… dddrowzzz… …. ddrowzzz… I’m surrounded by clouds… I’m heavy… Must shrug the ddrowzz away… …can’t… Am I alive, asleep, dead? …ddrowzzz…
If this is sleep, I’m in the most tedious dream imaginable: just a long grey corridor, leading only to distant double doors. Why put up with this? I’ll find a better dream, I’ll make a better one. How? The doors, the doors! Go through them!
A Hieronymus Bosch nightmare
Despite my heaviness, I sprint. I hit the doors like a train, go through the reinforced glass as if it’s tissue paper. The jagged shards jutting from the doorframe cut me like razors and I feel a warm flood of blood… but no pain.
Ten, twenty hands pick me up and deposit me on a surface much softer than the broken-glass-covered floor. Shadowy but strong figures restrain me as a needle punctures my skin, journeying in and out of my flesh, drawing thread behind it, discomfortingly rejoining my ripped flesh. As the thread passes through me, I feel it inside me, a thin, slithering, insidious viper. I try to struggle but am held down. Escape is impossible; my only remaining impulse is to….
Still they hold me down. Another needle enters me, and I dwindle into chemical-induced sleep, as welcome as an oasis.
I wake. Clouds seem to be obscuring my vision, but I notice a pretty young woman sitting by the bed. Is this heaven? Is she one of the heavenly throng?
“Are you my guardian angel?”
“No, just a nurse.”
“Is this heaven?”
“Not quite. You’re in hospital.”
I lapse into stupor. Whenever I wake up, she’s there. Whatever she says about being a nurse, in my heart I know she’s my own angel.
I learn she’s there because my carers believe my trip through the reinforced glass was an attempt at self-destruction.
…dddrowzzz… …grey room… …ddrowzz… …guardian angel? …ddrowzz… …mists… …long, endlessly long corridor…
..grey room.. .drowz.
Still a bit groggy, I pace up and down the long, eternally grey corridor, as grey as life… But these mists – am I imagining this, or are they gradually lifting?
One afternoon the atmosphere of the ward is getting to me. The sash windows in here barely open. It’s stuffy and smoky. Outside the weather looks bright and cheery. I decide to go out for a walk. I go through the double doors.
“Marc! You’re not allowed out yet! Stop!”
I trot down the stairs. Hearing the doors bang open and shut behind me I hear also the sound of a pair of feet taking several stairs at a time. It’s my friend Jim. “OK Marc, that’ll do. Come back with me.”
“I’m not coming back.”
“You have to Marc.”
“I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. I don’t want to stay here and I’m not going to.” I continue down the stairs.
“Marc! If you don’t come back now…”
I don’t. Jim takes the remaining stairs two at a time and grabs me. Before I have time to think he’s got me in a half nelson, causing me to sink to the floor. He keeps the hold on.
“If you don’t come with me now,” he says in a slow whisper, “I’ll… break… your… f**king… neck. Are you coming?”
I have no choice. He’s much stronger than me. He might not break my neck, on the other hand he might. I give in and go back to the ward nursing my neck and arm.