The night was awful. Nightmarish. I didn’t attempt to sleep until close to midnight. The sounds around me of old men in pain or discomfort were psychologically disturbing.
I could understand why. I think some of my humanity was stripped away by my experience in the evening, when I insisted on taking a shower. This meant being assisted into the shower, with nurse Breena holding my piss bag and tubes, while I wheeled the drip stand, holding two big three liter fluid bags that were constantly flushing my bladder.
There’s a strange kind of intimacy between a shattered man and any woman standing in for mother, helping him to peel off a blood-soaked hospital gown, paying no attention to his penis, sprouting the obscene catheter tube branching out into three–the input, the output, and the capped channel used to inflate and deflate the saline-filled balloon in the bladder that keeps the whole thing in place.