#1 – the lion roars

PART 1  - LIQUID PEACE
Part 2 - PATIENT PAPER

The gutter dripped and the rain drops rapped hard on the kitchen window. My eyes were already open. The bedsheets felt cold and damp. The shutters in the living room rattled with the wind gusts.  I’ve been staring at the dark ceiling for nearly three hours. I sat up. Sleep was busy somewhere else.

Another rotten night.

My mind was stuck in ruminating mode. There was no point in trying to sleep. Heavy rainstorm washed over the town. So thirsty… I tried to breathe. The merry-go-round in my head kept me replaying the last two weeks, pining me to decisions, yanking me back and forth between faces and screams and tears. Decisions that were not my wisest… 

Wasn’t enough. 

I thought of the woman with begging eyes. She came into the ER, during my shift. She had fever, and severe abdominal pain. I guessed her secret right away. Her deep ocean green eyes betrayed her, I could read in them. Everyone could…  That she had attempted  abortion. Bleeding and in pain, she got down on her knees and pleaded. Immediately I got her a bed, and called a trustworthy gynecologist I knew. I trusted him to keep his mouth shut. I trusted that a human life was more important to him than law.

I was wrong.

Nevertheless, I started her on antibiotics and enough painkillers. I refused to make a blood test. If it was positive, she’d go to jail. Maybe she would anyway… If she’d survive, that is… I had Rose, the head nurse, look after her.

I cannot just watch and wait for her to die, that’s what I told her, and that’s what I told the head medic.

He stopped all medication. That bigoted windbag stopped ALL of her medication and I got sent home for a month. Rose tried to calm me down, but by God – I… I.

The oxygen left the room. Two days ago, Rose called. The woman with the begging eyes died. My skin felt dry and hot, like a heat blanket over a snowman.

There was this nagging icy feeling wrenching my guts, that I just couldn’t shrug off. I could use some peace for once – some sleep, or unconsciousness. I could use some liquid peace… I thought of the empty liquor bottles lined up in the kitchen. Vodka was sometimes your only friend. It was a reliable friend. Brushing over my  burning face, my forehead was sticky with sweat.

The phone rang. The sinking feeling sank deeper.

I got up. The cold floor burned  under my soles. I went to the hallway to pick it up, but my hand hovered above it.

Important? Work? Catastrophe? Which is it?

I asked myself. It did nothing to buffer the leaden dread sitting on my chest.

I grabbed the phone. “‘llo?”

“Comrade Hoia?” The stern voice on the end of the line felt like a brick wall I was about to smack into.

“Yes,” I swallowed. ”Who is this?” The man didn’t answer. Statics filled my head. This was a catastrophe, I decided. I heard a pen scratch on paper.

“I’ve got a young man here, a Hungarian Jew. He says, he knows you, comrade.”

Benny… What have you done this time?

Was this police or worse? Securitate? “His name is Benjamin Ekes,” yawned the man.

“Yes.” I croaked. “I know him.” My throat was stinging, I couldn’t suppress a cough. I heard a faint echo of myself coughing. They were recording the call. Securitate it was. My heart knotted.

A big drink, I rubbed my lips, a whole bottle.

“Do you, comrade Hoia?” He paused amused. “Then come and pick him up. Police station.” The man hung up.

“On my way.” I said, listening to the disconnected tone in the line. With every heartbeat it grew louder and louder. I stood in the darkness.

Pull yourself together.

I needed to get going. Who knows what they did to Benny. I grabbed some clothes and spares for Benny, gauze and disinfectant. On a second thought, I called the ER at the polyclinic I work, and had Rose on the phone. At least, some silver lining. She understood immediately what was going on. She said, she’d  had the scrubs ready, if needed. God bless good old Rose, the smartest nurse I ever worked with.

Two minutes later I was on the deserted main road, heading downtown. The rain came down in curtains. My car seemed to be the only one in the whole wide world. I lit a cigarette, and thought of all the peaceful people who could actually sleep. In their beds.

Benny needed me.

And I? I needed a drink, and a month worth of sleep.

 

hole in the middle

wish to wish the words will flutter

in the wind of  greed and hunger,

they will whisper for lust and rage.

in the back of your cranial maze

eviscerating the tiny peculiar voices

Unsaid the matter of importance

a sin just leaving it to ignorance

certainly there’s a prize to pay.

it’s your fault if you stay….

the craving grows,

the hunger howls…

Not enough.

Never enough!

 

nightmares in a dirty blanket

every night, I’m sick.

every day, it gets worse.

how can I sleep, if I don’t dream?

I only have nightmares

no food left to eat,

I can’t leave, I can’t sleep.

So I make myself some tea,

while the nausea eats me.

How can it be? That I still believe?

that something waits for me…

Somewhere…

Bitter and empty, I start shaking

wrapped into dirty blankets,

I’m only nightmares.

said and done

I can’t wait for those nightmares

bad choices snicker at my scares

on the fence I’m drying my sins

guts of a scapegoat fixed with pins

*

Light the fuse, I sit on bombs

I’d stick to the world in your palms

I can’t stop grinding my teeth

Excuse me, let me breathe!

*

Don’t tie me to the back seat!

You can’t hear me praying on repeat.

When I wake up I’m afraid,

I feel cold and betrayed

*

Secretly hiding your good-bye letter

into the sleeves of my favorite sweater

knotted around your swaying waist

We dance – a death tango, fast paced

*

Somebody’s beneath my face

Somebody else took my place

Let me go, or start listening!

 you look – my heart’s blistering

rorschach blots

Oh, but poetry called,

about an hour ago.

It said, it wanted to cuddle,

with every noun, pronoun,

verb, adverb and adjective,

there is to be found in

the outside world.

Just like that!

That lucky bastard!

Call me Rorschach, if you like.

My voice is your voice, in fact

a bit of everyone´s voice.

Syllables and words in a row

lacking meaning? Hell!

An answer I don´t

even want to know.

Poetry got scared,

or bored, and ran away.

You´ll see, madness is somehow

my area of expertise…

things from hell

this what you get,

if you look for yourself.

this is what you get,

if you lost yourself.

only those should speak,

who were born in doubt,

fed by disgust, and

and nurtured by hate

don’t lose yourself…

not within others,

don’t search where

you’ve disappeared-

you’ll only find

the emptiness

in others eyes…

you’ll only find

hell in others minds.