THE HOLY CITY
Starving, emaciated and completely insane.
I am dragged out of the house in the early hours of morning. The sun bright and flaming. Clutching an icon of Jesus Christ and praying for salvation.
All night long phoning emergency services, pleading with them for an urgent liver biopsy. My liver was turning to rot and I had little time left.
I had neither taken communion nor confessed in the past week, which meant I was destined for the pits of hell.
I remember the Jewish boy on the ward and the corned-beef dinners. And how long it took me to gain strength to walk.
On a hospital bed. A feeding tube pumping sustenance into my body. Sedate and lithe. Hums and beeps.
The Jamaican nurse sang me a gospel hymn after I showed her my religious bracelet.
I pieced through my meal to the verses of “Holy, Holy, Holy…”
Shouting and arguing. Bewildered and on edge. I race across the floorboards. Into the bathroom, the pill bottles lined up below the mirror. Shaking, the faucet bursts open and I take in mouthfuls of water.
Looking into the browny pits of my eyes. The gaze holds then collapses from view. Push forward into blackness.
13 year old boy. Transferred following an intentional overdose of Flunitrazepam. Ingested 29 tablets. Went upstairs to the bathroom and came downstairs, appeared groggy and unsteady on his feet. Ambulance called. Empty bottle found in bathroom. Reports from toxicology incoming. Patient currently sleeping.
Patient still sleeping. Should wake up from the effects of the drug in the morning. Should not need Flumazenil now.
“Ύβρις”, Apothecary Archive, January 2021
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