Local weather reports an ensuing cyclonic storm;
strong winds weighed down unsettled conditions,
high temperatures set to drop. Studies showed
I was unable to cope at school, due to the current climate.
Evidence suggests it was a mistake for my headmistress
(Mrs T) to prevent me going home after ringing for news
from the payphone in the corridor. Medical experts
had already informed my mother of her final diagnosis, earlier
that day. Evidence suggests I didn’t give a flying fig what my
teachers told me. Linguists approximate my Brighton accent
and highly volatile state may have made that sound like I said
something else. CCTV footage captured my escape, accurately.
Linguists suggest Mrs T wasn’t aware, they are fluent in sarcasm.
Local weather updates: extended outlook for the next three
to five days would include extensive facial precipitation,
broken cirrus skies, and the prevailing winds were likely
to, and did bring, a silent tempest into No.18 Elizabeth Close.
Medical experts/Head of Gynaecology scheduled her
hysterectomy immediately. I had the first taste of the threat of immense
loss – one expert claimed. An unnamed source let me smoke
in the garden, for that period, after Dad had gone to bed.
Local weather on my first visit was boiling; my single steps
echoing in the plastic corridors leading to Mum’s ward. Reports
suggest Dad just couldn’t face it. Rumour has it my brother
was at school. Humidity levels in the unit were high on tepid urine;
evaporation from near to, and around the claustrophobic
collective of full or partly leaking catheter bags and drainage
tubes. University studies say there are too few nurses. No
shit Sherlock, evidence suggests. I forgot how to breathe and
suffered a vasovagal syncope, causing a sudden drop in my heart
rate and blood pressure, resulting in temporary loss of consciousness.
(Nutritionists approximated my blood sugar was alarmingly low due
to a self-induced period of voluntary starvation; initial signs
of severe hypoglycaemia, symptomatic of an early case of body
dysmorphia.) CCTV showed my Mum’s mouth was dry and no-one
had helped her drink through her straw for 4 hours and 32 minutes.
It was the hardest straw I’d ever held. There is no need to speak.
Presence is pinnacle. I saw a shine in a half open eye; I desperately
didn’t want it to go anywhere yet. Marketing suggests the BLT
from the brown canteen on the way out was delicious. Linguists
suggest they are liars. Linguists don’t realise words mean nothing.
Amy Neilson Smith
Bio: Poet, Sensory Performance Artist, Actress, Multisensory Designer & Creative Director for A Blind Bit of Difference – an inclusive arts & (VI) charity using dance & Sensory Spoken Word to explore colour through taste, touch & smell; her immersive 3-D human poetry installation debuted at Richmix & Amy innovates ‘Accessible Film’ with filmmaker Kate Dangerfield.