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in Limbo, in London

by Jwjwoodhouse 

Posted: 17 October 2009
Word Count: 1075
Summary: The only thing constant is change. Unfortunately, its all changing a little too fast for Will McWalter, a graduate who wakes up in hospital after a stab wound. Stabbed two days before he's due to go travelling, Will discovers that the cut is a little too deep. Embracing his death, Will, along with his killer find themselves in London, the capital of Purgatory. But with his flatemate murderer, a Sassy Rehab Councillor and the delays on the London Underground, will Will keep it together?

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I woke up in bed. In a hospital.
I remember sitting in my bed thinking how horrible Hospitals are. Theyíre buildings full of ever growing amounts of bad memories for everyone. I literally could never be a doctor, dealing with it day in, day out; And then to try and have a real life, knowing how mad it all is in the end. Imagine seeing death so often so as to numb to it. To make it almost frivolous. Make death something you can witness at work before going home and having sex with your girlfriend, maintaining both focus and a functionary erection. Iím not going to lie, Iíd find it difficult. As constant Nietzschaen reminders of my own mortality go, Iím not looking for a daily one. It would be a bit depressing, and could severely inhibit my social life.
The room I was in was beyond clinical. There was a white floor, white bed sheets and white pyjamas (where there wasnít my blood seeping through my bandages. I had a deep three inch slash horizontally across my stomach). I was even panelled off from the community of the ward behind a white curtain. There was nothing to do but think.
It was hard to think though. I didnít really want to remember what had just happened. I didnít want to remember partly because what Iíd just gone through was pretty horrific, and partly because I knew it was my fault. I can be so stupid sometimes. It just annoys me because I know that everyone is stupid sometimes, but that doesnít always lead them straight to bloody Casualty. It was just unfortunate chance, a bad hand dealt, which landed me in that hospital.
As a set of wheels in need of oiling moved from left to right under my curtain, carting off some invalid or other to an allocated treatment room, I thought about my room at home, in Cardiff. I thought how comfortingly different it was from these surroundings. Iíd grown up in that room, and returned there even through my Uni days. I thought about how everything you experience in a day, you take to your room at night. A good kiss, someone you donít like, an idea, a brilliant orgasm, a worry, something stupid someone did; all these things come into your room with you and your consciousness when you go to sleep, deposited in silted layers in a corner.
I thought how my room somehow represented a quick capsule review of my life. Sleeping when I shouldnít be. Work half done on my desk, squash spilled all over it in a drunken moment of inspiration. Unfulfilled potential, pictures of girlfriends, school results from the time before I gave in to the diversion tactics of vice. All the tools and talents but none of the care to even at least give myself the chance to be as good as everyone else.
All my books are in my bedroom as well. I used to read all the time. Now I have more time than I ever had to read, but I just canít seem to be bothered. Itís not enough for me in some weird way. I feel like, if I sit down to read a book, Iím wasting time. I should have a cigarette, or a drink, or the tele on, or just something that takes me away from the silence of doing nothing, sitting down, and reading a lifeless book. I never used to be like this. The nearest I get to books now is films, which is pathetic for an English Literature student to say, but it happens.
The last time I was in that room though, I felt stifled. It was ok though, because I was leaving. It was definitely the right time to go. Iíd been in that room for too long and after I graduated, I needed to get out. Iíd booked a ticket to go travelling but for that I needed money. It was inevitable that a graduate with an Arts degree was going absolutely nowhere in the Credit Crunch, so travelling seemed like another good way not to join the real world quite yet and still treat everything on the surface of the Earth like it was there for my own ends.
So Iíd tirelessly laid tables for six months in La Floredita, a UK chain of overpriced tapas, taken in multiple amounts of abuse and luckily, been paid handsomely not throwing a paella at anybody. The tips were good and in six months I had enough to pay off my parents for the round the world ticket theyíd bought me, with money left over to spend while I was away in the South East Pacific, my first port of call.
With the thought of the World ahead that room, and my memories, seemed suddenly insignificant. I think it was one of the first times Iíd ever thought how small it seemed, the idea of Me. I had a world in front of me that had no idea I was on my way to crash into it. I was excited with trepidation, eager with fear, relishing in the anticipation of what I would become a part of.
Itís very easy to get comfortable I think, in a job, in a place, with a person. Because when you shun those things that you have held so centrally in your life, and realise you function perfectly well without them, the pillars of your life and what you call meaning, shatter around you, with you still standing. It defies everything you originally assumed. It would be own little version of Copernicus coming in and bursting the Catholic Churchís bubble, changing it forever with one sentence. Imagine having to say to the Pope, ďSorry mate, youíre barking up the wrong tree.Ē Not that the Pope would ever bark.
Anyway, I was ready for everything to be shattered. I didnít want to stay in this purple haze of indecision. I wanted out. I wanted new. I didnít know what new would be, but that was even better. I just wanted to grab hold of something and relish it, rather than liking the idea of it while I was falling asleep in my room and then forgetting about it.
Those were my thoughts as I fell asleep in that hospital bed.

Any comments whatsoever are appreciated guys, thanks so much for taking the time to read,

Kind Regards,

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Comments by other Members

Jwjwoodhouse at 10:57 on 18 October 2009  Report this post
Hi Naomi thanks ever so much for reading. Glad you liked it. I think the idea of Will being confused is represented by this eclectic mix of thoughts within the first couple of pages. I'm trying to get at the idea the idea that he's a very intelligent person, but without direction, something which will be addressed on his journey through the novel. I have signed up to join the novel group now so hopefully I will get some more feedback and develop the plot. thanks again,

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