The world begins and ends with an orgasm. Not mine, but yours.

This, the dreams and desires of a syphilitic science fiction writer, is just about all you can stomach to read on your deathbed. It is depressing, I know.

You tell me the nurse who takes care of you looks like an octopus with hair. When she walks in, I tell her you said that. After giggling, she cuts off your morphine and rips up the issue of True Detective I brought for you.

It sort of makes me laugh because you always swore you wouldn’t let them put you on any sort of meds if you were in the hospital. Oh, but there you were, letting them drug you almost to death. You get pissed when Nurse Octopi cuts off the morphine. What happened to staying pure? Whatever, right?

The angels don’t give a shit about what’s in your blood. Or what kind of sickness you had.

It’s a sleeping sickness.

I get cold when I am tired. My uncle also had this problem but only when he was drunk. When I sleep (and when I am drunk), my face turns blue and I tremble. Those who witness this for the first time have woken me up, threatening to call an ambulance. “I’m not getting in one of those machines!” I yell.

I was in an ambulance only once – the night my parents committed me. I had halfheartedly attempted suicide so they drove me a hospital. There I was confronted by an ugly, middle-aged hospital psychologist who tried to pry me open psychologically to find the source of my action, the source of the incident.

To this day I’m not sure why I just didn’t make some shit up. You know, something like, “I’m so overwhelmed at the nothingness of life,” or something equally stupid. If I had done so, maybe I would’ve been sent home where I could have watched some Night Court instead of being sent to that place.

But I wouldn’t budge, wouldn’t tell the bitch my insignificant reasons for taking the pills and so I was taken to that place, a special hospital where they took me to the empty kitchen and checked me for distinguishing marks, cuts, burns, etc. They didn’t notice the faint knife scars on my thighs. Stupid bastards.

My first roommate in the hospital was a young boy who heard voices. We cleaned our room immaculately and earned an extra half hour past bed time. I watched television, not paying attention to it at all.

My second roommate was a lazy fuck who reminded me of my uncle. He wouldn’t get out of a bed. There was no television in the room and he had no books that I could see. So what did he do all day? I don’t know. Masturbate? Maybe. One night he poured water on my pillow while I was in the bathroom. When he saw my only reaction was a bored shrug, he gave me one of his pillows. What was the point of the joke if he was just going to replace what he messed with? Stupid bastard.

In that short time I managed to scribble down some documentation of my experiences. It was mainly shit about insects and walls, or eyes in the walls or something. What I do remember is that everything kept changing from present tense to past tense as if I couldn’t help but drift off into the future.

My arm is tired now, my brain crackles. I can hardly read what I have written. This isn’t a surprise; my handwriting is terrible but right now it is a long string of shit, covered in obscene ink smears: deep blue genitalia over ugly yellow pulp.

I’m in bed, attempting to lull myself into vivid dreams. Random images/words and ghosts of scenes: names of household objects, names of childhood friends, celebrities, cities, situations, half-imagined placement of people and furniture (scenes of my life that probably never occurred though I wonder: if I imagine it enough times and develop emotional reactions to the scenes, how imaginary are they? Do they come any closer to becoming real? I think my ramblings about reality are useless anyway. While I am writing this, I am drinking vodka. That I can say for sure is real. The memory of vodka is real.)

Something up there is a lie.

I move my eyeballs from left to right in swift movements in order to jump start the dream process. I lay on my back in fear of being stabbed. If I lay on my stomach, someone might come in and shove a knife into me: violent bedtime sodomy. I’ve always had the fear of being stabbed in the back. Pissing at a urinal is a harrowing experience for me.

I am here in my bed. The blanket will not protect me. Life is dangerous and I am in danger. The world begins and then it ends.

It’s a sleeping sickness.

"Sick Room Needs"

Copyright: © 2010 Jordan Krall

Jordan Krall is the author of Piecemeal June, Squid Pulp Blues, Fistful of Feet, King Scratch, Blow Up the Outside World (co-written with Ash Lomen), and Beyond the Valley of the Apocalypse Donkeys.  His books can be found on

1 comment:

  1. Pretty life, isn't it. I like the switch of focus, at the beginning, speaking outside one's self, to the end in narrative. The repition of sleeping sickness reinforced the theme.
    Nice penning.