I had been expecting each new access of shattering desperation, each further of these heart-wrenching, soul-wrenching, accelerated downward spirals to draw me too close from the sanity borders, and that I would once fall without return or salvation, and forever walk in an endless living nightmare. The sham and sultry appearance of life took an even more absurd edge. The lie in my head, mensonge, men-songe, I was so terrified to sense as if it was concrete, spilled over into reality -- to a relieving point in a way all the more absurd, when finally, the whole world twists and whirls in an obscenely pressed tango to the same beat as the chaos pounding in one's head.
Mensonge, men-songe. I've been misled by a treacherous dream, illusion brought through a gate of ivory.
I still struggle to make sense of it all.
Time got distorted on the news, if I had ever though it had been before. A day felt like three, which helplessness did not help. Walking down the streets to the train station after leaving off work, after calling everywhere, spelling ten times the same name to foreign correspondents, surprising myself recalling exact addresses I had never been to, getting at last a feverishly written number on a fragile piece of paper, I realized I felt as if an immense wave of nothingness had been washing over me. Everything in the surroundings looked faintly funny. Emotional zero point. There had been too much in the previous hours, going in too many directions. Stepped on the train, dropped by my flat, took books and forgot various things ten times, returned there and back again. I absorbed myself in short fictions and wonders on the way, onboard the old train and mild summer light flowing through dusty windows. I guess the difference of language is a substantial one coming to appreciate these short stories. Wonder though if I might not be right feeling like each of them contained such a great deal of sadness; most of them, about wounded love. A same nostalgic sepia tone tainting the whole collection. But perhaps it was only the colour of my own sunglasses.
I stepped off at the wrong station, cared so little for where I was exactly heading. It was so little about that, at that point I felt myself slipping off reality so utterly and desperately. The axis around which the concreteness of this world was revolving and crystallizing was lying somewhere on a bed, in a small anonymous room of a remote hospital, suffering from the consequences of a most absurd injury, and the idea itself sounded too absurd to be true or believed. A living, tepid nightmare, much less frightening than twistedly, horribly slowly unsettling.
I walked in streets having no relation with the mental map I had been drawing, would have noticed it much before in other conditions. It was after all not the strangest thing in these days if places were also twisting and changing places when one's eyes were not on the map. I anyway just needed to head toward anything, just couldn't remain paralysed and suffocating, whatever I would head toward, however long I would walk or wait in a corridor and however little were the chances I'd be welcomed there, in any sense, so I took that train and another back, walked in unknown places and unnamed country road under the blazing sun, not even caring about how hot it was in my formal suit and how much my high heels were not made for walking.
On the way I thought about the Schrödinger cat theory applied to hospital rooms. There would be a closed door and all the possibilities behind, only one of them realized when opening it and the multiplicity of all kept true until opening it. The exact half of a girlfriend. Some random parts of relatives, legs, arms, spread over the room standing or holding a glass of water, or another hand; a trunk sitting on the armchair next to the bed, and a fraction of a bunch of flowers on the table. In the middle of this, an avatar of Kali, sleeping, eating, reading a book, talking on the phone, staring at the ceiling in silence.
The way was insanely long and the surroundings surreally nice. The premises were small and lost in the flowers, some I plucked on the way. The hospital itself seemed to have been designed for children, like all hospitals maybe, where most people fall back to their earliest age, fed with a spoon and unable to walk, in need for care of any kind. I was told to follow the white line among all the colours on the plastic floor, and the small-feet-shaped and flower-shaped stickers leading to the children unit. I wondered if there was bastardized departments for innovative maladies. Children's psychiatric unit. A brown straight line and flowers and footprints twisting around.
I took the lift to the fourth floor and inquired with a somewhat ridiculous discretion about the room, afraid that someone would hear me, or the nurse, and think oh so foolishly I was going there. It was not supposed to be like that. I sent a single message, sat down on the corridor sofa, regretting immediately not to have chosen the corner chair, so that no one would notice me, all dressed in black, in formal suit and high heels in a remote countryside Finnish hospital, and reading books for hours. The calling alarms biped every other minute. Guys were rolling slowly in round, along the corridor, their wheelchairs squeaking as they passed by me. I concentrated on my book as much as I could, and it was not as if I had no interest in what I was reading. It was yet a sort of very polite and intense interest, striving to be genuine. The voices I couldn't help listening, entangled with the constant sound of the restroom TV, my heart was missing a beat any other minute when one rang closer than the other, sometimes on the edge of a plain and simple stop if I thought having identified Swedish. To the point I would afterwards feel sick only staring at the bilingual boards of the train station.
I'd have pretended being anybody, there for any reason, and threw some pretexts and weak explanations when I've finally brought to you. I guess I have been acting like a robot, or someone just drawn from bed, or out of a book on which one is concentrating as if concentrating enough would turn the reader into a piece of furniture. Did not care, once again, about having been so easily recognized in spite of all the attention given to the said book. I only saw in a dreamlike haze the door, the room, the green curtain, and through it I saw you lying there, and all of the nonsense fell down and collapsed like demolished towers and faded away upon the crash into reality. All this pain and all this grief, how nothing else in the world mattered but what was going on in the little room of the countryside hospital; your fragility hurting me as an open wound, a pain challenged by the utter way I could see how sad are birds confined in a cage, be it the cage of their own body, and all the more when used to fly freely. And on top of this mountain of sorrow, striking me so hard in any of its incarnations, the profound, gnawing sadness to see you so faintly there, suppressed by a medication yet given for a temporary better. Your arms barely flitting, with effort, and then falling limply on the bed. And us standing there around, not caring for anything else in the world. All of us pounds of bare pounding flesh, sore, and trembling, and nothing else.
Illusions were dispelled, and I felt deeply out of place, deeply wrong, a caricature of myself, a drawing amongst real people -- like in this ancient dream, wearing my face as a mask in my own mental masquerade, a black shape only made of lines, black glasses as the only face, standing stiff and still besides that bed and not able to say anything bright with my black thoughts and black magic. I had been wondering again before whether I was finally a Chaos or Order agent; and realized being a double agent meant being on the Chaos side in any way. It is not tinted with fatality as it could have been before, though. I left the room and the corridor my flickering sanity hanging from a single sentence, the yelling guy of Hysteria shouting silently in my head as if trying to overcome the silence of this hospital; followed the white line back, going out in the melancholic late afternoon light, among the sepia flowers; took the first bus I found going to any train station, sat down, and cried my heart out behind my sunglasses, not even knowing anymore why or for whom at all. Sorrowing for the entire everything and yet feeling acutely empty. The immense clouds in the vast summer sky were actually there, I knew; but the entire scenery I saw as flat as a theatre set, even worse, an entire life on a movie screen. The tears I shed along the way back I wiped relentlessly. I thought: My love is gone with my lover.
I am now trying to reverse the process. I am still trying to make sense of it all. Reality, as strange as it may be, is standing a bit more by its own. I wonder which role I held in this subtle divine affair whose whys and wherefores escape us. I still wonder if sense should be made of it all, at all.