Yesterday was spent in the Emergency Ward. It didn’t start there. First, I was home, waiting on laundry and having tea with Tyler. Chris had been with us earlier, but he was angry with the world that day and left to save us his company. We were concerned, but not overly. Not until the phone rang. It was Chris.
He said, “Hello,” and it sounded like panic. I quietly turned to Tyler and said, “Get your shoes, get your coat on, I’m going to need my things, we’re leaving.” Chris said there was blood everywhere, that he’d done something stupid. “Breathe boy, tell me what you did.” Seems that in his distracted growling at the world, he’d gashed himself. “Do you want me to take you to the hospital for stitches? Do you want me to put some in? Tell me what you want.” He was mostly inarticulate, “Um, well, there’s a lot of blood.”
It was decided that I would go alone and approaching the house, I wondered briefly at the wisdom of this. What if I had to break in? He might be half conscious in a widening red pool. By the sound of things, he’d hit veins. Instead, I was greeted at the door by an abashedly blood smeared boy, right hand awkwardly wrapped in a black t-shirt that was already visibly soaking through. There was a pile of glass rubble on his computer keyboard and more piled in front of his monitor. In spite of the obvious effort he’d put into cleaning, there were still daubs of blood on the floor inferring where it had splashed earlier.
My first impulse was to re-bandage the hand and then sweep up the glass, but Chris pulled me aside, asking me instead to sit on the couch with him. He then poured out everything as to why he’d been angry and what he’d done to hurt himself. Nothing that particularly bears repeating. He’d been frustrated, furious some, and had smashed his glass into the desk. Also, by default, his hand. Not the most clever of moments, he conceded, and I finally had a chance to peel off the sodden t-shirt he’d wrapped himself in. It was a mess. His hand welled with blood in three or four places, the worst cut on his thumb. The lacerations on his fingers were bad, but that was dexterous hand turned to meat, swollen and requiring three or four stitches. Six altogether, I guessed. The smell of iron was thick on us, enough to set my stomach to starving. I demanded scissors and cloth. I cut strips from an old cotton shirt, and bound his hand properly, pressing apportioned pieces of flesh back together and slipping a pad underneath to keep pressure steadily on. My hands were red to the wrist.
I licked my fingers and laughed.
Angus was on the street outside, half a block away, talking with friends. We were grinning as if we were mad when we talked to him. We said we were on the way to the hospital and not to worry. His face lit from within with “Fuck you, I love you.” and then we ran into Keely on the Skytrain platform, who straight up laughed. We were just as guilty, taking a delightful take on the entire proceedings. There wasn’t a line at the hospital. They asked the usual questions, “Do you have an emergency contact? What’s your middle name?” and had us follow a yellow line down some twisting hallways to another waiting room. They put Chris on a bed within ten minutes, though we had to wait closer to twenty before a doctor came. We unwrapped my make-shift bandages and I sponged up the blood as he looked over it. The doctor was incredibly kind, I’m sorry I don’t have his name. He tutted, glad of my cloths and wincing a little as he injected freezing, which sprayed. Chris lay down, unable to bear seeing the needles, and listened to the man who was talking on the other side of the curtain that was next to us. Words came through the green cloth that were like scripted eco-friendly motivated poetry. The man sounded so kind that it was charming. He actually used the phrase, “Bless your kind heart.” to a nurse.
For the stitches themselves, well…
I took pictures.