Monday, August 29, 2005

Pain

Somewhere in Amsterdam there is a large livingroom. It's spacious and beautifully furnished. There's a kitchen with all appliances, comfortable modern living demands. There's a big screen television set with the remote control nailed down to the table. A small section, maybe 12 square meters, the section adjacent to the windows, has been carved out with glass walls. It has a clinical look, and somehow gives the whole room a sick distorted feeling. There are thick steel bars in front of the window. We wouldn't want anyone to jump out and kill himself now would we?
Nobody uses the living room. You can't smoke there. It's a monument to incompetent politicians and their non-smoking policies. The sun is setting and I decide to light up another sacrificial smoke. There's a woman sitting next to me. She used to be married, but he ran away because of the booze. Or maybe the booze started after he ran away. She never told me. She's smiling. She feels safe.
An old geezer, his brain long gone, with hair that looks like it's never been washed or combed mumbles something in my direction, and it sounds like a question. He might have been brilliant before Korsakow hit him with the stupid stick. I have no idea what he wants, so I smile and say: "Yes." He nods with approval.
But these people do not really interest me for now. There's a toothless crackhead sitting opposite me. He might be my age, but he looks as if he's past sixty. He's silent. Knee to knee, our gazes lock. He cannot see the wonderful sunset and I have no intention of telling him to look the other way. A lone tear forces his way through his red-rimmed eyes. I have no idea what to tell him. No idea how deep his pain is. So I do what I am trained to do. I shut the fuck up.
I light up another smoke. I don't touch him. I don't speak to him, but his pain fills every fiber of my body.
This is what we do. We don't talk. We don't give advice. We're just there. And I love it. I love life. I love my job. That crackhead motherfucker will never know that at that moment he was my hero. Larger than life. Superman incarnate. He had the strength to reach out and take the first step to pull himself from the gutter.
Freud eat your heart out. Silence is the greatest weapon.

20 Comments:

Blogger Sassy said...

Sometimes we can look at people like that and be grateful. Sometimes they can be our "superman", sometimes u just wanna give up like they have. Silence is all u need to realize. Bulb, you make me realize every time I talk to you. You are my hero. :X

6:20 PM  
Blogger CiscoKid said...

Why is it so hard to cry?
I saw a therapist a while back and it seemed that it was all she wanted me to do...
and nothing would come out
--other than long sighs....
aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
BTW
(The validation code below spelled "SweetPee")

7:07 PM  
Blogger bulb said...

She was that bad eh?
Well nobody claimed a woman needs a degree to be good in the sack.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Chloe said...

I see what you are saying.
I wish I could shut up once in a while. Silence is good, especially among friends. Sometimes, we are among friends and don't know it and just go on and on and on. Oh stop me, this should be about silence!

2:20 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

:-)

10:42 AM  
Blogger Ms Burden said...

I wrote a poem once about silence called SILENCES

...
KINDS OF SILENCE
AS OPPOSE OF THE UNIVERSE:

SIDERAL SPACE SILENCE
SILENCE OF MEDITATION
ENHANCED CONCENTRATION
VOICELESS MOMENT

SILENCE OF ALL PHILOSOPHERS
A QUIET SKY
BEING ABANDONED BY GOD

SILENCE OF GERMS
OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR HEADS

SIGN LANGUAGE
MESSAGES WITH SILENCE

POETRY SIGNS THE SILENCE TOO

QUIET INTERNET USERS CONTEMPLATE THE SILENCE

THE SILENCE OF THOSE WHO FEAR
BEING AFRAID OF TORTURES

SILENCE OF COLD DAMP PRISONS
HORROR EXPECTATIONS

CENSORSHIP FORCES SILENCE AS WELL
FEARFUL SILENCE

THE SILENCE OF THEORIES FILLED WITH TOO MANY EXPLANATIONS

BOOKS ARE SILENT
ITS WRITERS ARE FRAGILE PATIENTS AND
THAT EXPLAINS SIGNS HANGING ON THE WALL IN LIBRARIES
SAYING “SILENCE”,
SIMILAR TO THOSE IN HOSPITAL ROOMS:
WE’D BETTER BE QUIET OR ELSE WE WON’T LISTEN TO "IT".

I love my job too!

12:49 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

I took a wrong turn at the light..Where am I?

6:20 PM  
Blogger fineartist said...

A different side of you, I like it.

Oddly, or ironically, it is usually the ones who deal with pain and damage, who seem to posses the most keen senses of humor. Probably has something to do with choosing laughter over despair. Stated more plainly, laugh or die crying, can’t help people if you are dead.

Ya, listening is the trick.

1:21 AM  
Blogger bulb said...

@Laila,
Love the poem. Thanks. You're not only beautiful, you're talented.

@Jess,
Yeah I do that too. I don't read the posts, just make a comment. :-D

@Fineartist,
Ehm! Not really a different side. This is what I do. (That and torture small animals.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Rosie (formerly known as Rox) said...

I've been on both sides of a very tall wall, and I've seen the world through hungry eyes. I've seen the lost and desolute give their last dollar to a hungry stanger. Those are the people I thought about when I read this post.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Sassy said...

Bulb...u never respond to my comments. Pfft...im gonna fart on ur blog!

5:06 PM  
Blogger bulb said...

resonse to sassy:

Stop freaking me out ;-)

10:41 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Are you a mind reader now? Who said I didn't read it? pfft...Men

5:06 AM  
Blogger Cloddy said...

workin too hard again?

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Tim Benniks said...

Wow, you just wrote down the essence of our job... Actually i'm still becomming a nurse. By writing these kind of stories your're teaching me a great deal!!

hope we have some more shifts together!

Tim (stagiaire mc)

P.S. I stated on your blog design... beer is good :P

12:09 AM  
Blogger bulb said...

Yeah Tim, Keep kissing my ass and I just might give you a passing grade.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous tim said...

lol :P

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Timbo said...

hey hans

http://www.tbdesigns.nl/hans

kijk maar ffies

of http://www.tbdesigns.nl/hans/dopje.jpg

4:21 PM  
Blogger Sam Freedom said...

Dude, if you could just write a little bit about the hookers of Amsterdam, that sure would be the lemon that cuts the fish taste of this blog.

Speaking of fish taste...

Sam

7:14 AM  
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12:06 AM  

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