The City Sleeps. I Don’t…

Another sleepless night. Another night where the loudest thing in the city are my thoughts, and the occasional wail of a passing siren. As I sit beneath the veil of darkness, slowly consuming from my tea cup, my broken mind navigates the catacombs of memory. My mind has become an ossuary crafted from experience. On this night, like so many before it, I remember the dead. No matter how I try to detach myself from this macabre frame of thought, the ghosts usually win, and I am left remembering them. Seeing their faces through the shadows. Even if I turn the lights on around me, they then burn themselves onto my eyes, and fill my surroundings. They are impossible to forget. Witnessing faces grimace and contort with pain of both physical, and emotional, is a sight not easily forgotten. Especially when it has been consumed copiously.


As the numbers on the clock change, I am made aware that time is passing. Yet I am stuck in thought. Stuck in a different time. In a different place. A place where time stands still, and the dead are alive…


On the menu of memory tonight: suicides. Served not at all rare. But instead, plentiful. As a medic, I have been on the scene of more suicides that I would care to admit. I hated them. They were always uncomfortable calls to respond to. I suppose the first suicide that comes to mind when I try to think on it, is of a family friend – Luc. I never witnessed nor responded to his suicide however, I was too young. But my mother’s reaction to it? That I remember. That I was there for.


From there, it sort of becomes a blur with only a few stand-out’s. One suicide melting into the other. Their faces though – I remember them. All of them…


The look of the dead is an odd sight to see. I have seen bodies that lay still with a type of surprise glazed to their final expression.  Eyes open. Eyes closed. Different stages of decay. Some bloated, some not. Some horrifyingly grotesque in scent, and equally as horrid in sight. The look of the dead, is an odd-sight-to see…


In twenty-three-days, I will be forced to recall another life cut short from darkness – Greg. A former paramedic, and preserver of life, who took his own after saving so many. Maybe too many? …


It’s the start of a new year. Yet thoughts of old remain. This is just part of me now. Woven in the fabric of who I am. It is something that I have to live with. No matter how many times I ring in a, Happy New Year. The thing about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is that it does not care what year it is. It does not comply to the time-honoured tradition of the holidays. It offers you no reprieve nor rest. There is no closure, despite the past-tense. There are only nights like tonight; ones spent alone. Even if you are around company. This is something I am learning to live with. Day by day…


Through my chosen professions, and now with the sudden and unexpected passing of my mother, my mum, a whole has been left inside of me. A gaping, cavernous void. Perhaps a whole that may have always been there? Only, it has grown in depth and size as I traveled from one trauma, to the next. I have tried many things to fill this empty space: booze, drugs, pills, women that are mine for only a night, and even eye-balling someone to see if I can start a fight. Nothing satiates the pain. Nothing… Another thing that I am just beginning to learn. Day by day.


I have been typing for long enough now to have witnessed as the blackened night sky transitioned into the bluish hue of early morning. The roadways are alive with passing cars and heavy busses. A new day. For me, especially on nights, well, mornings such as these, the days, much like the suicides, melt from one into the other.


Tuesday, the day of the dead. The dead that only I can see…


My tea cup is empty, and I have nothing more to say. So, for now I will leave it at this – good morning.

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