I am an immobile man, a fixed object.
I can reach with my left hand one meter to the left,
With my right hand, one meter to the right
And half a meter down. That’s all
(All the measures are taken from the edge of the bed)
In height, I can grip one bar
To straighten up my torso
When they lift me to prop up the pillow…
A bed urinal is my front yard; a bedpan, my backyard.
Wet wipes, my wash basin;
Cotton swabs with alcohol, my fountain…
Whoever never felt it on his own skin cannot know what it is like.
He’d better not know! What good would it do?
My back is pinned down to the mattress with springs;
For days, it has been itching and languishing me.
My legs stay put obediently –the left one, completely,
The right one is folded by the knee.
But my brain is lucid, and that’s what matters.
Come to think of it, I am like a tree, re-planted
From a huge yard into a flower-pot,
The bed, its soil; my back, its roots;
The hands, its limbs; my torso, its trunk.
This tree cannot grow any longer. Except,
Maybe, accrue new tree rings in the girth . . .
My thoughts are like leaves:
They come, ripen, linger on for a while and fall off.
Then, a flurry of new ones… then, more new one
And so on, forever, infinitely.
Only thoughts do not rot,
They do not swirl down on the bed linen
And do not wilt away.
So, I replenish the invisible space
In the room, city, planet, Universe…
Some thoughts come back, some depart irretrievably.
So, I exist (as Descartes would put it).
I am an immovable asset –a fixed object;
A creation of God, with body and soul,
And with a new part –a replacement
Made by human hands.
St. Erasmus Hospital, Ohrid, 30 January 2013