The Couch


Comments on Ties

hyena in petticoat
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Joined: Apr 30, 2007
Location: Here.

Total Topics: 16
Total Comments: 181
Posted 01/25/08 - 3:04 AM:
Subject: Ties
"She's over there."

We walked toward the ICU, passing a silently crying woman. There was a heaviness in the air, a depressed calm.

I tried to come up with a proper greeting, one neither indifferent nor insensitive. On arrival at the viewing window there turned out to be little need for a greeting.

Through the window we saw her talking to an apparently unconscious man on a bed. She nudged him continuously in a futile attempt to wake him up.

"How is he?"

"Still in a coma," I answered, nodding towards the window.

There were metal chairs lined along the wall. I sat at one for a minute, then stood again. I walked a couple of paces toward the viewing window, glanced through it, then returned to the chair to sit again.

The restlessness wasn't caused by worry, it was perhaps rooted in a feeling of wanting to be somewhere else. Sitting amongst the lonely, the crying, the sick and the dying... it bored me.

I gave my head a shake, hoping it would make the ugly thoughts fall away.

More people entered. Some were worried and sad; others were smiling supposedly restrained smiles. Everyone was as they normally were.

We decided to go out to smoke. On the way I stepped on a girl's foot. I apologized, but she threw a fit. I walked on unhearing, smiling a bit.

Later, the crying started. I tried to shed a tear. "They're all crying," I told myself. "I should cry too." After a couple of seconds of attempting, no tear was forthcoming. "Oh well," I sighed. I lowered my head as people all around consoled each other. "Bah," I thought, "I'm hungry."

We went for dinner. I sat there, deafly listening, participating half-heartedly. I neither cared nor comprehended what the chatter was about.

I started to open my mouth in an attempt to be the person I once was -- a person like them, caring about things that never really mattered. Trivial, shallow, happy, crazy... alive.

I choked on the words that would never be said, on amusing stories I would never be able to deliver. I turned my attention to the pomodoro and ate it quietly. "Pomodoro and iced tea, please," they made me say, for I never seemed to be able to get words out of my mouth clearly.

As the evening drew to a close, with people about me dozing off or half asleep, I sat on a bus feeling tired and disappointed. I'd been stupid enough to expect I'd have fun visiting a dying person in a hospital. I hated stupid people. I thought it a shame that the people I used to like turned out to be the kind I found tiring.

I hated feeling alone. I wondered why I was so filled with apathy.

The cold wind blew through the open windows of the bus. In a seat in front of me a child slept, holding a half eaten doughnut. An old woman smoked a cigarette, oblivious to the "no smoking" sign nearby. Nobody talked, nobody made any noise. There was a silent agreement. It was a peaceful world on late night -- dark, but peaceful.

"I'm a bad person," I thought. I regretted not bringing my jacket.

(Edited by Paul. How wonderful. grin )
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Joined: Nov 11, 2007
Location: UK *up north somewhere*

Total Topics: 63
Total Comments: 195
Avatar Nexus
Posted 01/25/08 - 7:43 AM:

Reminds me a little of Murakami Haruki. Gradual building of tensions in mundane (not a criticism, obviously the sickness isn't mundane but the reality surrounding it is) situations, cool observation of an altered spiritual state, sorrow, alienation. Interesting.
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