Sitting at the hospital waiting for the test results,  I can feel the building sway as its foundations swell and recede in the storm. The contents of the pale brown cup in my hands from the automatic vending machine are cold and somehow unaffected by the weather, but I am too tired to move and find somewhere to dispose of it, or even to lean over and put it down next to my feet. I keep it in my hands. It gives me something to think about. I think I’d like to die on a Sunday. It feels more conclusive.

2018 was the worst year of my life. Both grandparents on my father’s side had died, followed very swiftly by my mother, and a six year relationship with someone who deserved better than my ability to merely exist, came to an end. That was a few years ago now, and I don’t blame her. A few months later I had dated, and once more broken up with, a nice girl because I hadn’t been ready, didn’t know what a new relationship was supposed to entail, and decided that it was ultimately easier to be on my own. I have only told one person about my tests, about the small pieces of skin detaching and not being able to feel it, and about the eyes. I have never met her face to face. Continue reading “Endings”

13 O’Clock

I lay in the bed in the hospital on the hill. From my window I could see the expanse of countryside below me stretching to the very edges of the horizon, peppered occasionally by small fluffy clouds with legs. I fancied I had been born here, seven years ago, in a fit of squeezing and blood loss and crying. I fancied also that I could remember this introduction to the world: hills and sheep and cheap orange juice, kicked from the dinner tray, spilled all over the maternity ward floor. Disastrous and beautiful.

To my left the windowsill beneath this picturesque scene was adorned with books: children’s hospital books, of different sizes and colours. The title ’13 O’Clock’ drew my attention. A paradox to a 7 year old; a clock that reached 13? Decadent, interesting. To my right 12 junior doctors smiled at me with a romanticised patheticism. I wondered if they’d ever heard of a clock that had reached 13. They would see many after me, but today I was one of their firsts. One of a hundred thousand… though it always hurts the first time. Their white coats, rugged clipboards and bespeckled faces were the very height of nineties medical fashion. Later they’d retire into the staff room and fuck each other until the windowsills were dripping with sweat. My windowsill was covered with books. Continue reading “13 O’Clock”

The Hospital

The door was locked and I’d had my nose pressed firmly against the window pane for approximately five minutes before realising that there was a sign on the other side. I read the words backwards through the glass; an experiment for the mentally distorted… the words told me to ring the bell, ring the bell and embrace melancholy. I wouldn’t keep her waiting.

The woman at the desk wore a yellow shirt and a happy smile, contrasting dangerously against the glum blue hue of the walls. I’d have torn out her throat, but blood doesn’t soak well into the leaves of potted plastic plants. Instead I took my seat and waited to be called. Continue reading “The Hospital”