This is just something I wrote about going back to hospital and seeing other patients.
I want you to come and walk with me. Tangle my icy fingers with yours, and tiptoe with me through these corridors. Walls of yellow paint, bricks and plaster. Walls of howls, vomit and death. They are
the saddest walls I have ever seen. These are my corridors.
I once resided among these sickly flecks of paint. Months spent slowly tracing my fingers over the edges of those sheets, Hospital carefully stitched in a surgical cap blue. Months playing with those frays, as doctors spoke with me, parents screamed near me, children died near me.
Tangle my icy fingers, and walk with me. Peek into those rooms. And tell me what you see. I want to ask you something. Do you see their eyes? Do you see them? I know you can see their beds. Their frayed edges. But would you just stop looking at the tubes for a moment. Could you just ignore the tubes snaking from their little button noses. Just ignore the nude of their scalps, blue spiders dancing across. Their bleeding lips, the vomit staining what they once called pearly whites. And just peek into their eyes. And tell me what you see.
There was the little girl, her haunting brown eyes sunken in her little bald head. Carefully clutching onto her teddy bear for dear life. She smiled at me and danced down the hallway. I wonder how far its spread. There was the girl with the most delicate of lashes, missing half her face. Sinking into the chair, desperately trying to disappear. My eyes whisper to her. You are beautiful. Hers whisper back. Just let me hide. There was the little boy with the most tragic blue eyes in the world, sunken over in his wheelchair carefully munching away on his happy meal chips. I don’t think he will go home.
Their eyes were lying in my hospital bed, carefully stroking my frayed sheets. I tiptoed past them, their heads hung lowly. Their eyes were different to mine. Blue, green, hazel and brown. Thick lashes, no lashes, almond and taped close. Their tubes a different colour, their machines a different blip, their charts a different hope. But did you know that all our eyes speak the same tragic language?
Look into their eyes, and tell me what you see. Tell me what you hear. Tell me what you smell. Tell me what you feel.
When I look into their eyes, I see a tube. Just out the corner of my eye. I see it resting on my face, carefully held to my cheek with tape. I see curtains being pulled, I see vomit in my lap; I see them attach their bullets and blades. Drip by drip into my little wrist.
Tell me what you hear. I hear beep beep beep bop bop. That’s what I hear. Every thirty minutes. I hear clacking heels, knowing that grim faces will soon be here. I hear the coughing in the bed next-door, and know he is slowly dying. I hear Mummy screaming. Save my baby. I hear Daddy crying. He is dying. I hear the silence of their machines, and weep a little.
Tell me what you smell. Vomit lying in my hair, the smell staining my skin. I smell Microshield as they disinfect themselves, desperately not wanting to kill me a little quicker. Those corridors. Not even a scent. Simply now a way of living. They smell like home.
Tell me what you feel. I feel the break as the needle slowly pierces the crook of my arm. I feel the pain too great. The nausea in waves of gags and spits. I feel myself growing tired. Each time my eyes flutter, I am unsure if they will ever flutter open once more. I feel the heaviness of the fight.
And I flick my lashes down. I stop looking into your eyes. Because they make me scream in the night. Your darling little eyes. And I continue to tiptoe down the corridor. I tiptoe until I am in the car, until I walk through the front door; I tiptoe so silently, so as not to remind those walls that I am missing. I tiptoe and drift to sleep in my bed with no hospital stitching. There is only room for once of us in that railed bed. And I am sorry that today it’s you, and not me. Rest your little body and sleep. And I hope you can forgive me.