Pain

[A Short Story]

 

Some say it is like giving birth to a child, some say it is worse _it is just horrible. Trying to push small pieces of stone out of your bladder, you would beg for the yellow drops of urine come after being frightened by seeing the painful red drops of blood dancing in the water in the toilet bowl. You would beg for it to come, for something that on a typical day you would flush down the toilet with disgust. I would have wished for death if I didn’t know it could be even more painful.

Pain… That mystical force behind everything. Sickness, old age, death, and pain.

And now…

What a day, and what a horrible night that followed… I remember the radiology room. How can I forget! Waiting for over an hour for my turn to come. I was there much earlier than most of the people in the waiting room, but they had to be treated first; emergency cases, they called them. I watched a pale young man in a wheelchair being carried in by a nurse. There were a man and a woman with him. The woman _could be his mother_ gave the young pail bag of bones a warm smile while he was waiting to go to the MRI room. A warm smile, as if it was his birthday. What else could she do! My first guess was that he had cancer. But I overheard that he had epilepsy. I couldn’t guess how long he had been sick, but he looked half dead. I thought I could even smell the dead flesh on his gray skin if I took a deep breath.

The door opened. An old woman in a wheelchair was carried out and was taken out of the waiting room into the corridor. Before the gray bones being taken inside, she couldn’t wait to throw up. The old woman in black crouched inside as if she was hiding herself being overtaken with the rush of pain, shame, and disgust. But the nurses and the doctors didn’t rush for anything. The nurses behind the reception desk were busy going through a long list before them with their stone faces. Oh, I hated those faces. There are nurses here who have nose jobs and wear thick layers of make-up as if they are invited to a party or something. What are you assholes celebrating?!

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But again, what could they do? How different could they be?

“I see two thousands of these every day!” That was what a nurse told me when he was changing the clothes I had to wear before going to the operation room. I hid my genitals, but he pushed my hands aside and said: “don’t worry, there’s nobody here; nobody is watching, and I see two thousands of these every day!” He was right. I was being seen by nobody. He had become nobody after all. His words made me relieved; less self-conscious perhaps. I didn’t care anymore if he saw my penis or my ass. He saw two thousands of these every day! Good; I’m still pure and untouched, like a diamond that has never seen the light!

But I still hate them! Especially the doctors. Wait, no! I love the doctors! I adore them! They are so almighty and amazing! They have all the power in their hands. They have my life to spare or take. And above all, they have no mercy, no mercy at all! They are in need of nobody, but they nourish on the sacrifices that the poor wretched people offer to their altars. They are up there like Yhwh in the temple of Jerusalem.  And the force is so so so strong in them. Hail ye the doctors who have the force in thine hands, please save this poor wretched soul that I am!

I walked across the room to pour myself a glass of cold water. The gray bones had gone inside. The old lady’s shoulders were shivering as if she was sobbing. I could see nothing of her face. The mother of the bones was standing behind the closed doors with tears in her eyes that she tried so hard not to be shed. The stone nurses where coming and going, sometimes bringing another almost dead person in. The dying people were still waiting before the reception desk. At that moment I heard the scream. “Isn’t there even a nurse in this fucking hospital to help?!” I rushed out of the door to see what was going on. A big young man was yelling, asking for help for a tiny old woman _perhaps his mom_ who was twisting with pain. The security guards rushed to control the young man whose face was red with anger. And the nurses went to treat the old woman. I went back inside. I still could hear the young man yelling gibberish. It had run out of novelty for me. Oh, if he would just shut up! As if he was the only one in this hospital who has a dying mother. My own mother died while giving birth to a younger sibling. She died with the pain quite similar to the one I was going to undergo. She died to be natural, to complete the curse of nature, because “being natural is always the righteous way.”

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The door opened. It was my turn to go in. A stone nurse called me over with her cold voice. I thought “what was I doing there anyway?!” At least I could walk in on my two feet. What was the rush for my dear almighty doctor to operate me? The will, the will to money, I suppose.

I stepped in; like a chicken walking into a slaughterhouse on its own feet to have its head cut off, I stepped in to be sacrificed on the altar of money. They had me laid in that white coffin, and then an ice cold voice ordered “Take a deep breath,” and I had to take a deep breath.

And now…

Mom oh mom, couldn’t you live a little bit longer? Wasn’t it better if I died while you were giving birth to me? Because I almost died giving birth to these stones.

Huh… Taking a deep breath now. Yeah, life is beautiful. How much time to the next one to come?

_Hi dad. It’s all done. A nurse is coming to take off the serum.

_Alright. Good job. Now come and help me with my shirt, will you?

Come and help me put my shirt on. Just don’t ask me any questions. I hate to confess I was being natural too. The pain, shame, and disgust that I have.

 

17/6/93 – Karaj

Pain
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