Tiger & Patience28 February 2013
I know we’ve left the ground because I can feel my stomach twist. My feet are filling up with blood. One of the stewardesses puts her life jacket on upside down in the safety demonstration, and everybody dies with laughter. I wonder whether my seatbelt is really any use in a crisis, or whether it just simplifies the clean up. I’m not fazed. My fear of heights only kicks in when I can see the ground. Naming an airline after a giant, notably wingless cat seems like bad publicity but then again, I was never any good at commerce. In spite of everything, it’s hard to feel anything but your body slowly falling asleep. When you’re looking at cloud cover from above, a plane crash starts to look like heaven.
The only thing worse than being in hospital when you are sick is being hospital when you are well. I have to keep reminding myself that the bloodstain on the sheet belongs to me. The lady next door keeps screaming that nobody listens to her until I roll the other way and try to sleep. Beep. The silence here conceals warfare. I can hear other people’s hearts pumping through machines, but they sound like they are a long way away. A man slides past me in socks looking for air, leaking liquids like a used car. I used to think that calling those in state care ‘patients’ was cruelly ironic, but now it just means fiddling with the position of the bed until the morphine tickles. After all, death is not meant to be becoming—it just comes.