Monday, January 18, 2010

Introducing ‘Patient X’.

They found you sulking in the corner of the room, blubbering forth a series of incoherent syllables that never quite morphed in status to words. Your weathered features, punctuated with mismatched hues of yellow, green and blue, sparked a level of sympathy often reserved for the congenitally infirm. It was a miracle that you were still alive, as the fall had rendered your legs useless, yet there you were, waiting patiently for rescue. It is the one thing you can do well - wait. Wait for someone else to do whatever it was that needed to be done, wait for someone else to take the blame, wait for time to pass by and maybe - just maybe, everyone would forget all the bad stuff. They didn't know this about you, and the bruises did not let on that there was a secret to be told. And so you babbled, like a Pentecostal baptised in the Holy Spirit, savouring the attention and relieved that you would soon be warm, comfortable and well fed.

I watched them gently wrap your disjointed limbs with a series of bandages, swathe your soul with tender words of encouragement, love and purpose. It was more than you knew you deserved, but why would you tell them that? You saw no reason to stop the pretence, no reason to admit that you had done nothing to deserve such kindness. I watched as they registered their newly scrubbed John Doe into a private hospital ward, and I waited too, knowing that mine was a game of patience, more so than yours.

You saw the pity in their eyes as each of them talked to you, trying to elicit a memory, a cord of life that could be used to reel in information that might help solve this puzzle. And it worked. It worked because your memory was never broken to begin with, just your ability to articulate the role you played in developing each and every one of them. I was the only one privy to these buried visions. You took solace from their faces, using the pity that percolated with ongoing tenacity to affirm the story that would now become your mask. I had anticipated this, as all too often I had found myself shackled to you, forced to listen to the lies that tumbled from your mouth at every opportunity. You sat mute through their questions, your eyes glazed in pretence of amnesia. I, on the other hand, listened to the memories launch themselves around your head.

Each question asked of you was littered with judgement. Never for you though. They were too taken by the beguiling nature of your age; your injuries duped them into believing that you had suffered more than any human deserved. Their scorn was reserved for those whom they deemed as being responsible for your fate. You and I both know that is you. You are responsible for this; I will never cease to tell you this. You will hear my voice as a constant reminder of the role you played in this. I know you will take solace from these people, as I take mine from time. You cannot escape time, you cannot escape me.

*All feedback welcome. I would love to hear what you think, improvements that can be made, and who you think the narrator is*


  1. Ooh, very powerful! Is the narrator the person's soul or mind? Or pain? Could the narrator be pain?

    Hmmm... you will reveal all wont you? :)

  2. how well you empathise with another's pain. well scripted, too.
    You mention my poem- Gypsy, but don't see your comment on my blog.
    Do drop by, sometime.

  3. Nice to be here...
    But do visit my blog:
    and leave a comment!

  4. A quiet month? Or quite the other thing?
    Hope you are well and happy.