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Funny the Way Things Are

By , Millersville, MD
Drip drop. Drip drop. What a funny sound.
Drip. Water.

Drop. Blood.
Constant pattern. So soothing. The soapy bathwater drips on to the tile, clinging to the little rubies dropping from my arm.

In the distance, I hear a siren. Oh, great. It gets closer. Finally it is a steady volume; too loud and right in my ear. I can hear it all;
Siren.
Drip drop.
Sobs from downstairs.
Drip drop.
Heavy footsteps.

Now big boots clomp up the stairs. My eyes open, but my vision is blurry. Then, tired with the effort, just close again. Like a broken TV. I can smell salt and lavender wafting in the air, going stale.
Clomp clomp clomp.
At last the large shoes have made it to the second floor. Pause. Big Feet must have spotted the bathroom light, because they walk in.
How silly it must look: me, sprawled over the used-to-be pristine white tile (hair a mess no doubt), a shiny razor lying suspiciously near my right hand, blood still oozing and dripping from my sliced arm, and water still trickling over the edge of the tub. Reminds me of one of those “who-dun-it” murder mysteries. Time for the crime scene investigation.
Murder. Such an amusing noun. Or is it a verb? Well, I guess it could be both. It doesn’t matter, I am failing English anyway. I sure hope they don’t give pop quizzes here, in the dark.
The Big Feet talk now. Low, deep voices. They sound like the adults in Charlie Brown. Wa-wa-wa. Adults are always going on and on.
I think they are picking me up now. The stretcher isn’t very comfy. It’s too stiff. They should really pick people up on mattresses or something. Now that would be nice.

Bump

Bump


Bump.
All the way down the stairs.
Sobs are louder. I hear a few little gasps and “ooh”’s. Siren still blaring away. Outside now. It’s cold. They really should have given me a blanket. Is that too much to ask? They lift me oh so high, oh so high I can touch the sky. Well, theoretically of course, considering I can’t move.
Probably up into the ambulance now. Standard procedure.
We drive away, bouncing along, still blasting that stupid siren.

Bump


Bump



Bump


Drive

Drive.

I’m bored. I think I’m conscious, because I’m pretty sure I could open my eyes if I wanted to, but I won’t. It’s easier to keep it dark. Dark is simple. Darkness is stable, and constant.

I can feel a few pricks and pokes, then a beep.
Beep

Beep


Beep!

It beeps with a steady rhythm now, probably along with my heart. Cool.
Bump
Drive
Beep
Siren
Voices
Beep
Drive
Bump
Siren.

Almost it’s own orchestra of sounds. I flutter my eyes, just to make sure they still work. Someone moans (it couldn’t have been me…). There is a man sitting near me. He’s blurry. He says something in Charlie Brown fashion, and all of a sudden I get really sleepy, so I decide to talk a nap.
*
*
*
*
*

Next thing I know, I am waking up. I am on a bed. The sheets are too thin and the pillow is too lumpy. Am I wearing any clothes? I sure hope so. Wouldn’t want Mr. Blurry Man seeing anything he isn’t supposed to. I open my eyelids. It feels like someone is pulling down my eyelashes just as hard as I’m trying to pull them up. I manage to keep them open, and I focus my eyes.

White bed, white walls, white curtain, white floor, and just to liven things up, a brown chair. Well, “white” is being generous. Everything is more of a slightly dingy gray. Wouldn’t want anyone hearing me say that though. The cleaning staff might find out, and they would be sure to make my room an extra dingy gray.

Funny place the hospital. When someone is a good host, don’t they say they are hospitable? Oddly enough, hospitals never seem very hospitable to me.

There’s an IV stuck in my hand, and big machines on my right. My left arm is all bandaged up in “white” gauze. Red seeps through, creating a strip along the length of the bandage. I slowly move the hand that’s not incapacitated to my head.

Despite whatever drug I’m sure they put me on, my head is aches slightly beneath another bandage, and the worst spot is on the back of my head. What a headache. There is nothing worse than hair that’s been taped up all day.

Damage evaluated, I turn my attention to the brown chair, and what it occupies. Guess who’s in it, sleeping the night (or is it day?) away?

Good ol’ dad. The one who wanted to be a good father, but gave up trying years ago. Having a deranged teenage daughter (me), a high school drop-out son who’s never home and never sober, and a new baby son who can’t sleep for more than two hours at a time tends to arouse “survival mode” in a guy, and override any instinct, however weak it may be, to be Super Daddy. But, I don’t blame him. Years of trying (with no success) to take care of our broken family, have probably been enough to beat the last few shards of “World’s Best Dad” dreams out of tougher men than he.

It smells funny in here. A mixture of sterile hospital and Daddy’s B.O.
Lovely.

He is snoring. Loudly.
Suddenly my head itches, and it starts to throb. My arm also starts to pulse with pain, and as I start to shift around and try to placate my aching body, I hear the machine beep for a nurse.

Some wanna-be redhead comes slouching in with two much eyeliner on and a dead expression.
She reminds me of a sloth.

Without saying a word to me (Am I really awake?), she writes down whatever numbers the monitors show, and does something with my IV bag.
You know, I’m getting awfully tired again. I suddenly feel like taking a nap.

As I am off in dreamland, drifting somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, I think about the way the nurse looked at me. Her eyes were brimming with disgust, like she thought there was something wrong with me. She must think I am crazy or something. I’m not, really. The world is just an unpleasant place. Sure, life has its occasional perks, but most of the time I am completely invisible, forgotten, left to decompose in the dust. Who cares about me anyway? Not dad, who’s beyond distressed, not mom with her high’s and low’s and unpredictability, and certainly not the drunk brother of mine stuffed away in the basement. There’s really no one left after that, is there?

So, to pass the time spent being a ghost, I have taken to flying high when I can, with a few “buddies” (if you can call them that) of mine, and lately I have taken to reaching for a blade when getting high isn’t an option. It doesn’t give me quite as a good a feeling, but it eases some of the fear, the pain, the loneliness. It all passes right by my oblivious parental units, my less-than-college-worthy activities, so I suppose ignorance is bliss. What they don’t know can’t hurt them.

I’m not suicidal though, per say. I don’t exactly have a death wish; it’s more like I enjoy playing ding-dong-ditch on Death’s Door.

Ha.


That’s alliteration.

But what happened this time was an accident. I was planning on taking a long bath, with my friend the razor blade of course. However, upon grazing the blade over my arm, I cut a little too deep. Usually the cuts are shallow, but this time I went deeper. A lot deeper. I started to feel dizzy, and I tried to stand up and get a towel to stop the incessant flow of scarlet coming from my arm, but I suppose I lost my balance, because next thing you know, I was sprawled on the floor, playing the part of a murder victim. I vaguely recall the banging on the bathroom door- I guess the water in the hall was a giveaway.


If only I had kept a cool head, and not picked this one time to get woozy at the sight of blood, I might not have to be in this whole mess. I suppose I hit my head on the way down, being that there are two sites of injury on my body, on my arm and head.

I can only hope this doesn’t get blown out of proportion. Maybe, the nice hospital will release me tomorrow, send me on my merry way, and just let me go back to being invisible. It would be better than being sent to some crazy house, where the sharpest object around would probably be the plastic fork I’d be forced to eat with.

Maybe…
I just hope there’s no blood in my hair. Boy, would that be a nightmare to clean out.





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