Friday, November 11, 2005

Breakdown (composed whilst wrecked on a crate of Kirin beer)

The broken man lies in the hospital bed, tubes and monitors reminding him of a film he once saw as a child. The steady pulse of the heart monitor sounds like a voice trying to reach him, but neither voice nor man really wants to be found.

It is light. Pre-dawn. The coldest hour, when the blankets are warmest. Limbs won't move. His mind tells him that if he does, the pain will consume him. He thinks of his past, but only the present surfaces. Somewhere a clock marks off the slow seconds of the day.

How did he get here? Where is he? Who is he? When is this? Thinking hurts his brain, a thin razor paring even when he lies perfectly still. On the table... what? A glass. No, a jar. Liquid, not clear. A little dark. Something in there. Onions in vinegar. The unspoken sentence in his head. It seems to mean something but he can't make the connection.

Beside the jar, something in its shadow. Closing his eyes, he doesn't want to know. Opening his eyes, he doesn't want to be there either.

Pain. Dull. Sharp. Fast. Slow. Hot. So hot.

The shadows on the wall seem to move of their own volition, no moon this night. Images that will never be repeated, not like this, ever again.

Move your arm, someone says. He does, but redness comes. And then he knows everything. My name is Ravishing Rick Rude, and I stole pickled onions from a tittering nan.

Rick closes his eyes and mouths something. Sleep takes all of him.


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