Archive for the ‘memories’ Category

No Asylum

May 21, 2010

He believed in multiverses, in parallel dimensions.  He followed me around the ward chattering incessantly.  He showed me his arms.  Brown skin disfigured by raised pink welts.  Scars that would never heal.  He permitted me a glimpse into his traumatic history.  The scorn and the mockery and the humiliation and the racial abuse he had endured at the expensive, prestigious public school to which his parents had insisted upon sending him.  ‘I told them what they were doing to me,’ he said.  ‘They didn’t care. As long as I got good a-levels and made it to university it was all worth it.  They wanted me to be like them – nothing more than a colonial subject.’  He went to university.  He read engineering.  He emerged with a 2.1.  He had fulfilled his parents’ expectations.  And then he fell apart.  The racist insults he had been subjected to wormed their way into his head, took up residence there and refused to leave.  He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and spent the next decade as a revolving door patient in the local psychiatric hospital.  He tried to cut his skin away.  Bit by bit.

Later I found out that he had committed suicide in the worst, most painful way of committing suicide.

He called me once.  I was in the middle of one of my many frivolous pursuits.  I said I was busy and promised to call him back.

I never did call him back.

Self Harm?

February 13, 2010

I have never self-injured, not in the conventional sense anyway. I have never dragged a razor across my skin. I have never burnt myself with cigarettes. I have, however, harmed myself in ways not recognised medically as self harm. Ways that do not require tools. I have starved myself to the brink of passing out. I deprived my body of the nutrients it required to stay alive. I would psychologically self harm in every way possible. I remember sitting in front of the mirror hurling obscenities at myself. I’ll never get those lost hours back. I should have appreciated what I had while I had it. That’s one of my biggest regrets: that I had been given a gift and I have wasted it.

Hospital Memories I

May 30, 2008

He had bloodshot eyes, moss-covered teeth and malodorous breath. We were in the corridor. He reached out and tried to pull me towards him.  I hit out at him and backed away.  There was a nurse sitting nearby.  He did not intervene.  He just looked away.

Against the Tide

September 14, 2007

She always swam
Against the tide
She never compromised
She was never pulled under
She refused to go down
She did not drown

And now she is standing
On some strange shore
There is nothing left
There is nothing more
She was once the woman
All men adore

She blazed, she amazed, distinguished
Until her flame was extinguished
For old age was a destination
She never believed she would reach.

My Neighbour

August 22, 2007

…Doug who is ninety told me of a dream he had. He was standing in a clearing in a forest with his wife and a childhood friend. ‘Where have you been?’ she asked him. ‘We’ve been waiting such a long time.’ Variations upon a theme – Doug has had this dream before. It is not always his wife who is waiting for him. Sometimes it is his wartime comrades. Sometimes it is me. Any dream analysts in the house?

From the profound to the trivial – my new Mac Mini arrived today. Pictures to be uploaded soon.

Less exciting news: I also bought a Dyson. All the better to clean Bella Cat’s fur with. She is an indoor cat and sheds all year round. She is also a tortoiseshell white so the fur she sheds is multicoloured – black, white and brown. No fabric is left unmarked by Bella’s presence. She is sitting at my feet now, plump and smug. An old-lady feline.

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