A few weeks back, I was waiting on my friend in the hospital to get his wrists stitched up. He’s had an episode and slashed his wrists with a kitchen knife after crying to my boyfriend how he will miss his parents and have his parents to use his student loans. OMI’s Cheerleader, still playing in the background.
Still bleeding, he panicked and left to the hospital alone with his coat and a book about Russell Brand’s life and political views. We were trying to reason with him as he stood in the middle of the road, hailing a cab. “Don’t go, please let us come with you.” “It’s not safe to be alone!” “Where are you going?” He shut the door behind us and drove off.
We sat in the kitchen where it had happened, waiting on a taxi to follow him. I drowned in the sound of the clanking knives when Tom was trying to hide the knives and the sound of the kettle boiling. There we were, making tea in the middle of a chaotic night.
We waited since 2am, the dull moments of staring at the vending machine and looking at the different nakd bars that a machine could offer. Thinking about how mundane life still is, and how my friend couldn’t have seen how dull it is if his cuts were any deeper. There were talks about how I would open up a blog to write about food reviews from the food in the hospital vending machine if we stayed here any longer. The moldy taste from the prawn and mayonnaise sandwich, the lack of chicken in a chicken sandwich and the taste of satan’s asshole from a nakd bar.
Tom and Rachael were talking about beaches. An old man turned around, a man of sun and waves, started talking about grass and sand and sea in a Welsh beach. He has cancer and decided to stop over at the hospital before going on his journey to Newport when the sun rise. Newport is a town 3 to 4 hours away by foot. I could tell he drifted around and has done things like this before, and to him this is just another ordinary day -talking to a bunch of university students who had just witnessed a suicide attempt. He said he used to be a cop, and we talked about gun laws and the cases he has worked on. Guns, that shoot 44 bullets per second and murder cases where the defendants found a gray area of the law to comfortably sleep in before nestling himself in freedom. We ended up in an uneasy crossroads of the conversation on American politics. “Bernie Sanders is a socialist, America is not ready for him.” He reckoned Hillary Clinton was going to win, narrowing down all the states that would vote for her. ” And she’s also Bill Clinton’s wife.” I wanted to say something but I didn’t.
Despite his hatred for the complexities in American politics, his eyes lit up talking about America.
“Where was the most beautiful place you have ever been?”
“The Grand Canyon, there’s nothing quite like it.”
“Yeah, I heard it’s on some people’s bucketlist to see that place.”
He told me about the french quarters and jazz in New Orleans, how he used to drift in and out from beaches to woods, from cities to suburbs. From Portland to Wyoming. Now there he was, in a Welsh hospital, waiting on the sunrise to go to Newport. He has so much world in him.
It was 6am, the sun began to rise. He slung his backpack on a shoulder, and said “I should get going now.” He walked side by side and did a little dance before he waved.
He said,”When you’re as young like you are, everyday is a good day!”