore a familiar shirt. The occupational therapist shirt. Urgh. Was she going to do therapy things outside? Fine. I suppose. She was tasked with developing my fine motor skills. Getting my fingers to work once more. She presented me with a little container full of colourful, glass marbles. I was to take them out, one at a time, then place them back in. It was a tedious task. So much so that I worked up a sweat. Next was pinching a clothes peg open. That was tremendously difficult and I felt failure wash over me. How could my wretched body not remember how to do and perform these simple tasks? Next was play dough. I had to squeeze it back into its little tub. More difficulty. More sweat. She was cutting into my sunshine time and I grew angry. My mother saw this and tried to calm me down. I asked why she could not grant me thirty minutes of sunshine and peace… She scoffed at me and said fine. Fix your own hands. I shall and will, you callous cow. Just. You. Wait.
When we returned to my room, I practiced using my fingers as much as I could. Lifting little things, fiddling with a pen, pressing buttons. I could press the button on the remote now which meant more channels for viewing! Two nurses came in with ominous face masks and what looked like scissors. What– what is going on? What are their intentions? Aah. Removal of drains and staples. The older one removed her mask and told me to brace myself for pain. The drains were several centimeters into my skin, stitched into place. I had around 30 staples that needed to be removed as well. I regulated my breathing and braced myself for their onslaught. I could press buttons now. Bring it, bitches.
The passion that fueled my initial ramblings regarding my experiences seems to be dwindling… So much so that I have faltered to add new additions in a while. These are pure recollections from memory. So easy it ease to seep into the abyss once more… My journey is far from complete through textual means on here but my mind has mended itself over the year that has passed. I find myself lurking over the edge of remembrance. Bathing and wallowing in its sordidly dark allure. All too easy to forget that I am alive because of it… No, in spite of it!