Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A Night, Moonlit

Early morning, late night, did not check the hour. A hurried phone call - get up, get dressed, drive to hospital. I'm fine, we're fine. Just an alarm we found, thankfully, false. Nevertheless the A&E (Accident & Emergency) Room, lags. Drags. A strung-up tension pervades with the lingering scent of spilt bottles/cans. So quiet except for the hum of the coffee machine. While I wait for the doctor to see our loved one. I sit, write and look out. Expectant of a long night. All around us, the murmurs of humans. Delicate, hushed. All the vulnerable souls in this room are in it together yet utterly separate. Small islands of fear, trepidation, calm.

I am fine, we are ...

A woman with red hair and white clothes bobs her head to her ipod. A young woman with short hair and pyjama bottoms holds on to the hand of her beloved for dear life. Lifeboat love. He is young - dutifully responsive without looking at her. Shy - embarrassed, I can't tell. She rocks back and forth for a while then continues touching him - his hair, his blue-jeaned leg. He might as well be in another room. I notice the twin-taped cuts on her shins, then look away.

Not for the first time, I notice the lady with the green shoes. Beauty with tired eyes and hair. She looks alone, even desolate. Somehow she has turned up stylish. Looking at "us", so did we but this was done in a haze of sleep. Her green shoes glisten in the fluorescent glare. Her eyeliner, smudged. Is she alright? The result of a late night or late life. She curls up in her steel chair. Then stretches here and there, head back, uncrossed then crossed legs, conspicuous. I think that I am watching a show. Perhaps she has played the role of beauty too many times, opposite a beast of a life.

It is now 2 a.m. I write and ignore any gaze from me to pen and back again. Why can't they look at the lady with green shoes? Stream of consciousness, I am adrift. Thank God for this pen. Ipod lady has started speaking with two porters, they are pally. I wonder if it is a return trip. The lady with sore taped shins has stopped touching him. I feel relieved. Almost want to get her a coffee. It's alright, he's brought her one. Perhaps that's how he touches. Perhaps it's none of my business. Yet tonight I feel we are all in the same lifeboat, - While children sleep, mothers worry and God watches. A microcosm of a night, somewhere in England. I am fine, we are fine. Looking back on what I wrote, thinking. Sometimes I know I love the whole world and see only beauty, soft-winged beauty.



Purple Flowers said...

A telephone call can change life as we think we know it to be. I'm sorry for you being startled, and for your lack of sleep. In a waiting room, life's energy is very interesting. and it seems you were acutely aware of it.
I'm glad things turned out well for you and person.
Through it all, it is always nice to see you, my friend. Take Care.

kj said...

oh my god, clarity, you can WRITE! i am betwix and between so i have to come back to read this 'leisurely', but having just finished a writing weekend, i can just hear you reading this, and i can hear the affirmative nods of amazing awe from all of us listening.

wow wow wow.


Corinna White Charlton said...

finding solace in a pen is an incredible outpouring of beauty. i love the line "she has played the part of beauty;" we're all in some theatre act, aren't we? Some just have a greater audience than others.
Hospitals are places of such safety but also such great anxiety and fear. Fortunately your visit allowed you to leave healthy, but it certainly left its effect on you.

Barbara said...

I LOVED this, Clarity. I have similar thoughts, but lack your brilliant talent to put it in words.
Many a night have I spent in just such a way...night phone calls=terror. Usually.

But then I looked at your first photo and had to smile. I hurried across my living room floor in July in high heels (I was running late)...and fell. Broke my wrist. Luckily, a friend was waiting outside for me and drove me to the hospital. Because this was a minor injury, I had time to look around at others and wonder about each of them.
I was lucky this time, you were too. ER visits don't always have endings like ours.

Jacqueline said...

Dear Clarity,
The A&E department is certainly a unique place, with so much to observe and to try and's strange how we all sit in places like that and try to work out what sort of lives other people have.
I love your writing and you always leave me wanting more. XXXX

Lori ann said...

So glad to hear your okay, everythings okay. Beautiful writing, i was there, all your words brought me along.

Life is so fragile.

it's good to see you back ♥

Phoenix said...

Clarity - I don't even have words for how beautiful this is. I know what it is to wait with bated breath to hear news - good or bad, just stop the tension of waiting - and it's like being caught mid-air in purgatory, expecting heaven or hell to arrive any moment now.

You write so gorgeously, like a painter paints. What a gift.

Clarity said...

-Kathy (PF), it certainly can change, thank you for the welcome back too.
-KJ, you are too kind, I'm a learner driver :)
-Corinna, interesting, we do have our roles, usually inherited. Very insightful, C.
-Barbara, I am sorry about your spill and agree, we both were blessed on our "trips". Thank you for your kind words.
-Jacquie, merci again. That made me smile.
-Lori, thanks again, x.
-Phoenix, have grown used to the tension and enforced calm, plus you are so right about "inbetween". Many thanks, humbled, x.

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a wonderful description of what it's like to be in A&E. I totally feel like I was there when reading this. I've been there many a time (hubbs was an A&E doctor for a little while--now he's a GP). I've been there as a doctor's wife, and a patient, and as a worried wife, and its always so hard to keep my beady eyes to myself! I am always so curious. I wonder if anyone looked at me and thought who the fabulous housewife is LOL!!!
Now, as for you missy, dont stay away for so long!!! I miss you!
*kisses* HH
p.s. glad everything is ok

Anonymous said...

I'm getting totally out of my mind here......insane! You are such a gifted writer, my word!! After 5 min. behind my laptop, wondering what to write more....I come up with not nothing than being speechless about your writings. L&P, XXX, Carmie.

French Fancy... said...

Your frequency of blogging is more than compensated for by the beauty of words. This scene came alive in front of me - your writing is tremendous my lovely bloggy friend.

Notjustnat said...

Love reading what you wrote! You can write (beautiful writing!). Glad to hear you are okay, everything is okay! Thanks for dropped by to say hi over at my blog. I was just tonight thinking of you and searching for you, happy you are all right - Love and hugs Nat

Jeanne said...

I am happy you are OK..........
Take good care of you

I thank you for your visits and kind words
Blessings and much love


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It's strange to think of this other world existing whilst we are usually asleep. You have given us a glimpse, beautifully.

Wine and Words said...

Sheeeeeit sweetheart! This was beyond skin and bone...deep into tissue that sees no light beyond a surgeons knife. I was mesmerized through your eyes, having lived this so recently. To see so beyond yourself in that moment of terror amazes me. But I hope and imagine that your trauma was minimal and glad you are all fine.


Eugene Lim said...

Beautiful writing, as always... I felt like I quietly slipped in through a back door in into someone else's story to take in the beauty, and leave before I was noticed. I am also a bit humbled by your work.

Also, for your note on my blog, thank you for your concern, you are so sweet! After a weekend of sleep, soup, and Nyquil, I felt a lot better around Tuesday and now I've climbed out of my dozy days refreshed and ready to take on the world (:

Keep writing. Love love love.


Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hi long time no see, thank you so much for calling in!!! I know the dilemma of choosing the quilts too LOL!!!
Glad to hear all is well now...
Bless you for all the beauty you see in the world...Dzintra♥x

Micki said...

You have a way with words, and I throughly enjoyed your post.
Wonderful hearing from you!

Laurel said...

Wow, I am so glad I made it here tonight. I miss you and love this so much. So keenly aware are you my friend. Life offers so many stages for dramatic unravelling.
The ER as it is called here is one of those places. I am grateful your loved one is ok. I will email now.
Love you.

VictoriaArt said...

The hours waiting in the emergency waiting rooms
are always times ripped out of our 'regular' life.
They have a way of being intense, highlighted and scary.
Suddenly we have life in a nutshell before us, all it's sorrows and strangeness bundled up in fear and worries.
I agree, it's a microcosmos.

I have been on each side of the emergency waiting room, as patient, with my children and as a midwife, looking at young mothers to be, often in tears and in pain.
Your sentiment of love for the world is what I share!

Thank you for your beautiful writing! Your pan is a life saver in it's own right...
And I am so glad you all are fine!


A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Clarity, you transported me completely and I was fine standing there behind your shoulder that I know all is well. You have an amazing gift.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Clarity,

Your writing is wonderful and felt like I was right there next to you.
We can all relate to waiting in places and seeing all the different sorts of people that make up this world.
Many thanks for visiting me and the kind words you left.

Have a happy weekend

Laurel said...

Hi Darling- haven't been able to write but todays post will make clearer my last week or so. love to you my Friend.

Cheryl Lynn said...

This post was fabulous, Clarity. You are indeed a writer extraordinaire. I loved reading this and felt like I was in the hospital waiting room myself.

A really good read, my dear. Have a great weekend.

Clarity said...

Thank you for the sweet and lovely comments. It was odd posting something so personal and real, you made me feel better about it.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hi Clarity from Down Under...just popping in to see how you were and thanks for calling by...Have a wonderful week...Dzintra♥x


Gosh,all your words brought me along! i love your blog, i'enjoyed reading all your words/thoughts,very inspiring,You are brilliant as a writer indeed.thrilled as your newest follower.

Stevie said...


Your writing style is lovely.

Hope that you do go to Norm's in LA. Here's the link:

Clarity said...

Dzintra, fine, thanks for checking :)
Victoria, humbled again, merci.
Steve, cool, now we can try the allegedly "best" milkshake when we come to LA - really hope it's a vintage 1950s diner. Thanks for the comps.

Laurel said...

Helloooooo! I am back with new blog- just wanted to pop over and say I love you and I am working up a holiday letter. Hope you are well..

a hint of sarcasm said...

your writing is so great.. :)

now that i am back in the sphere i hope that i can read more of your stuff ..

take care, clarity.

Anonymous said...

This is a powerful piece of writing. The mood is so strong. Glad all is OK.

Haute World said...

Beautifully written. I hope everything is ok. I've had experiences like that as well, both waiting in hospitals and other places where sit, observe and hope for the best. Is is amazing how many people, no matter how different they are, do end up in the same boat.

Erica said...

Wow! beautifully written.

affordable medical insurance

Ed Pilolla said...

i enjoy your stream of consciousness and the details in others you see so well as well as your internal development in the scene. you certainly can write.
i haven't seen you in a while. good to see you again:)