My room with a view

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 26, 2018

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Submitted: May 26, 2018



My room with a view

By Erik Langskaill




The light begins to cut through a crack in the ill fitting curtains heralding the promise of a new day. Outside car doors slam as indistinguishable occupants acknowledge each other and prepare for another day of forced smiles and pseudo optimism, at least they get to come and go. 


I try to turn in bed, longing to feel the sunrise on my face and the tube stretches taught inflicting yet more pain to my already broken body. I've forgotten I’m still a slave to the machines whose constant beeps confirm my existence.  In the distance I hear the ear piercing sound that signifies misery.  It gets louder as its joined outside my window by blue strobes, trollies clatter momentarily before the silence returns.  I don’t go to the window to watch, that’s someone else’s nightmare, not mine.




I’m about to drift back to better times when I'm interrupted by the artificial sunrise.  Doors are thrown open, privacy a stranger, I hear the same repetitive cry to anyone still sleeping 'You, up, this ain't BUPA you know!' The hilarity is lost on me, I’ve heard it every day for a month.  I quickly rise, I glance out the window at school children crossing the car park, laughing and teasing, In the distance a bell announcing their lateness.  There's a shuffle of feet and outside my door and I see the flurry of sheep in white coats pass, their master strolling ahead. They make their way to the last door and enter, cheerful salutations made the door closes, the message personal. 




It's my turn, the shuffling approaches my door, hushed voices outside as he holds court.  When finally he enters my room his sheep follow, desperately scribbling notes from their previous encounter.  Pleasantries exchanged he looks at my notes nodding silently.  The sheep, youthful and spotty look at their feet, each terrified of making eye contact with their master.  I wait, hoping he'll interrogate one of his disciples, I love watching them squirm and flounder, but nothing today. He speaks but his words wash over me,  I'm just a cog in this machine, they'll do what they please whether I like it or not.  With his sermon delivered he leaves, the disciples shuffle out, each one in turn smiling awkwardly at me having still to perfect the mandatory sympathetic but reassuring smile.  I go back to my window, watching the builders crossing the car park, paper bags and glass bottles in hand, lunch must be close.




A nurse enters, my drug fuddled brain forgetting her name.  I raise my arm, I don’t need to ask why she’s here.  She smiles as she sits next to me, ‘And how are you today’, I give the default ‘I’m fine’ reply, nobody wants to hear the truth.  She straps my arm and rubs, waking the veins exhausted from weeks of abuse.  ‘You’ll feel a sharp scratch’ she says as she jabs the cold steel into my arm.  I watch the crimson tide flow,  my eyes fixated, searching to see why it's different, what makes it diseased but theres nothing to see. She leaves and once again I'm alone, with only my fears for company. I go back to my window, Nurses and Doctors pass in the car park those leaving with haste, those arriving dragging their feet.




There's a knock on my door two nurses this time, its here. They try to hide the red box they're carrying, it's alright though, Its contents and I have met before.  They laugh and joke, distraction their aim but it's lost on me, I know what's coming.  I smile, trying to put them at ease, this can't be nice for them either.  The box is placed on my table instantly altering their demeanour as nurse becomes lawyer, ‘Name' she barks and I respond, humour has gone, its deadly serious now.  Convinced of my identity, the bag is hung, tube attached and they leave. With healing poison flowing I move to the window, watching the mundane, the antidote for my tainted blood becoming one with me, I close my eyes, longing for it to finish.




When I wake the bag is gone.   My table contains a silver tray with plate covered in metal bowl, if they think this is fine dining they're delusional.  I lift the lid, chicken, maybe pork, its hard to tell.  If it's Tuesday it's chicken.  I shuffle to the bin, barely finding the strength to stand on the pedal,  the lid rises,  it can eat my dinner today  




Back in my chair as the light begins to fade car parks are filling.  Men approach with balloons of pink and blue each waving in the wind, heralding a new arrival.  Two of the men nod to each other, both have the same look of fear and excitement etched on their faces.  Inside my room I begin to put on my mask, she'll be here soon. 




There's a stampede of feet, visiting time, She sits on the edge of my bed, eyes swollen, she holds my hand, stroking gently to ease both our pain.  I try to make small talk but I've nothing to say.  She tells me of her day, boring and routine to her, interesting and exciting to me.  I know what she leaves out, the tears at the sink, the sadness in the night.  She forgets  I can see the pain on her face, the fear in her eyes.  The quickest hour of the day over, she gets up to leave, neither one of us letting go of the others hand.  Take me with you, don't leave me here the silent voice in my head screams, by the time the voice reaches its outlet I mumble 'See you tomorrow'.



© Copyright 2018 Erik Langskaill. All rights reserved.

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