Posts Tagged deranged imagination

Four of Clubs: On Hospitals and Reality


I felt like reading this one aloud. In retrospect, I should have taken the trouble to memorise it and set up a proper camera rather than recording it with a webcam while reading it from a screen. The story I refer to, which I did not actually reread before writing this, is after the break.

A card with pictograms for disability and toilets and food

When I was a teenager I wrote a story about my experience staying in Starship Children’s hospital for a while, and presented it to a writing class. I mentioned that I was somewhat glad, after several weeks there, to get back to the real world.

“But surely you can’t get much more real than a hospital,” a middle-aged woman in the class responded.

This puzzled me at the time, but I think I understand now. Reality is pain, and sickness, and IV drips, and wheelchairs, and bed pans, and rarely going outside, and machines that beep all night, and parades of doctors taking turns prodding and asking if it hurts, and teenagers who know they will not live to adulthood, and healing, and nurses at your beck and call, and surprisingly good food delivered to you in bed, and visitors that bring better food to overcompensate, and a play specialist who comes by regularly to play with you, and a games cart that comes by less often with new games, and glass lifts facing the atrium that have a view of the playground and all seven different-coloured storeys, and an in-house movie channel that shows mostly The Lion King, by request, and an in-house radio station that plays mostly Mysterious Girl and Wonderwall, also by request.

Anything else you think you experience is merely the product of your deranged imagination.

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