“Hello. Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?”
“Come on, now. I hear you’re feeling down. Well I can ease your pain. Get you on your feet again.” … I close my eyes and a haze has begun. Darker shades of grey turning more black as it nears. I know this presence we’ve met many times before and as much as I want to run I know I must stay and endure the next while.
“Relax. I need some information first. Just the basic facts: Can you show me where it hurts?” I swallow hard … it stings. I feel as if something is pushing on my jugular disstressing onto my breathing patterns. I hated this feeling … my eyes water as I am unable to answer. Cold sweat beads form between my fingers and I feel the beginning of sweat form upon the nape of my neck as well. Shivering still, I feel a warmth upon my brow … a vast opposite to my current body temperature.
“There is no pain, you are receding. A distant ships smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin.” I feel my mouth opening and closing. I feel thirst and I lick my lips to stave off the feeling of taut dryness. I continue to speak the words I hear in my mind. I’m still unsure if he can hear me.
“When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt like two balloons. Now I got that feeling once again. I can’t explain, you would not understand. This is not how I am. I have become comfortably numb.”
The tightness on my throat is increased as my breathing is becoming more shallow. The warmth on my forehead is replaced with an intense scalding heat and I feel the urge to convulse with the temperature change. My sensations are that of a flu bug … but it’s not a flu. It’s a practice I’ve become accustomed to and one that is ugly as my soul.
“OK. Just a little pinprick. There’ll be no more. But you may feel a little sick.” I feel a sharp jab in the side of my knee and I begin to feel the effects of fluid streaming out of my system. The liquid is warm, the needle is cold and I feel the urge to gag in response to the continual pressure both on my throat and the searing pain in my head. Dizzied I open my eyes and watch as a transparent vial slowly fills up and turns a pale murky yellow. My face is drenched with sweat and salty tears. I’m angry again though I know that what he’s done has been done many times before and it would help me. Everything in my life seems this way and I find it hard to not be bitter. He smiles in want of forgiveness and I stare back into his warm eyes while I grit my jaw tightly so that I don’t yelp out in pain. I look down at the contrasting yellow vial and the redness of my swollen joint. I relax my face and raise my eyebrows to the ceiling. He pulls the thick needle out, I watch a dark red seep out as he places a gauze over the tiny hole.
“Can you stand up? I do believe its working. Good. That’ll keep you going for the show. Come on it’s time to go.” He places my vial of fluid onto the counter and enters numbers into his computer database with a vested interest. He’s had it since I started seeing him and it made me ill and at ease both at the same time. I hated this feeling I had when I saw him. It was a mixture of hate and want, a solace and a hurt, a tension and a release. I wanted none of the pain, all I did want was to never have known this pain I carried. All I wanted was to be able to walk without the weight on my system.
“There is no pain, you are receding. A distant ships smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.” He is sitting on the stool and is telling me the same words I’ve heard before. I know the symptoms, things to look for, when to worry, when to come back.
“When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, Out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone. I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb.”
I pull down my pant leg, swing both legs over the side of the table and stare bleakly at the direction of my knees. It was so frustrating being drained all the time. It was so frustrating feeling as if I was constantly losing everything I had put effort into. I was still angry after all these years. When would I forgive what I couldn’t control when would I understand. I limped out of the medical office and sat down in the reception area. Looking over I saw a young girl sitting with her parents. She was sucking on her fingers as her father whispered to her mother. I turned my face away and cried silently.