The wait won’t be too long now. Something in my bones tells me that it will happen soon. A new start, a new life, a new reason to live.
My other mocks me again, but faintly this time. Its voice is drowned in optimism, layer after layer, sandwiching the other. Like a lasagna, almost cooked to perfection.
The conflict began some years back. Like one of the Balkan wars, it went unnoticed for a while. It started with my other corrupting my body. This went unnoticed by me. My body gradually gave in to the other’s ministrations, without any resistance, until it was too late, and the discord was too great.
You, my other, betrayed me. With every new start I was convinced that life had begun again. What came before was immaterial. Life was new and to be lived from scratch. I was eternal, I was young, I was indestructible. My body felt like it would be of the same age forever. You allowed me this self-deception. In fact, you created this self-deception.
You turned my mental clock back with every new beginning, so that the discovery of life began anew. My place in the newly ordered, or re-ordered universe was sought and secured. My work, my life’s planning, my outlook was at the end of a continuously changing kaleidoscope. With every turn, the arrangement of my life within the universe took a different form. How beautiful it seemed, how deliciously uncertain, not knowing what new triangular, octagonal or square arrangement would emerge, and my life ordered again, albeit briefly.
I was indestructible, my other. You led me to believe this, to trust in a judgment, which had been doctored by you, and to believe that my itinerant mental and physical condition was perfect. Cigarettes did not harm me, I smoked so little… and was alcohol not good for me? And food, glorious food. I ate, and enjoyed what I ate. You took what I ate and drank and the nicotine based poisons as your own, to do with what you willed. You worked diligently while I slept peacefully, oblivious to the start of the conflict.
My mind started to mature. It finally reached the age of 36. I calculated this based on a set of complex arithmetical calculations, which I learned from you, my other. My mind is still fresh with the sparkle of youth, laced with the spice of maturity, which is only now manifesting itself in my conscious mind. My other walked the length of that counter some time back, unbeknownst to me.
My physical body began its decay a long time before I knew it. My eyes were focused on the kaleidoscope of emerging patterns, a movie that never ended, and a plot that a Shyamalan would die for. The characters were only three. I, my body and my other. Three parts of a whole, that worked and fought in absolute harmony. My other, like the rebel marking its territory with violence, worked on my body, in total indifference to my place in the three-way equation. The discord only began when I started to see the effects of my other’s handiwork. The first time I clung to the walls of a squash court, feeling darkness creep over me, and telling myself that I should have not done this on an empty stomach. I was still convinced of my indestructibility, my eternal fount of youth, and the perfect balance in my internal solar system.
You, my other, deceived me. For this, I will never forgive you. The being whose internal universe is in harmony is blissful. You have created discord of a kind, which cannot be resolved in the halls of Brussels, or in the corridors of Geneva. From a perfect three-dimensional harmony created by my God, you have destroyed two cogs, and left yourself the only perfect element of God’s creation. As an element of man, you have undone God’s perfect work in two ways.
You have led me to believe in my own invincibility, when the genetic code God entrusted you with showed you otherwise. You suppressed this information and caused me to blasphemously believe I was God. This not only made me lose my harmonious code, but also not realize that I had lost it. Serious as this is, in my human eyes, it is still the lesser of your two transgressions.
The greater transgression in my eyes is the destruction of my body. Equally despicable as the actual destruction is the stealth with which you have accomplished this deed. Cell replacements went awry, fatty deposits appeared on organs. And, yes, how about arranging polyps in the digestive tract, just as a tulip seller would arrange his wares outside Central Station in Amsterdam? The poison in the blood stream came next, silent and lethal. On blood reports they looked innocent, and as if the body had had a temporary lapse. Surely the next one would show that all is well inside. You played with the genetic code God had entrusted you with, and like a child may destroy his favorite toy, you destroyed my body. These were covert, undercover games for you, much like the CIA may play.
When the covert part of your operation was complete, you decided it would be much more enjoyable to now bring my body and I into closer contact, so that I may actually witness and experience the results of your years of hard work. Was it the first time I lifted a rope stanchion, and walked under the arch it created, instead of over it? Or was it even earlier when I balked at using my hands to support a quick leap over a fence? Was I aware that my body may let me down? When I held the top bar of the fence in my hands, preparing use them as a fulcrum for my leap, why did my hands tell me not to do it? Did you put them up to it? Were you afraid of a grievous injury, my other, which even you may not have survived?
Or was it when my body told me that it was fatigued beyond the normal limits induced by exercise? When every action, every motion was an effort, and energy sapping? Do you remember how you screened the real cause? That was a masterstroke, my other. Tweak a gland here or there, and wreak havoc with my metabolic set up? Nice work, bringing me closer to understanding the masterpiece of decay my body had become.
Gradually, as a brocaded silk cover is lifted off a masterpiece at an opening, you revealed the depths of your treachery, and how well you had accomplished your task. My body connived in this betrayal. Now it is asking me questions I cannot answer. My other has completed its work, and is waiting for me to come back into harmony with it and my body.
You exercised your power over my body, my other, but not over my mind. My mind is more powerful than you are. It may not be capable of reversing the damage you have done, but is capable of now exercising greater control over my body. You cannot touch my feelings, the passion I feel, the dreams I have, the love I can give and get, the anger, the rage, the humility, the kindness, the selfishness, the sharing, the possessing, the giving.
I can force a new beginning in my life, and make my body and mind feel young and energized. I am leaving my old life behind, and starting a new one tomorrow. There is nothing you can do to stop me, my other. Wring your hands in despair, gnash your teeth, and bemoan your fate. One day your evil work will take this body away from me, but until then, my mind is still its master.
I can feel it in my bones.
The nursing supervisor must have been very attractive in her younger years. The traces of her beauty obviously lingered. She had arched her eyebrows, and mouthed words to the duty doctor in an exaggerated stage whisper, imagining I was not watching. I smiled and said, No need to hide anything from me. I am going to be fine, don’t you understand. I know I am starting my life again. You don’t understand, do you?
Why do they ignore me? Can they not hear what I am saying. Hey miss, I am talking to you. Yes you, as she looked at me. She did not answer. She put her hand on my forehead in an almost loving manner, and absently stroked my head. Her hand felt cool to the touch, and I felt like closing my eyes. But I needed them to understand what I was saying, suddenly this seemed very important to me. I opened my mouth to speak, and heard my own words, but it seemed to make no impact on them.
I reached out to grab the Nursing Supervisor’s hand, but for some reason I could not find it. I heard the young, harried looking doctor put the lid back on his ball point pen with a loud snap, and say, Well that is it then. If Dr. Connors says it is over, then it is over. Pull the life support, and complete the paperwork. I am around for another half an hour at least. He yawned as he completed the sentence. He took another look at me, his expression softening in what I took to be pity, or was it regret…..?
My friend, my love, where are you. Where have you gone? This is the hour of my need. They do not seem to understand that I am going to be fine, and that there is nothing really wrong with me. My time has not come. Only you can understand what I am saying, and I need you to explain it to them.
Second one this week, said the nursing supervisor, without looking up from her paperwork. The nurse intern looked up from the computer screen. You mean….?
Yes, and this one was particularly bad. He came in with chest pain and breathing problems some weeks ago. But he was a goner. He was in delirium most of the time, and kept muttering about some kind of a war he was in, or had been in, and how he had won. The last couple of days he was quiet, as all his body functions started to shut down. Dr. Gregorian told me his labs and tests were so bad, it was hard to believe he made it to the hospital. Well, it is over now. Whatever war he fought, he eventually lost.