White bedding

I had my first surgery ever 3 days ago. I had never been admitted to hospital before, never been cut up or sliced open, never been injected with strange liquids and probed with utensils I wasn’t conscious to inspect or approve. 3 days ago, my safe space was broken into, but my armor found itself strengthened; I survived.

I didn’t have major surgery, my condition wasn’t life-threatening, but I had no choice but to take the leap: say yes to the scalpel and no to this malevolent parasite eating me up from the inside. I admit, I cried a bit, I couldn’t help some lonely tears from trickling down my cheeks as the anesthetics took over my body and shut down all will power I had. I knew that I’d wake up a few hours later weaker, different…brand new maybe? Alas, I didn’t feel all shiny and fresh as I emerged from my foggy state; I felt tired, confused, old and most importantly…stuck. I wasn’t allowed to move, to eat, or do anything natural to my wellbeing. I was instead haunted by needles and nurses with charts, neon lights and an overdose of white. The aftermath. Long hours staring into space, falling asleep and waking in a start, pain everywhere, with nothing familiar to cling to.

I didn’t tell many people about this journey I had been forced to embark on, just a few friends and of course my parents. Visitors flooded the floor with armfuls of flowers and chocolate boxes, balloons and get well soons, and I watched them through my heavy eyelids as they entered other rooms, hugged other patients, kept them company while I composed yet another poem on how white everything was in this antiseptic world. I didn’t crave the applause, the screams and the crowds, I didn’t need all the attention or joyful pity, I simply wanted the nightmare to be over, to be home in bed or in a prairie skipping rope, to be anywhere but in this helpless state at the mercy of unknown arms.

I have often dreamt up situations where the love around me would be put to the test, where those who enjoyed my laughs would do anything to wipe away my tears. I somehow forgot to imagine my own hand holding the tissues, pulling me up saying: this is your test, stop waiting for the world to take it for you.

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Daily dilly-dally

I recently found this year-old text I wrote hidden away in a drawer. Reading it, I remembered just how miserable it felt working at my old job, and that since the very beginning. We tell ourselves so many lies to keep us going, day in and day out loathing our startling capacity to take in so many negative vibes and hide the putrid smell of dismay and disarray the job market can impose on our souls. So here it goes, some old thoughts echoing their way back.

I recently started working for a big multinational company. I’m an industrial designer; so basically, I spend my hours between my desk and the prototyping room. Our office is located in a sister company’s building that also comprises a big noisy factory; therefore, every time I step out of the office, whether to get my tea or anything else, I bump into workers, blue-collar tired-looking individuals. The sight of them on my first day struck me, not being used to such blatant displays of humanness, and as days and weeks pass, I am still perturbed each time we cross paths. They don’t look any different than your average Joe, they’re not from a different species either, but there’s something about them that deeply disconcerts me; they don’t wear our meticulously-crafted masks and you can feel the hours of repetitive labor traced on their faces, in wrinkles and invisible lines, the thoughts weighing on their minds as they carefully plan out the division of their measly wages, the haste and wishful procrastination as they end their daily shift, dreading the next at their second equally miserable job. I grew up in such a strikingly controlled atmosphere that seeing the curtain drop so suddenly stirred up all the resentment I had so long kept reasonably quiet; society is such an unevenly-shaped unit I’m constantly in shock at how everyone manages to stay put on this mockery of a merry-go-round.
We are lucky, I’ll never say it enough. In the comfort of our climate-controlled offices, swiveling chairs, correctly nourished bank accounts, heated cars and neatly packed lunches. We don’t have to worry as much, think of medication as a month with no meat, bed looking like the second best thing after death. Relief.
I don’t know if they all think that way, if their daily life is as gloomy as I portray it, but it certainly must be for so many, summer and winter equally cold and desolate, meals unsettlingly similar.
It’s easy to forget the blessings so gratuitously bestowed upon us, whether we’re CEOs or hairdressers; some people are forced to be robots, their bodies used as machines, their dreams trampled on as they make their way through the dried up tunnels of their once brightly-lit promising futures. “Someone has to do it,” we constantly repeat, to others, to our own pestering blistered hearts, but it could be us in those plastic sweat-inducing boots and sunshine-deprived faces. However, for now, it’s someone else. Someone just like us.