Sometimes we yearn to return to relationships we can’t go back to. The stories of longing and belonging have woven their way into the tapestry of my life, it has been a life in yearning. A life that was spent in waiting rooms in hospitals and outside doctor’s chambers, which comes with living in a family of doctors and hypochondriacs that believed that prevention was always better than cure. The strong chemical smell of the iodoform would travel from the wards mixed with air, in the government hospital to tickle my nose, where many lay dying and the others seemed to be like me. They lay there preparing to be engulfed, cornered by the gloaming darkness of quietus.
On days I wouldn’t be able to calm my nerves before falling asleep, my somniums would sometimes trail off to those cadaver-like bodies that lay strewn one of top of the other on hospital floors and then I’d wake up feeling paralysed only to look out of the window to see dawn breaking while not being able to congregate my thoughts or muster up enough will to throw myself out of bed after a nightmare. So, I would lie on my back, focusing myself on the blades of the squeaking ceiling fan that required oiling, like I would on days when I had to get my mind off the rhythmic pounding. I seemed to be growing more and more petrified of the sunrise, as I could sense light come in through the curtains, washing over everything in the room and turning them to a pale hint of blue. I instinctively wanted to pull up my covers but I lay like a vegetable as I felt something tighten its grip, like someone had placed a physical hand on me, as I lay there unguarded. My chest feeling heavy like an elephant was sitting on it, crushing my bones into chalk powder and so I was seized with trepidation and the venous disease, the blood vessels that ran through me became more prominent with what I can only describe as a growing toothache. A toothache that began from my frostbitten feet before it spread all over me, clutching every cell in every limb, I had fallen into asphyxia. My breathing obstructed as though my alveoli had gathered moss. My head felt like it had just experienced a concussion, it was disjoined from the rest of me and was floating around the room. Later, I had come to realize that the hallucinations that followed must have been due to the blocked supply of oxygen to my brain.
I finally darted myself out of bed to sit up straight screaming three times before falling silent. The house fell silent.
I’ve only felt godliness and the closest to sanctitude when I’ve laid with my demons in my bed and the ghost from the mirror overlooking me. The night would come to pass but they’d come for me with the changing colour of the sky, the rest of me was warm enough and yet my feet felt like they had caught frostbite, I think I saw some movement near it and a woman scratching at my bedside.
Who had I seen in the mirror that day, she didn’t look like my reflection, she looked like broken shards of glass had been stuck together to create one. Broken glass that you could cut open your fingers on if you ran them cover, who did I see in the mirror that day, were the shadows playing their old tricks on me, could it be the girl I’d sometimes see from the corner of my eye in the dark, paying me a visit. Has she always been there. Can we be friends?
If among all the places I haunt, I had chosen to feel the sensations of home at a graveyard, could one of those graves belong to the ghost of my past? I knew that the girl I’d seen in my reflection and the one I’d see from the corner of my eye were clairvoyance of the same phenomenon and I knew we could dilute into each other, never wholly or fully but substantially like a black pupil and a black iris could never be homogeneous but could complement each other.