What he wouldn’t have given for a breath of a breeze, for the imagining of a movement of air.
But here; here in the room, the closed walls, the painted and molded room, he lay helpless and at the mercy of others.
Others who came and went at their bidding, not his.
Though they said so, though they always said if he needed anything, “Just let me know and I’ll be here in a jiffy.” Though they said these things, there was nothing, nothing farther from the truth.
He’d cried for days at one point, lamenting and hating that he couldn’t move for the restraints, for the bandages and casts. He’d whined and cried for hours, for a dozen hours, for a hundred hours for relief, for movement, for freedom from this room and the sickly fleshy coloured walls and the lightbulb that buzzed on and on and on and on forever on and on. He’d cried for relief.
In his morphine reduced state, he’d cried because the pain was too much, but they’d not come.
They said there was no pain.
“Morphine took away pain.”
Bodily, he agreed. Physically, he agreed. In regards to the tangible and utter corporeal, he agreed.
But his pains, his pain was not in the body.
It was in the mind.
Trapped, he was, in a body that could not move, and a mind too mobile, in a room of such hideous colouring, of such horrendously flaccid hues and architecture, that he was reduced to screaming just to feel some release.
And for the most part, for the most part, his screams were – always! he told himself – internal. But every now and then—thank God for them—a squeak of pain, of misery would leak out into the world, and he’d be welcomed by the onslaught of nurses and family and friends and—strangers; they were all strangers. A stampede would ensue, an impossible momentum fueled by fright and anonymous concern directed towards him and the ending of his vocalizations. The nurses, the doctors would descend; vultures on a bloated cow, and they’d prod and poke and check charts and check computers and all the various apparatus, but always they’d load him down with a sedative, and more morphine, cooing to the friends and family who’d followed, assuring them that, “This will make him feel much better. He’s healing well. He just needs some help through the thick of it.”
And then the doctor would say a lot more, but he’d be floating backwards, turning backward against the Earth, and he’d pass into blackness.
In shape and form and totality.
It was blackness that overtook him, his soul, his thinking, his reasoning, his sense of time.
So, when he came too, when he awoke and rose out of the dark and Blackness, there was a misunderstanding.
A not understood method of quantifying, of understanding the time that passed, of the things that happened when he was asleep, of the amount of time that he’d spent in the black compared to the time he spent in the waking wondering willful world of the drab and desolate—the room.
And so he didn’t understand that so much time had passed between his delving into the black and his waking on certain occasions, nor did he understand that less time had passed during other black outs and his waking.
Nothing was consistent, this much was consistent.
His room was Hell, and time had no place in it.
A minute was a year, was an hour, was a second, was an instant, was a minute.
All was the same as all.
All meant nothing.
That much was certain.
Only, he didn’t know that; or maybe he didn’t know that he didn’t know that, when he did?
Could he have suspected it?
The doctors thought so.
That’s why they drugged him so often.
That’s why they noted everything down.
That’s why they watched him with increasing parties of nurses, and trainees with every visit; to showcase what happens to the mind when the body is left broken and useless.
When the body is left out of the equation.
Waking and blinking and waking again, he looked around and felt the non moving air not moving around him. Static as a static.
A definition unto itself, but still lacking in depth.
A puddle to an ocean.
Though he’d have loved an ocean.
Or a puddle.
Or a fire.
Or a breeze.
Or a cold or a hot or a mild or something—SOMETHING!—other than the body temperature, the constant temperature of the room, and the fleshy, nasty, putrid looking walls, and the oh so horrid toned molding.
Oh God what he wouldn’t have given to change even just a few of those things, all of those things; every single one of those things and all of the other things he hadn’t noticed just yet.
He was sure he would.
He’d notice them.
He’d notice all of them before the end had come.
And the joke of it all was that he was never sure that he’d never be able to not know when more was enough—when the end had come.
Always, always waiting for the end.
That was where he was, lying there, in the body he had and the mind that was aching but was not being healed.
All to his body, all to his body; all of the doctor’s attention on his body, but where, oh where was the attention to his mind.
So he was stuck in it.
The four walls.
Fleshy coloured and imperfect and always always imperfect.
He was he and they were they and they couldn’t see the he, he wanted to be, the
wanted to be.
It was all out of line and out of proportion, so,
so he screamed.
And some of it leaked out from beneath the bandages, and in the screaming the doctors came, the fixers came, the great painters of ignoring came.
And they drugged and they cut and they bandaged and they “fixed”…
and they fixed.
Only they didn’t.
And so he needed more fixing.
More and more, he needed more fixing, and there was never ever never enough.
Because even when he was let out, he couldn’t move.
And even when the world around him spun and lived and breathed and had breezes and butterflies and silly stupid things like dogs and rivers and cities, he didn’t see them.
He couldn’t see them.
Because he was bandaged.
Because he was in need of fixing—being fixed.
Because he was drugged of his own accord, screaming for more, twisting for more, begging for more, though wanting none—absolutely none – of it!
He was a broken perfect thing, with faulty beautiful eyes, and a life worth living but barely so.
He was stuck.
In a flesh coloured room with doctors all around and drugs to help him sleep.
To help him slip away.
Until the room,
could look different.
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