White uniforms, it used to be. Not now. In the hospital grounds, in the ED, in the wards, and floating the halls are the colours supposed to calm, soothe, ease the pain of the souls who enter within the timelessness of hospital care.
Matters not what brought them there, matters not that they must walk through the fog of smokers with drips and drags, matters not that the screaming of children and frail oldies turns away those who might need a true reflection of stillness and quiet time.
Hospital is not where you go, apparently, to rest and repair. It is a place to fix ’em and ditch ’em, and let the next one in, thanks.
The sick person enters, unable to walk upright, or too dizzy to walk straight or see signs or recognise who is real, or the person too dazed by the dangling limb and spilling blood to hear the instructions, let alone place the mask.
And they stare, not at him, but at the wound. Snap, snap, snap of pics taken for posterity. They stare, and scroll, and take his misery to sell.
What do they see?
The wreckage. Blood, dark on the pale floor. The green of a slimy pool, the green of lost youth, that green besmirched by the life blood that pours forth and splatters the watchers, chases those who dance quickly away, to get distance from the mangled and messy business.
The things he sees as he cries out for help, as he falls to his knees, are not the people with the flashes of light. What he sees, these are the white demons, the ghosts of the place, those who invite him to partake of their version of this world.
No, don’t look at them, don’t see them, don’t respond. The first time is the last time, not like experimenting with drugs or boozing too hard. These ones don’t let go. They hold onto you if you look at them, they follow you into the depths of the place, the bowels, and they laugh at your attempt to pull back to the yellow light, the green floor, the fog of cigarettes.
They are the white ones, the demons who offer peace, no price to pay … up front.
Sorry, it just slipped out. Maybe I’ve spent too much time at those places.