KAT gardens

Lack of communication irritates me. When I have a reasonable amount of strength, I try to find a way around words to establish communication. In earlier years, this was achieved by exposing myself through painting; since then I learned more common ways. However, when I am tired or distressed for any reason, I fall in a state of frustration, which helps to nothing, much less to communication. Right after Easter, in Athens, I was enjoying the dubious spring weather, always warmer than the warmest days of the North. That Thursday morning (28 April) though, I was irritated. Mickey could not be pleased with anything; we went out to the center of Maroussi which is already an irritating thing to do (how much I dislike the suburbs!). The playground was full of kids. Mickey felt uncomfortable not being able to communicate with them as he so easily does in his homeland; so he continued moaning. His irritation made me dizzy and more irritated. We went to eat something at the Greek fast food chain; my mother, Mickey and me. Without much, we ate, the moaning continued, we took the way back home but never made it there. Just a second of carelessness brought us to the accidents’ hospital, the famous KAT, my mother with a broken hip. The moaning was somehow hashed by the weariness of the emergency rooms, the x-rays, the patients’ papers, questions about health conditions and mostly by the voices of people obviously hurting. Mickey behaved himself and I was relieved he was unharmed though he fell as well, on his grandma. I seemed to be the only one realizing the well we fell in and the tragic amount of strength we would need to climb up and out of it. Finally, we settled in the hospital room with five other women in the same state as my mother; all lost in a disorientated suffering. When your biggest wish comes down to being able to do your basic needs without help, it is better not to think about the light outside the well. We focused, mum and me, on the upcoming operation, we went over it; then focused on the day to go home. Two weeks in the well -me coming out every evening- can exhaust the strongest person. Thinking of their home, these women, with their 75 + (some + 10 or +20) years on earth, performed the most amazing trick. From the shock of the fall to the disorientation of hospitalization to blood transfusion to operation to lying flat all tubed up, to sitting in their bed after two days to standing with help the following day to walking a few steps after one more day. In the meantime, spring outside the well was dazzling. It takes strength to be able to enjoy beauty. The first week I could still drink a quick coffee in the garden; towards the end of our stay there, I could only sit hanging on the metal bed frame. The well was the only place to be; exhaustion was taking over in the form of over-sensitiveness to smells and images of physical human descent. The body color of those mothers, a pale white almost even on all their body parts, filled my view and remains there until I put it on paper.

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