Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta hospital. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta hospital. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, 24 de abril de 2017

No one

   The floor was cold and the room was very humid. No light entered the tiny space where he was trapped. He had forgotten his name long ago, maybe because of the many beatings he had received or maybe because it wasn’t something that was important anymore. A name didn’t help anyone survive such a horrible thing. Then again, he wasn’t sure he wanted to survive. He just wanted his awful situation to change, one way or the other, it didn’t matter at all.

 All the days were the same so remembering each one individually was difficult and also useless. There was no point in having a good memory when the schedule every day was the same: early in the morning he would be woken up by a plate of water sliding towards him or by cold water coming out of a hose. It apparently depended on the humor of his captor. Then, he was kept there all day unless his captor wanted something else from else, usually to work for him in the most awful way.

 He would knew it was a “work” day when an old mattress was put inside his cell, alongside the water plate and also some food. The food was never good, some sticky stuff that looked like mashed potatoes, but wasn’t exactly that. He ate it anyway but his stomach always complained. Those days, he would have to wait all day until his captor’s client would come. It was and excruciating wait that didn’t get better after it all ended. Of course, he wouldn’t see any of the money the client paid.

 Actually, he had never seen the face of the man that had kidnapped him and kept him there. He always wore a ski mask, so he had no idea what his face was like. But what he did know was that he was a very strong individual. After many beatings, using both punches and kicks, the captured had learned how heavy the captor’s body was. He had an incredible force in his arms and legs, probably because he exercised a lot. But the man was losing his eyesight living in the dark, so he could only go by what he felt was the truth.

 The beatings took place randomly. It was the only thing in his cell life that changed and, of course, it wasn’t something he would look forward to. When it happened, it almost felt like part of a sick and awful routine that had survived for far too long. The man in the cell knew he had been there for a long time but he had no idea how long that was. More than a year? Probably. Five years? Maybe, he didn’t really know. What was true was the fact that the violent man would never use him as the clients did, which the captured always thought was strange.

 But that was only when he wondered about his situation, which was really that often. Instead, he loved to sleep. It was the only way his body felt actually rested and, when he managed to sleep long hours, he was able to dream. Even when nightmares slipped in, it was a good thing for him. After all, he had forgotten what having an imagination was like and seeing all those images that make no sense inside of his head was a sign that there was still hope for him, in a very sad way.

 In the dreams, he was sometimes free. Not every time and that was very strange. One would think that his obsession was to be free in the world. But a recurring dream happened to be a redecoration of his cell, with more light and nice furniture, as if he was restoring his childhood bedroom, which he didn’t really remember anymore. When he dreamt of freedom, it always ended on a stark note, like a remainder that he wasn’t really free and that he might never be free again.

 What he did want, at least judging by his dreams, was to be able to talk to someone. Once, he did have the chance to do so, when another person was locked in a cell beside him. He had thought for long that he was alone wherever he was and that discovery was the best for him. Except the other person was not very interested in talking, instead crying and demanding an explanation to why they were there. Soon enough, their captor moved that other person somewhere or who knows.

 Voices were rarely heard. In their daily routine, not the captor or the captured would talk, even when one would pull the other by the hair or when the beating was especially brutal. No words were heard, as it was an unspoken rule to actually say something. It was better not to taunt danger, not more that was usual. So words were something inside their brains, wondering around and trying to get out in any way possible. He was afraid he would forget how to talk and behave.

 Many of his dreams and nightmares were an exercise on precisely that, trying not to forget every single thing about himself. He would sometimes remember, for example, the faces of his family. He knew who they were but not their names. It didn’t matter because “mother” was “mother” not matter what. So were “father” and “sister” and “brother”. He would normally wake up soaked in tears when he dreamt about all of them but, in a certain way, it was worth it. Because he still remembered, which meant he hadn’t been completely broken down.

 A day came in which his captor did not come. For an entire day, the poor man was locked in that cell with no water or anything that would indicate the presence of another human being. It felt pathetic and sick but he wanted the man to come and, at least, smack hard. At least that felt real, it felt as if it was happening. But having no one, deep in the dark, was very cruel, even more than the usual. That happened for what seemed like an eternity, but were actually five days.

 Then, someone did open the door. He would normally raise his head and wait for the captor to get close but he couldn’t do that anymore. He was too weak, feeling sick and preferring to sleep and dream about something less depressing. With his eyes tightly closed, he dreamt about an enormous bird carrying him to a magical land that was made of many colors and shapes. He hadn’t dreamt hat before and it was the happiest moment for him in a long time, as he felt loved, in way.

 He woke up several more days later. When he did, it was very dark, like in his room, but he realized he wasn’t there anymore. There was a machine besides him making a sound and he was lying on nice mattress, with clean covers and sheets. He saw the light from a corridor near him but, as his head felt too heavy to bear, he fell asleep again. The last thing he would hear were the steps of several people passing by his room. Or that was what he thought it was, he wasn’t sure.

 When he woke up again, it was day. A thick curtain diminished the light, which was a good thing because the sunlight felt like acid on his skin. He felt very tired but also dry and clumsy. A nurse came in and brought a drink in a bag with a straw. By the flavor, it was obvious it wasn’t water but it didn’t taste bad at all, so the formerly captured man drank it all. The nurse didn’t say a word the time she was there. And he wanted her to tell him something, anything at all.

 However, he would have words to share the following days as doctors and policemen visited him. The first group told him what his physical state was. To sum it up, it wasn’t good but he would be able to recuperate in the future, he just needed to be patient. Go figure.

 The second group, the enforcers of the law, explained to him his captor had been killed by one of his clients and that crime had led them to the cell. Apparently the client was mad because the captor hadn’t let him stay with the man in the cell when he wanted. He never understood that part.

sábado, 7 de enero de 2017

Accidents happen

   The pain in my legs was, for lack of a better word, horrible. Any movement caused me awful pain, so I had to learn to be still or to move only from the waist up, twirling that part of my body like a gummy candy. The bed they had assigned for me was, thankfully, larger than myself and very comfortable. It even had a sweet scent that I couldn't point to but that I found really interesting and soothing. I think it may have been vanilla or something very similar because it reminded me of my past. For some reason, that smell help me calm down whenever my legs would start to make me feel as if I was in front of the devil in the depths of hell. It was that bad and, looking back, I can easily say it was one of the worst moments in my life.

 The accident had caused me to stay in that bed for months, in that hospital located in the middle of nowhere. The number of patients changed dramatically during my time there. At one point, I could swear we were not more than twenty people. Later on, it felt like a filled up prison holding more than a thousand inmates. And I talk about prison because that's how it felt like sometimes and the building really did help to that effect. It was one of those relics from some war long ago and they had tried, without much success, to convert it completely to a hospital. Apparently it had also been a mental house, a school, an orphanage and even a place where alcohol would be hidden from the local authorities.

 The history of the place, without a doubt, was very interesting. But during my stay I could only think about when I was going to be released. The doctors told me, through a translator they had called only for my case, that my recovery was going to be so difficult that it was best if I stayed there for several months. All in all, I stayed there for around five months until I was finally released. The doctors and the nurses were not the most loving or soft people in the world but they were very good at what they did. Maybe I didn't see them smile very often but I know that they did the best they could with my case and thanks to them I was able to recover. Of course, my legs still have some moments of "weird behavior", but I have learned to live with that.

 After all, only centimeters and seconds had separated me from being dead. Everytime I think about the accident, I understand everything a little bit less, if that's even possible. Because I have no idea how I got to be fighting for my life, my legs covered in blood and my body just aching with pain. I have no idea how I endured after all of that but here I am, I guess. It happens often after I shower that I sit down on a chair in my bedroom and I look down to them and I see some of the scars, still visible below a not so thick layer of hair. I am thankful to be alive and walking around because I have no idea how the hell they did it, how they made my legs work as if nothing had ever happen to them. It's just amazing.

 I am not a religious person and doubt I will ever be but, during my stay in the hospital and even recently, I have found myself praying somewhere in my house. I had never done that before but I guess that when death has been so close, you just want to cover your bases. And besides that, I really think it was a miracle that I could walk again. I don't think it was the Lord or anything like that that helped me recover, but I cannot find a proper way to understand how it all came up to this. to me writing about this, here and now, as if had been nothing. It just amazes me every day and I think many people that know me and that know about what happened to me, are just as amazed by all of it as I am.

 Even the stay in that dreadful place is something I will keep forever in my heart. Because in that place I learned to love myself for who I am and not for anything else. I learned to settle down, to calm down even and let things fall into place before I rush into anything. I had many sleepless nights, many moments of reflection during days in which I didn't do much. I even met some great people and, towards the end, I also had a temporary lover who helped me in more ways than one to pull it off, to survive what I was going through. It wasn't easy and I won't, ever, forget that it happened because it is one of those pivotal moments in someone's life. It had to be that bad to get a slightly better with time.

martes, 3 de enero de 2017

Oídos sordos

   No se oye nada. De pronto es idea mía o de pronto sí es algo real. Creo que me estoy quedando sordo.

 No me muevo de la cama. Por alguna razón estoy acostado sobre mi lado izquierdo. Jamás duermo de lado sino sobre mi abdomen, mi pecho, o como sea que quieran llamarle. El caso es que no duermo así, entonces es raro. Me quedo quieto, mirando la pared blanca frente a mi.

 Mis ojos se abren bastante, por primera vez en el día. No veo nada más sino el muro blanco. No hay ni una mancha, no hay nada allí más que la inmensidad de la pintura blanca. Entonces siento el calor y me quito la sabana de encima. Es entonces que me duele y me doy cuenta de dos cosas: hay algo sobre mi cara y, en efecto, no puedo oír nada.

 No me pongo de pie sino que me quedo en la cama, abriendo y cerrando los ojos. Mi mano derecha sube lentamente a mi cara. Me toco el mentón y voy deslizando los dedos por la piel en dirección a mi oído, donde siento la mayor molestia. Debajo del pelo que forma la patilla, siento que la piel está inflamada, muy inflamada. Recuerdo que el día anterior me dolía el oído pero era un dolor que iba y venía, ahora es permanente.

 Está muy hinchado y me empieza a doler, como que todo mi cuerpo se da cuenta que estoy de verdad despierto y que el dolor tiene espacio para empezar a sentirse. Me recorre el cuerpo un escalofrío, que incluso me hace doler el pie y me hace sentir muy extraño. 

 Tomo impulso y me pongo de pie y camino, casi automáticamente, al baño. No es mi casa de siempre, solo me estoy quedando por un tiempo. Pero llego, prendo la luz y trato de mirarme pero es dificil verse los oídos. Me toco de nuevo y me echo agua, pensando que puede que el frío ayude. ¿O será mejor el calor?

 No, lo mejor es salir. Media hora después estoy en la sala de espera de un hospital, el único del que sé la existencia en esta ciudad que no es la mía. Me llaman y me hacen esperar aún más en una pequeña sala donde otras personas se quejan o hacen cara de enfermedad. Parece que todos están malos del estómago o algo por el estilo. No es raro en una ciudad de clima cálido, a la que vienen muchos turistas y comen y se meten en cualquier lado sin observar los mínimos niveles de limpieza.

 Mientras espero me miro los pies. Siento un poco de mareo o de pronto sea yo mismo que me hago sentir peor. Es raro pero así son las cosas en los hospitales. Son sitios horribles y terribles, llenos de quejidos de niños y caras largas de padres cuyas vacaciones han sido arruinadas pero nada pueden decir o sino sonaría muy cruel.

 Tras varios minutos, o tal vez menos o tal vez más, me hace pasar una joven doctora. Se demora más escribiendo en el computador que revisándome como se debe. Prefiero pensar que sabe lo que hace. No hablamos casi, solo me hace unas preguntas básicas y le explico mi dolor y cómo me he sentido en los últimos días. Al parecer no nota nada especial en lo que le cuento porque parece no estar muy interesada. O tal vez sea su cara de "Sí, ya sé de que me habla".

 Llena un papel, me dice que pague la consulta y en la farmacia de la esquina compro lo que me recomienda la doctora. Apenas llego al apartamento me tomo las pastillas con agua y me acuesto de nuevo. Siento hambre pero prefiero no comer nada. Me quedo mirando la pared, con mis pensamientos perdidos en la nada.

 - "Maldita sea..." - pienso. "¡Que bonito comienzo del año!"

Por un momento olvido el dolor y me doy la vuelta. Mala decisión.

jueves, 27 de octubre de 2016

In a second

   When she opened her eyes, she saw directly into the fire. The flames were in front of her, making her face feel warmer than she wanted to. As much as she wanted to move or get away, she just couldn’t move. Her body felt extremely heavy and her head felt really big, turning like crazy as she closed her eyes again and tried to convince herself she was not awake but sleeping, deep into one of her very crazy dreams. But she couldn’t do that either. It was all true. The flames danced in front of her and she could only look at them, feeling almost burned.

 Suddenly, she felt her body being pulled away from the car, which had being turned upside down. It hurt as the asphalt of the road caressed her skin and clothes. But she couldn’t complain. She couldn’t say a word even if she wanted to because of how weak she felt. Also, she was very dizzy and couldn’t quite understand what was happening. However, she kept her eyes opened because she just couldn’t close them anymore. The heat of the flames seemed far now and all she felt was the smell of it all, which was awful.

 Suddenly, the car exploded and several parts rained all over the place. One of them fell a bit too close to her face but she didn’t really mind at all. It was as if she was looking at a movie, at something she wasn’t really involved in. Her eyes were open the whole time and her brain worked so slowly she never really asked herself who had pulled her away from wreckage. She was just too shocked to think of anything. After a while, she felt very tired and decided to close her eyes for a moment. She fell asleep and only woke up many hours later in an ambulance.

 It was for long though. The only thing she saw was a very big needle and some blurry guy holding it. Or maybe it was a woman… She had no idea but she did now that a sudden pain invaded her body and then she was immersed again in the world of slumber. She dreamt about an ice cream shop she had loved as a child. Her father used to take her there in secret, as her mother was not very keen on sweets. They would ask for the ice cream and eat it in under thirty minutes, almost as a challenge to themselves before they had to head home.

 She woke up again many hours later, in a hospital bed. This time, the moment she opened her eyes, she felt the strongest headache she had ever felt. It seemed as if it was going to break her head into two parts. The pain was so awful that she screamed and in seconds two nurses came rushing in and injected what was probably a sedative on her IV. She calmed down but the headache was still there. She tried to tell them, tried to explain to them how much it hurt. But no words came out of her mouth. She couldn’t speak a word.

 When she woke up again, it was a very bright day outside. The light rushed into her room and she felt kind of happy to see the light after so much time spent in her dreams. However, her mind was still working slow, as well as her body. She was thankful because the headache had disappeared and she could at least look at the window without feeling a huge pain in her head. She looked on for a long time, so long in fact that the rays of sunlight changed angles as she stared at the world outside of which she couldn’t see very much.

 Outside, the sky was very blue and just a couple of thin clouds floated high above everything. Aside from that, she could only see some building, all made of bricks. She had no idea where she was or how but she was sure it was a safe place. Although, she did wanted to go back home as soon as possible. So much so, that she tried to get out of bed to have a better view of the window in order to know where in the city she was and if she could maybe walk home. She knew there was a hospital near her house, so maybe that was it.

 But when she attempted to move her legs, they didn’t respond. She attributed it to how slow her mind was running, so she decided to take a deep breath and then try again. But again, nothing happened. She looked at her legs and slowly touched them as much as she could. Her arms were not very long and they felt extremely weak, but she reached down as she could in order to verify what was going on. In that precise moment, a nurse entered the room and saw her. She then rushed back out, yelling someone’s name.

 The woman stopped trying to touch her legs and rested her body against the pillows. She felt exhausted and tried to think about what just happened: she couldn’t feel her legs. She couldn’t move them at all. Why wasn’t she reacting more violently to this revelation? Why didn’t she felt compelled to yell or cry or whatever? Her head felt like a balloon, filled with air that didn’t let her think of anything. She pulled her head back and closed her eyes, trying to get back to her last memory before the hospital. But that seemed to be almost impossible.

 The door opened again and this time it was a man dressed in those mint green uniforms that people often used in hospitals. She looked at him quietly, as he checked the machines around him. A nurse was behind him, taking notes. He then checked his patient by looking at her eyes and then checking her ears and skin. He asked for her to pull out her tongue but she didn’t seem to hear or understand what he had said. He tried again but she didn’t do anything.

 Then, he pulled out a very small bottle from his pocket, along with a syringe. He filled it with the liquid in the bottle and injected it directly into her arm. At first, she didn’t feel a thing. But then, it seemed as if whatever that liquid was, it worked as a way to shake people up in the most violent way possible. She suddenly felt pain and many thought rushed into her head. Everything seemed to be happening so fast. Sounds were loud, maybe too loud and the sunlight felt too bright. She covered her face and cried, trying to control what she was feeling.

 After a while, the pain and awkward feelings went away and she knew exactly where she was and what had happened. She was finally aware of everything and not in some sort of trance. Whatever the doctor had put in her bloodstream, it eliminated all the effects from the other shot she had received. She was no longer a peaceful lamb that couldn’t even think for herself. She was her again, with every single memory and pain possible. But she couldn’t remember why she was there. As much as she tried to remember, it seemed hidden somehow.

 The doctor asked her if she knew her name. The woman said it out loud, hearing her own voice for the first time in a while. Then, he asked if she could remember the reason why she was there. She indicated that she couldn’t and asked him to tell her because she was going mad trying to remember, trying to go back to at least a sound or an image or whatever that could help her remember. The doctor said she had been in a car crash, having been expelled out of the car by the force of the impact. That’s why she had some cuts all over.

 When he said it, she looked at her arms and realized that was true: she had small cuts on her skin. And suddenly she remembered the flames and someone pulling her away from them. She told this to the doctor and he asked her if she knew who had done that. She replied that she couldn’t remember a face but that it had probably been her husband. But then the doctor looked at the ground and got closer. He explained his patient that it was not possible that her husband had done it because he had died instantly in the crash.

 The news hit her hard. She started crying and was held by the doctor for a moment. When they separated, she looked at her legs and realized what had happened. She looked at the doctor and he nodded, words being useless at that point. She cried in silence and the doctor left with the nurse. It was a lot to take for her and she was going to need all the time in the world to adjust to the fact that, in a single second, her whole life had been turned upside down, almost destroying her in the process.

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2016

The ninja

   The city below was pretty much silent. It was very dark and lonely and the sun wasn’t going to rise for another four hours. People would be starting their day in some time but in those moments they were sleeping, barely imagining what was happening on their rooftops.

 A group of three people were chasing another one that had a very big lead in their chase. The character they were chasing was wearing a ninja outfit, all the uniform being black and his eyes being the only thing the people that were chasing him could distinguish from the darkness of the night.

 As they jumped from one roof to the other, one of the persecutors slipped on the edge of the building and fell backwards, being caught in the last second by one of his peers. The woman that had gotten hold of his ankle, could barely cope with the weight of her companion. The other man that came with them, the one closest to the ninja, stopped short from jumping to the next building and went back to his companions to help the woman lift their buddy to the rooftop.

 The ninja stopped running when he didn’t hear the sound of steps following him anymore. He turned around and looked on, as the man and the woman pulled their friend towards them, saving their life. The ninja blinked several times, very confused. He started to sweat right then, and not before when he was running.

 The man that had almost fallen realized the ninja was looking at them and attempted to stand up and chase him again but as he tried standing up, he felt terrible pain in his ankle, the one that his companion had grabbed him by. Apparently, in all that chaos, he had hurt himself so bad that he couldn’t walk by himself. His two friends helped him up again and, when he tried to locate the ninja again, he didn’t saw anyone anywhere.

 Hours later, the persecutors were in a hospital. The one in the bed, named Kevin, was asleep and the other two, Martha and Philip, were also asleep but in two armchairs in front of the bed. It was the middle of the day, a warm day outside. As they slept, the ninja appeared out of nowhere, standing in a corner, and just looking at the three of them. He walked, making no noise, towards Kevin in the bed.

 He looked at his leg, which was in a cast and elevated to avoid pain. The ninja looked at it, with the clear intention of doing something, but he didn’t. The movement of his hands, the sweat drops on his forehead, were telling of how nervous he was to be there. Outside, a door was slammed just as he had been looking at Kevin very closely. When the patient opened his eyes, the doctor was there. He had dreamt again about the ninja.

 Many days afterwards, Kevin was recuperating in his house. He had flowers all over the place and had visitors almost every day. He had never felt so popular in the agency and had to make an effort not to look to annoyed by the amount of people coming and going from his home. He knew they all did it out of concern for him but he also knew they came because they wanted to know more about the mysterious ninja figure he almost died because.

 Everyone wanted to know what he had seen about him. The truth was that Kevin had consciously tried to stop recalling those moments because when he fell asleep, he would always relive the moment he fell and it wasn’t something very fun to experience. It felt as if the floor was suddenly removed from beneath his feet and he didn’t thought that was something great to tell anyone.

 But people knew how adamant he had been before the mission to catch the ninja. After all, he had attacked them before, as they tried to infiltrate a chemical plant, several months ago. As security agents, they were tasked with a lot of different mission in order to preserve the order in the world and in the country. The man and women of that agency were just the best of the best, always being very good at handling themselves and their opinions in front of people and under pressure.

 However, with the ninja, Kevin easily lost his mind. After he had seen him kill some people in order to steal some classified documents, Kevin realized the ninja was a persona that had no moral compass and that seemed to work for anyone who paid the price he asked for. He was only a mercenary and those people were sickening to Kevin as they just sold themselves for whatever they asked in order to be able to kill for sport.

 When they met the first time, Kevin fought the ninja for a long time before they had to declare the fight a draw and just run out of the chemical plant before it blew to the sky. From that moment on, Kevin tried to investigate whatever he could about the ninja but he was very unsuccessful. In other encounters, and there were not many, he tried to get some DNA to use a sample for testing but the ninja did not spit and it was very hard to grab his head.

 He even scouted the places of their fights in order to pick up anything he might be able to do but there was nothing or, at least, nothing important enough to pinpoint any particularities about this person. The worst thing was that Kevin had realized some of the moves the ninja used were the ones they learned at the academy. 

 He talked with one of the trainers there who assured him that no one outside the agency knew about many of those moves as they were created specifically for some exact situations and in order to use maximum force if necessary. That was the first real clue Kevin got. But he failed to tell his companions before the rooftop mission and, when he told them in the hospital, they were very mad at him for not revealing something so important to them.

 They decided to launch a full investigation and they had to check every single agent that had deserted the agency. They even did some surveillance work on some of them, discovering how boring people’s lives were when they wanted to be far away from all the chaos of the agency. But none of those guys, none of that people had any similarities or set of skills that resembled the ones of the ninja.

 Frustrated, Kevin returned to proper work after being a full week in the hospital. He had to use a crutch to walk but the pain was much less intense than before. He was assigned some office work in the agency and tried to forget all about the ninja killer. After much thought, it was obvious that person didn’t wanted to be caught and, he had been an agent, he wasn’t going to be so stupid as to leave any single clue around. After all it was a game of intellects to the end, in order to see who survived and who did not.

 As he thought this in his office, Kevin almost fell from his chair because he had realized something: when checking past agents, he had omitted to check on the deceased ones. It was a long shot but he decided to try to find the ninja there. In order not to be reprimanded by his superiors, he took copies of the files and took them home with no one knowing. Each night, he would check some of them and then fall asleep as he read them all.

 Almost a month after the incident in the rooftop, the ninja appeared in his room as he slept. He came closely to the desk and grabbed his file: it had been there all along but Kevin had not wanted to look at it. The ninja read it and then looked at the agent. He left the file back in the desk. As his eyes became watery, he leaned down to kiss Kevin on the cheek. Caught of guard, Kevin grabbed him by the neck and slammed him to the floor. With a fast move of the hand, he removed the ninja’s mask.

 As in a horror movie, Kevin pulled away from the dizzy ninja with wide opened eyes. He was seeing a ghost, one he had not wanted to see. He had a scar on his face and he looked paler than ever. His eyes looked empty and his body seemed to be fitter than he remembered it. But it was him. It was really him, his husband, just back from the dead as if nothing had happened.