Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009
in Arty Farty, Poems and things
I remember the Juggernaut. I remember the blinding lights and the windscreen and the rain droplets that suddenly morphed into a million tiny pieces of glass… and the fire. I remember the furious heat most of all. Burning hair. My poor car! I wonder what it looks like now.
I don’t remember how I became so lucid! There was nothing in between, no tunnels or white lights and definitely no Grandmother welcoming me into her open arms as I expected. Those people must be starved of answers for that is not what death is like. Unless… am I dead? Maybe I’m not. I feel a sudden want to be a wet dog at the beach, to send a flurry of shakes throughout my body and furiously flick away whatever is causing this fuzzy strangeness but I can’t, and instead it clogs my mind so that I can’t think straight.
Slap slap slap… my bare feet on linoleum… I’m walking through a corridor that smells of uric acid and tumble-dried cotton, a corridor that could use an open window to breeze away the heavy stuffy fug that amplifies the muffled sounds of swishing ventilators. It’s oppressive. The fact that I can feel that is good, right? I’m so confused. A nurse passes me and shivers. She won’t look at me and I don’t want to talk to her, she has work to do and I seem to have no urgent agenda right now, anyway. A buzzing exit sign that I have no interest in whatsoever passes me by.
A baby screams.
Where is that child? It’s urgent cries tear through me. It makes me flinch and I yearn to pick it up and have it feel the warmth of my neck, I need to stop it from herniating itself, such violent cries should not be left untended… what the hell is wrong with that infant? I pass doorways, dark rooms that seem like capsules of immune silence. Sleeping souls oblivious to the suffering outside their rooms snore gently and beep contentedly. The screaming gets louder as I find the room I’m searching for.
It’s empty. I can’t believe this room is empty save for this poor child. His blanket has tied itself in knots around his kicking ankles, his pillow sodden, its whiteness paling so bleakly against the furious redness of the small child’s cheeks. As I reach toward him, I feel the change. I feel the needle entering my arm and it’s so wonderfully exhilarating. Beautiful and uncontrollable ecstasy rules my functions and I collapse into a nearby chair and my stomach distends but I care not a jot for the unborn child. I feel like I’m dying all over again, but this is a living death, a torture of unheardof proportions.
A jolt of clarity awakens me and I sit up, the child is still there in front of me and still crying and I am infuriated with my lack of willpower to stay with it and so I stand with sudden urgency. I reach out and touch the child whose skin is burning and itching from a rash of foreign cause and I feel its deep loneliness and needing. I know now that there’s no mommy, that mommy has gone away, mommy was never there in the first place. The baby’s need is so urgent that I can feel it too, tears trickle down my cheeks as I grab the child with sudden urgency and squeeze it tight to my breast. It’s ok now. Every little thing’s gonna be alright. Shush now. Shushhh.
I feel the end. My feet no longer touch the linoleum beneath as my weight shifts and a great racking breath leaves my soul, I’m plunged into newness and I care no longer for my car.
“Let it go… she’s gone. Time of death, three fourteen a.m.”
The baby’s cries stop in a sudden vaccuum of inevitability and a peace falls upon its tortured soul, the heroin addiction no longer there. It relaxes its clenched wrists and notices the lights above the door to its room and it gurgles with pleasure. The baby sleeps, and wakes to a whole new dawn.