Monday, 28 February 2011

Novel Extract pp.46-47 (unfinished/first draft)

For days I sat watching the turntable with record after record playing music through its scratchy sound. I heard a lot of early Beatles LP's and upon trying their patience by throwing myself against the wall and knocking myself unconscious three times, they changed it to Booker T and the MG's, only until they got me some later Beatles songs or maybe even some Dylan. But they never gave me what I wanted most of the time, and all I asked for was some good music – no Mozart no Beethoven, they said I'd heard too much of that and it had warped my cognitive thinking, by which they meant Mozart had driven me to the brink of madness and I had only Doctor to thank. D. was a Judas. He'd left me sitting in that room for so long, shivering with the cold, the room was just a while cube (the record player was black), and I began to believe, as no one came back, that I was in fact dead, and that I was either in Heaven or Hell, only I had to figure out when I died, up to which point in my life was I no longer living, and how it came to be that I was no longer of that world but another … It occurred to me, sitting in that room, as I then reverted to a lying-down position, that I was never alive at all, not really, my life (or whatever it was called) was just a moment of excess, a collection of drinks, pains, laughs and songs … I only had the fortune or un-fortune to experience such a moment in time because … Well, my parents had the displeasure of creating me … I then forgot, not that I knew, that I was not real, and so with being unreal, I was able to work a destructive way into myself, blind to the consequences, uncaring of anything beyond that life, for beyond it was a white room with a record player playing early Beatles songs, which go on and on and on, and you listen to them, without much of a care, because even this existence, though you may think in your head, is not real, because there is only you, and you are not there …

A woman came in. She had dirty blonde hair tied with a hairclip at the top of her head, I imagined wasn't very comfortable-looking, pulling the hair tight – everything about her seemed tight; I could snap her in two. She wore a white nurse's uniform. She pushed a metal trolley, on which sat a blue tissue with a large syringe filled with a pink-ish liquid, which she then squirted upwards to remove any air bubbles inside, which would give the recipient a heart attack if they actually reached the heart. She placed the needle back down. She read off a small chart that my ketone bodies were high (β[beta]-Hydroxybutyric acid, and Acetoacetic acid [CH3C(O)CH2CO2H], which, as an acid decomposes to both acetone and carbon dioxide like this: CH3C(O)CH2CO2H → CH3C(O)CH3 + CO2,), and that was a sign of ketosis from my not eating well, I was fasting, shall we say, and I had lost some weight, not a lot, just so you could see it in my cheeks. 'I did not see this as a problem per se, no, my dear, I was merely maintaining a disciplined regimen of meditation, like, aiding good health and spirit.'

'Okay,' she said. 'But, you see, you are quite underweight, and while you are here you must regain your physical health as well as your mental health.'

'Well, as I say, I was maintaining … '

'I heard, but you are wrong. You have done some damage to yourself. You are a sick boy.'

'I'm not a boy, I'm a man.'

'Yes, but you are a boy.

'Am I a real boy?'

'Look at yourself. Sitting there, legs crossed, listening to your records. Do you like how the record spins? Do you like it?'

'Don't patronise me.'

'I wasn't.'

'I want to leave this place right now.'

'I'm sorry, not just yet. The doctor would like to see you before you go.'

'Doctor. I hate the man. He is no Doctor! He is the Devil!'

'Yes yes, okay, my love, now I'll need to give you this needle.'

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