May 28, 2006

Letters From Lem #10

Filed under: Letters From Lem — Twin A @ 2:26 pm

Todd,

The cast came off my arm today, and with every third word I scrawl, my entire forearm twinges with pain. So let me get right to the point — they let me onto the roof today, and I smelled the polluted air and felt the wet, hot sun bake the back of my neck. The rooftop area is completely fenced in, like an enormous batting cage, and paved with the black playground rubber that keeps little children from breaking their limbs. I clutched the chain link and stared at the city skyline, gulping freedom.

To be honest, being out in the open air for the first time in weeks made me a little sad and anxious. I’m worried about what real life is going to be like, and the rooftop smelled like real life. When I descended back into the hospital, though, I noticed for the first time an acrid, metallic tang in the air. Hospital air has a distinct, flat, unpleasant odor and I blocked it out until today. Between the uncertainty of the asphalt and stormclouds, and an antiseptic blanket, I’ll take the rooftop.

The name of the gigantic man who is wrecking havoc in the ward is Harry Lomax. Last night at dinner he flipped over an entire table, dinner trays and all and walked through our midst with a quivering bowl of pea soup in his hand. This morning my door creaked open terribly and slowly. “Where are my shoes?” rasped a hulkiing mass. “Get out of this room!” I replied as authoritatively as possible. Harry Lomax closed the door and I heard his bellowing echo down the hallway as he lumbered toward the nurses’ station — “I want my motherfucking shoes!”

Later, everyone was hanging out in the day room watching a VHS copy of Return of the Jedi, and Harry started pounding his fists on his knees and yelling “Jam Nad Sox!” at the top of his lungs. My roommate Felix Felix (I found out yesterday he has the same first and last names) threw a chair across the floor just to add to the chaos.

My right arm is scrawny and bent like a chicken wing. It will not defend me from the depradation of Harry Lomax. I’m counting on Felix Felix to protect me as I sleep, and common sense to keep me out of trouble during waking hours.

Now, medication time!

Three more crazy days,

Lem

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