Across the corridor an old lady cries “nurse, NURSE!” for the umpteenth time. She sees and hears only in the dark shadowy recesses of her crumbling mind. Reality is for her another world. I guess she has dementia or something similar. She sometimes cries pitifully for help that never seems to come.
Stuck in a hospital bed she drifts between sleep and a decaying sanity. Damit! I even found myself getting angry when her wailing finally wore down my egotistical solitude. I saw a darkness in my soul that shook me.
Why did I fear my thoughts so much? Was it unreasonable to ask for peace and quiet? I’ll tell you why, because I saw a side of my nature that has haunted me all my life. A selfish individual who is capable of wishing horrible things in a flash of anger, only to be mortified later. It’s that dark side we all have within us. For most it stays well hidden, but under stress it can explode into our consciousness with frightening clarity.
Tiredness, hunger, illness all feed the dark side. I suppose it must be part of a survival instinct that kicks in; a sort of self-preservation in dynamic action.
I am left with a great deal of time to think here in my hospital bed. My mood darkening by the day as I sit here and wonder why the world isn’t revolving around me as it should. A trip down the corridor brings reality into a sharp focus. There are literally dozens of needy souls just on my ward. In a world of 7.4 billion people I have to be aware that they can’t all revolve around me.
The light of love shines on me once again and the dark shadows that sometimes haunt me are once again dispersed by the light.