Every few weeks, usually after when I deal with over 200 patients in a single day or over two days the utmost, a certain piece of my machinery breaks. Around patient number 152 I can feel the blow jogging that piece out of place and around the 167th patient, I can hear it hanging by a thread and then soon by patient number 198..I hear a pop as it flies out and I know I have broken down. I see two more people and run outside as fast as I can, holding myself together so I could glue another piece in. If I get so lucky to find it.
I don’t, usually.
This morning, around 3:35 in the morning..I felt my back break. The entire week came crashing at me. All my emotions, all my buried baggage came spilling out as I sobbed on the deserted footsteps of the casualty operation theater. I wanted to leave. I wanted to run away. I wanted to dig a hole in the very cold marble I sat on and disappear for a while. My shoulders shook with all that was pent up within me as it just poured and poured and poured. And then the wind started to blow. And a dust storm rose, stinging my swollen eyes and settling upon all my wounds.
Right then, someone tapped at my shoulder and I looked up. It was my patient with acute exacerbation of asthma I had managed an hour ago. He had tracked me down to the last place I could be and wanted me to recheck him so he could go home. And perhaps, would I be so kind to check his mother’s blood pressure?
Of course. I’d be right down.
The patient left and I slowly walked down the stairs back to meet my colleague who had been covering for me for the last 10 minutes. Feeling started to return to my numb toes and dust ridden eyes as I sat down to check patient number 201, smiling and making small talk. I could feel the glue drying up and the machine whirring.
Come at me, now, oh dear pain.
I got stamina.
I am at the same point in my life when I know exactly what I wanna write about but am reluctant to do so because of the inappropriateness of the matter. That point when I know of the exact feelings and thoughts I want to let go of, but am unable to do so out of some deep seated courtesy or the sheer pettiness it would be mistaken as. I am wary to pen it down because it would be perceived as a weakness, lie or deceit. I am afraid that it would fall into some mapped pattern of my behavior and be dismissed off as a predictable tick, a pathetic cry.
I’ll take the legs from some old table
I’ll take the arms from some old chair
I’ll take the neck from some old bottle
And from a horse I’ll take the hair
I know what you’re waiting for. I know what you long to see, what you crave to hear. I know just what to say that would satisfy that itch that you would deny exists. You wanna see me fail, you wanna see me broken, you wanna see me crawl with helplessness and despair. You want misery to penetrate every aspect of my presence visible to you. Or else, you just want me to disappear. You want no trace of me connecting back to you, to remind your conscious and subconscious of the terrible mistakes you made. I remind you of the failure you are. Or the possibility of such a thing to exist. And it’s not easy to confront such a revelation. Unthinkable, even.
I’ll take the hands and face from some old clock
And baby, when I’m through
I’ll get more loving from the dum, dum, dummy
Than I ever got from you
I know it. I know every single one of you to the extent that it would shock you still. You’re so naked in front of me. Bare to the bone. Yet, I loved every single one of you with all your bends and creases. I cherished every dent in your personality, every flaw in your existence. It were those imperfections that made you so human. So beautiful, so real. Each one of you was different, had a separate unshakable place in my heart and in my life. I never put you all on the same level, but gave you all the consideration and love that had no other match. Considered you unique. One of an amazing kind.
I get more loving
From that dum, dum, dummy
Than I’ve ever gotten from you
Yeah, mama, get more loving
From a dummy than I get from you
Well. What a stinking waste of time.
(Title: The Dummy Song by Louis Armstrong)