Friday, April 20, 2012
'L'enfer, c'est les autres...'
I am left to sleep for most of the morning. I wake with a pounding headache. I want to be left alone but one after another, nurses knock, open the door and enter, talking, in a single jarring action. There is no privacy in places like this. I need credit for my internet connection. I ask one of the nurses for an exit pass, a small yellow slip of paper, to go buy some. I'm directed to the receptionist. She presses a button I can’t see, located somewhere beneath her desk. The glass security doors slide open. I walk quickly to the local shopping mall. In its food court I buy one type of food after the other, tasting each then throwing it away. Japanese sukiyaki, Indian curry with garlic naan, Greek salad, chocolate truffles. I want Thai food but there is none. I want to have something I find pleasurable, if only for a moment. I know it’s related to the well of sadness and restlessness inside me. I am continuously distracted: as soon as I remember, I forget again. I lose track of time.I give up on food. I buy credit for my pre-paid wireless internet access. I’m agitated and I want to leave. The lights are too bright. Everyone talks too loud. The mall's neon-lit stores and crowded passageways feel like some suburban version of hell. Back at the hospital, I try to hide my jittery rage, with little success. I am checked by a GP. She takes blood samples. I try not to speak in case I snap at her or say something inappropriate. This evening, my psychiatrist visits me. He tells me I look exhausted. I am. I tell him I am trying very hard to be lucid, 'normal'. But it’s not working.