Monday, September 14

Ghosts from the Peripheral....

Those glimpses of scenes past. The sudden recall of an emotion.

Mine haunt me. As terrors. As links. As gems, gifts of gold.
As ghosts.

Sitting in a Hospital bed, in a ward containing perhaps 20 beds. More like a Barracks really.
The patient in the next bed, happens be known to me. She is actually related in some mysterious and secret way, to my husband. One of those mysterious stories that no one is willing to share.
She is, perhaps, suffering from an emarrassing condition, which involves her Doctor asking her loudly, is she passing wind?
This, while the ambulatory patients are seated at a trestle table erected in the centre of the Barracks, to take their midday, or evening meal. His timing for visits is predictable!
The flimsy curtain is barely drawn between us, but I can see the glow of her bright red blush, and hear her squirms in the stiff bed linen.

The OCD affected -Very Odd Daughter-daughter comes to visit, with her long-suffering husband.
Having been told of my identity, they acknowledge my prescence and settle into the 'visit'.

I have limited movement, having broken ribs. I would prefer to get up and run.
I try to read, and pretend I am anywhere but here. I worry about my children.

"Listen to this Dear" says husband, who is reading the paper. "A wife has been diagnosed as being allergic to her husband, after she began vomitting violently every time he was near her."
"At least we haven't quite reached that point" says the Very Odd Daughter.

'Mother' is not amused. Blame has been heaped upon her head for her Daughter's Oddness. Unfairly, I believe, but then, she is rather Odd herself.. to me.

I discreetly ask the Sister on the ward next day, if one of us can be moved to another location in the Barracks. Or, better still, can I go home.

My Doctor arrives to give me most agonising cortisone injections, in full view of dining ambulatories. I snarl at him to have the decency to close the flimsy useless curtain.
"Oh!" he says, surprised. Snaps the curtain along.
I screech at him that I am sure those people do not wish to see, or hear, my pitiful cries of utter bloody agony distress whilst attempting to eat!

I beg to be allowed home. I am assured I am far too ill to go home, as my bed is moved to the center aisle of the Barracks. No such luxury as a flimsy curtain there!

I am informed I will be given further cortisone injections, seeing the first gave no relief.
I do some informing of my own, declaring there is no way in Hell I am having that done again!

Next day I am discharged. Far too ill, did not compute with no available beds.
Never mind. I survived.

A view I see every day. Almost like a secret path, from my perspective.
Except it is a very public path, not secret at all. Just my peep-hole like view give that impression.

In a patch of my life, when I was alone, in a strange City, not sure of my next move, I would often walk along the river which runs through that city.
I would watch the ducks, and smell the water running ever so slowly to the sea. The Autumn winds became chill, the huge leaves of the Maple trees cloaked the ground. A part of the river, close to sea was somewhat tidal, and would smell salty at low tide. Not quite unpleasant, but not really sweet, either.
I would later spend happy hours with a wonderful friend sitting watching the river, the strollers, the dogs. We would laugh together about things we noted. We had a favourite location, where the grassy river bank was wide, with many trees, and space for him to park his car.
Lots of people passed that way, and we had such fun, wondering about their lives.
He was one of the best friends I have ever had.
I still hear his voice, his laugh, at times, on the periphery of my audio/vision . I still cannot believe he is no longer on this earth.

It is true that some memories blur with time. It is also true that some remain sharp and clear.
I do sometimes wonder, if our memories of the ghosts which seem to remain clearest, are as they really were, or if the focus has altered to suit our preferred memories?
I am sure in my mind that the feelings, emotions, involved in those memories and ghosts remain sharp.


The Sagittarian said...

Hospitals are awful I reckon. A few years ago I was in hospital and the poor old lady a few beds over from me was visited late in the evning by her specialist, no idea why he couldn't have seen her during the day but at 9.30pm there he was bellowing away about her condition. Those stupid curtains don't do much at all eh?

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Last time i was hospitilized was for gall bladder surgery and I had a private room......ALL the romms were private in this hospital. When I saw the bill, I knew why!

Sheila said...

It's funny the things that bring back memories, things we had forgotten. It has happened to me a lot this summer. Perhaps it is a sign of aging, since
I know I can't remember much about last week, but ask me about 40 years ago!
Some months ago while waiting with hubby for him to go into have surgery, I met a woman I had known in my working life, also waiting to go into the operating room for day surgery. She always made me feel inadequate and provincial. She wore designer clothes and expensive perfume. So perhaps it is understandable that when I saw her in a hospital gown, not quite secured at the back, and without her make up and teeth, I felt a certain sense of satisfaction and superiority. Evil aren't I.

Granny J said...

Curious about memories. My brother and my mother are/were memory machines; I am always amazed at the scenes and facts that the brother dredges up. I, on the other hand, tend to look forward rather than to the past and I have found that my past consists largely of a collection of snap shots.

marigold jam said...

What a moving post. I think you speak for all of us who are over a certain age when you wonder if our memories are as things were or blurred to suit ourselves! Who was the special friend and what might have been? I think at this stage in our lives we do start to go back over our lives and wonder how things might have been. However I agree with Granny and think it might be better to look forwards to what still might be rather than back to what might have been if only....

Thimbleanna said...

Your hospital scene sounds more like a nightmare Meggie. I often wonder too, whether our memories are skewed in some way or another. That seems more evident when you compare notes with someone who experienced the same event, yet the memory is different. Another interesting post!

Selina Kingston said...

I could picture that hospital ward Meggie - even smell it. That's how good your writing is,,,

Warty Mammal said...

Wow. The nightmarish bizarreness of it all.

Q said...

Not long ago my husband and I saw Janis Ian in concert. It was a small venue with maybe a 100 people. Wonderful.
I enjoyed your story. I never know if my memories are true or not. I often wonder.

ancient one said...

Whew... I really got behind... but I'm caught up now... enjoyed the post below of SG and you waiting for the bus... also the mural painted on the building below that.... I've been spending way too much time farming... but I think I have that under control now... LOL

I have thought of my friend who died in May a lot the last couple of days... I remember her laugh... and some of the things she told me... just out of the blue these thoughts come to me...

Gotta go catch up on some more blogs..

Anonymous said...

wow.. i'm very

enjoy reading your post. great.