Two mildly melancholy things today, actually three.
First, I am sitting here in the ED, alone, like a gull on a rock, and "the box" has just gone off. "The box" is the means by which the various ambulances communicate with the various hospitals.
About fifty kilometres from here, and in transit to the hospital where I used to work, an ambulance is driving through the night. They have a forty two year old man, who an unspecified length of time ago took ninety tablets of a tricyclic antidepressant, with the intention of dying. He has some alcohol on board. The tablets, say the ambos, have already begun their work. His heart-rate is one hundred and twenty, he is confused, his speech is slurred. He may or may not survive.
Here, by the by, is a link to an article detailing drug and alcohol abuse amongst ambulance drivers in Sydney.
Years ago, it seems, this happened to me. The whole thing. I still get slightly sick when I see the dull, mustard yellow tablets.
The thought, this late at night, strikes me. Radio-waves travel at the speed of light. Time has slowed to a stop for them, they do not grow old, as we who are left grow old. If there was some... sloppiness, some slipping of standards, some near-enough-is-good-enough attitude on behalf of the radio photons, then... then they would travel slightly faster or slower than light. Then they could then travel forward, or maybe backward in time - my grasp of physics is not what it once was. Then that ambulance call, just heard by me could actually have been about me, years ago.
Hmmm. A grim mood, evidently.
A tricyclic. They aren't really composed of thousands upon thousands of impenetrable spheres of blackness. They're just drawn that way.
What has brought this on is, as I have said, one of my best friends is in hospital. There are multiple impediments in the way of me ever telling more than the briefest outline of the story, but something like what I just heard on the radio is involved. I have been in and out of the hospital - ED, ICU, renal, soon psych - for a week or so.
What else has contributed to the mood? I got involved, which I normally don't, in a facebook discussion about religion. It was an ever so slight variation on the traditional, utterly, utterly utterly futile discussion, because this time there was a graph that could be produced - somebody's recently done research that seemed to show that religious belief itself may become extinct within a matter of... some years.
The person who posted the link to the graph said that this was certainly what he hoped happened, and a sizeable number of other people liked it, and several said it couldn't come soon enough for their liking, and overall there was much rejoicing. And I, the token quietly religious person among the group, sat and read it and wondered what all of this meant.
ECG leads B and C are given as diagrammatic solutions to the common question "how bad can things get, anyway?"
Things like this, of course, would not normally get to me, or (to be frank) be read by me. But today they did.
And last of all, I found (via one of my favourite writers), a poem by someone called Gabe Moses. I don't know Gabe Moses, but to be honest, Gabe Moses started out ahead of the pack with me because of his/her name, and it just got better from there.
Here is the link.
It's beautifully written, and about damage, and love, and what we are and what we are not. If anyone likes it, or even if they don't, I am going to link to more poetry later. Read it.
Anyway. More, and less melancholy, later on. I have an appointment with Doctor Tesla, my precisely-spoken and vaguely grasshopperian psychiatrist, within the fortnight.
Thanks for listening,