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.