(verso) I can’t remember to forget you.


Devon came out of surgery fine. He’s tired and looks worn, but that’s to be expected when your innards have been slipped out of your belly and rewound, I’m sure. His intestines had twisted, kinked themselves into knots in ten different places. There’s no need to worry, he’s resiliant, recovers like I do from damage. I have a fabulous picture of him in the hospital bed, looking put upon by uncomfortable plastic tubes, holding hands with his beaming parents. I didn’t get to post it last night, unfortunately, but it will be available soon. He’s possibly not sleeping enough, but that’s so close to normal that it almost doesn’t bear mentioning. We’re a batch of night owls, we are. A coven of ridiculously interesting people who are most alive when everyone else is in bed. Dancing with blades, dancing in gruops and apart from eachother, dancing and being glad that life continues. Sneaking into hospitals at ten minutes to midnight and being turned away at the last possible moment.

Duncan’s got a livejournal.

Various people have been asking me what my plans are this week. As of yet, I really don’t know. I’d been planning on going to the Pacific Cinematheque double-bill tonight: Paul Williams hosting THE MUPPET MOVIE and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, followed by an After-Party at the Media Club where he’s going to play a set alongside July Fourth Toilet, (no, I don’t know who they are either), but I expect to skip the first film entirely for the sake of visiting hours. Tomorrow I may end up missing rehearsal for the sake of other things. Visiting Devon in the hospital, for example, or dropping by Bob‘s for a showing of A Tale of Two Sisters, one of my favourite movies, (just as Phantom of the Paradise is my mother’s), and finishing the cleaning of my room that’s been dragging on for something akin to a month simply because I’m never there anymore.


looking as if an angel had been threatened with a baseball bat

taking a break on metropolis
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

I sat on top of a news-box downtown for half an hour with a book in my lap, trying to tune out the religious zealots handing out sheets of paper with the word Jesus at the top. Too exhausted to run for the bus, I was twenty minutes late. No one was there. No one came. I did not expect them to. Dinner had obviously been decided without me. No way to contact my friends, I decided to gather my chores in hand before I went back to the hospital. Official visiting hours are over, I thought, and I am having difficulty imagining myself mouth that I am Devon’s wife.

The drugstore felt hollow, as if somehow I had fallen into a facsimile. I stood in the hair care aisle and let my eyes scan the products without me, looking for the word Organic. In my head, I would try to concentrate on the mundane task I was undertaking, but instead I would glimpse Devon in surgery, a garden of stars unconscious on a table, the illusion of a slight flash of the metal knife as it sliced into his skin. Eventually I chose two bottles of shampoo and turned to find soap. The cheap soaps are sometimes the best. Less scent means less chemicals. Small thoughts that have nothing to do with what went wrong or his face on the bed.

Earlier, I had to re-set my day’s plans. Alicia was to come by for eleven and I had set my day by that. Things came up however, as they often do, and it was two o’clock before she could swing by for her errand, so things red-shifted over a bit. I had dinner with Andrew instead of Alastair, and instead of going to a fencing demo, when I got off the bus across from Duello, I followed random impulse and turned left into Gastown. There’s a shop there I rather like, crammed with odd antiques and paper masks. In the basement there’s a chinese chest full of hundreds of small drawers that can steal an hour if your life if you let it. This time, however, I knew exactly what I came for. At the foot of the stairs is a small display of golden music boxes, the sort you crank by hand to hear the music. They’re louder when you place them on wood. I sorted through them as efficiently as possible to find the one that played the Beatles song, She Loves You.

Going back to Duello, I fell into step behind a man I didn’t recognize. I heard him unlock the school doors above me and cursed a wee bit, knowing that meant that I’d missed everyone. I poked my head in anyway, curious to see if I was wrong. “Who’re you looking for?” “I thought to catch Devon.” “He’s in the hospital today.”

At that, I turned and ran, another impulse. Down the stairs, across the street, down the hill, straight to Waterfront train station, where Randy happened to be standing inside the hall. Seeing him, standing perfectly as if framed for me to find him, I recognized my impulses as the impelling force of cinematic timing and I laughed. I stopped running and walked up to him. He covered the mouth of his cell phone for a moment, “Hey Jhayne, I’ve got news for you.” “Yes, but what hospital?” We stood chatting for close to ten minutes, glad to be in company, “I just talked to him, he’s obviously not dying,” then took the train together. As soon as the doors opened on Granville station, I began running again.

There was a group of boys on the escalators, seven deep on either stair, pretending they were surfing. Such was my blithesom running that I decided they were an obstacle I wouldn’t wait for, rather I made thier day by jumping up onto the slippery thin metal divide between them and dangerously running up that instead. They cheered, but for safety’s sake, I didn’t look back down. Another two blocks and I was on the bus, feeling as if my legs were going to mutiny if I forced them one more step.

Psych Ward

I went to visit my roomate in the psych assesment unit last night. It was a bad ending to a long day. A film crew had been set up at my mothers house – some sure-to-be-awful sitcom about a man taking care of his family after death. I liked the streetlamps they put up on the street, and we did get some candy, but still. Effectively locked in a hhouse from 2 in the afternoon till eight:thirty with four hyperactive, badly behaived shriek monkeys is not my idea of being worth twenty dollars and some free candy.

The hospital was empty and creepy. I suppose they always sort of are when there’s no-one in the hallways. Long off-white corridors full of closed doors. Mysterious signs full of abbreviations and odd lettter combinations.

The security gave me directions and escorted me partway there. I’m not sure if he was worried if I would be lost or if I was there to wander. Either option I find amusing, but neither terribly interesting. The nurses at the desk were surprised to see me. I assume visitora are rare at night and never enter with purple tophats.

I was slightly frisked, told to not give anyone my housekeys and led to an alcove with a couch and a TV blaring a war movie. Marshall was sitting absorbed by the men in green jeeps, he started when I spoke.

“Rots your brain you know”

He seemed overwhelmed to see me, but I couldn’t say if he was more stable than he was when he went in. Obsessed with leaving, he was indirect and refused, obliquely, to answer my questions. He could not have spent the past few days in as much ignorance as he professed.

“It was like, until I was strapped down to a bed, I couldn’t hear my voice in my head”

Hand movements accompany everything, and a nurse watches from down the hall. If I’m to find anything out, I’m going to need a medical release, and I have couched my explanation of this to Marshall in the most flattering terms possible. I have lied by omittance, but only just. I need this information, I need to know what’s happening and asking point-blank will get me nowhere.

We walk to the front desk, where his desire to leave flames stronger. Never asking directly, he sidles up to the idea, as if he can trick the nurse into giving him a release. I put on record that we will allow him back into our home and I prompt Marshall to give us confidentiality. To my relief, that is also put in the book.

A man wanders by and brushes his afro, using a wall as if it’s a mirror. Afterwards, as we sit and talk over a game of memory, the same man comes by and tries the same trick on my hat. The fact that Marshall introduces me to his, ‘friend’, does not make me feel any more comfortable. I think that I am lucky that nonchalant is one of my skills.

Today, I called the nurse, and she told me more than anyone else so far. Though they’re giving him Olanzapine, (my detectiving, not hers), they have not diagnosed him with schizophrenia. In fact, they haven’t a diagnosis at all yet. The theory cutrrently running seems to be a mental breakdown relating from malnutrition and stress, though they are uncertain, and still doing tests.

All of this has me worried. His grandmother has phoned, and his aunt. I’m to call them later today, after the doctor has seen him. He is not coming home until I say so. I don’t want this responsibility. I don’t want to be worried about who I live with. This is not my friend, this is not an important person. This is not what I want to be thinking about.