Intoxicated

A storm woke me up very early in the morning. I could say it was early as I couldn’t smell coffee, but the skies were already lit up. I stretched my arm towards the bedside table to get my watch and check the time, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe I left it in the bathroom yesterday. I heard thunder and heavy rain, splashing in the puddle that would always appear right under my window in such weather. I wanted to get up and look outside, but I couldn’t. As if there was something holding me back. I thought I still might have been dreaming, so I collapsed back in the sheets and waited consciously a couple of minutes. Meanwhile I contemplated the weather and its effects on human beings.

I found the traffic unusually busy. I thought that an accident must have happened nearby as I heard the cars going all the same direction. I heard sirens. Some of them had sirens. I wondered what was happening out there under my window. I strengthened my body and tried to get up, but I barely moved my head up. Maybe I was too weak, either in body, or in mind, or in both of them. Maybe I was still dreaming, but I wanted to check the time and look outside. I tried to reach the other side of the bed, but there was no other side of the bed. I was in a different bed. I opened my eyes and realised I was in hospital. Apparatus were looking at me how I was entangled in tubes. No coffee, no watch, sirens. Different puddle, different road, different view. At least I was still in London, I could smell it. Fish and chips and curry.

When I woke up again, the nurse was checking on me. She gauged my blood pressure and brought biscuits and milk, but I didn’t feel like drinking milk. Actually, I didn’t feel like eating at all. They said I fainted in my flat and that I was very lucky that my friend Frannie was worried about me and called a locksmith to break the door. I was spending a lot of time with Frannie recently. She’s been my best friend for years. After Marion left me, she’d call every day and Sundays she’d take me out to the markets to buy sourdough bread and some nice wine. She knew I had a thing for fresh bread and nice wine.

‘Can I call Frannie, nurse?’

‘Sure. Your phone’s there in the table cupboard by your bed.’

I had a good time on the line, but as soon as I hung up, I felt like shit again. I missed Marion. I wanted her to come, but I know she wouldn’t.

After fifteen hospital dishes and various examinations, the doctors still didn’t know the reason of why I was so weak and dizzy, but they said I was definitely getting better. I also remembered how I fainted. I was reading a poetry collection that I found attached to the newspaper once. All wrapped up, cuddling the duvet, I suddenly felt somehow soul-less. I had to put the book down in the box under the bed where other books I didn’t want to read again rested. I felt pity to throw them away. A cloud of dust rose up from under my bed. I was about to get a glass of water, but instead I fell on the floor. I remember lying there for hours, half asleep, half awake, being afraid of staying there forever and not seeing Marion again.

On Sunday Frannie came over. She’d just been to the markets and brought me some sourdough bread and fresh apple juice. Oh how much I loved Frannie and the way she cared about me. She overheard the doctors saying that it seemed that I was intoxicated and that my level of serotonin was very low but they still didn’t know what the illness was exactly. I told Frannie I already wanted to go home, but she said I better stay for a couple more days, till the doctors knew what was really going on. Most of those days I spend reading and looking out the window.

When I got bored of the window view, the nurse came around with a box of chocolates and told me that I was ready to go home. The doctor gauged my heart beat with the stethoscope for the last time and said I was in my whole sound, that there was nothing to worry about. I also got a report to read and keep. I packed all of my stuff in one of those boxes as they do in the movies when they’re fired and slowly walked out of the hospital. As I was waiting for my bus, I had a quick look at the report. I didn’t understand most of the stuff, but there was one thing that seemed very clear to me. One of the brackets said: Reason for hospitalisation – lovesick. I was love intoxicated. Well, at least it was nothing serious.

Daniela Kankova is a realistic dreamer and discoverer with Czech artistic roots. She likes morning coffees and evening wines and meanwhile she likes to write, poetry and fiction.

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Wells Street Journal

The Wells Street Journal is a publication by the students of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Westminster. It is a diverse collection of writing with London as our inspiration.