Confessions of a White Coat
A Few Thoughts from the Belly of the Whale...
I was out on the terrace, overlooking it all. Same blue nights, same shiver of rain, same off-white glow of life haunting the skies. Haven, always in flux and never changing. Stable, yet rippling with change, all throughout the streets and skyline.
I don’t really know Her the way I’d like to. I work for Her, tend to Her every wish and care, and I know that life flows through Her and it is life I cannot dare to truly know. But in that bind of nursing, there are blocks I haven’t walked, sights I haven’t seen, joys that don’t come at the preloaded end of an electric needle.
I say it all like I’m some old hound on his last legs, when I’m not. I’m just tired. It’s the kind of sleeplessness you only get from a city dressed in cloak and veil of a synthetic darkness. Eyes held open by work and obligation, yet never allowed to see. Life encased in what looks like glass, but holds like steel. Time held hostage by a day unending, even when I part the door to my own corner of this sprawling world. Always watched, never watching.
And when the eyes close, and the dark of the mind falls, a thin silver etching of the towers and institutions remain, haunting every dream no matter how fantastic or mundane. Through every terror, wonder, and mystery, it sits there and hangs the backdrop of the mind’s eye. It is always Haven I see in those restless dreams. Always Haven. Always Her.
Whatever part of me said “be grateful” went tumbling from this terrace some years ago. Whatever part of me believed I could handle a life like this hangs by a thread of thin tungsten. I don’t seek death, only relief. From where though? The dopamine shots aren’t doing it, merely being kept alive by sustenance and a carefully preplanned life isn’t doing it anymore. No time for hobbies, no time for loves, no time for anything short of Her.
And yet, I don’t know if I can quit Her either. Not with all those who are helped by the network, the programs, by the light of those distant towers. Even in my darkest hour, knowing someone out there is being taken care of is enough. For now, maybe that is what counts. A life given to the benefit of others’ lives. A life, if not well-lived, lived to the point of proper function.
Maybe. Just maybe. I only wish I knew for sure.