A Nurse in the Fog

(Not sure how to introduce this one.  It’s not my usual stuff.  Let’s just call it something weird I threw together over the last couple of days)

The room is strangely but thankfully quiet.  The old man next to me, on the other side of a thin curtain, must have settled.  In my mind, he is a thousand miles away.  The regular bustle of the room and the hall outside has passed into a distant drone, like a dream fading from memory after waking.  Passively, I feel like calmness has transcended the world.

I lay in a bed, fatigued but unable to sleep.  My thoughts are sluggish and without focus; a break from the boredom I am unable to appreciate.  It feels almost like time has slowed to keep pace with me.

I am not sure when she arrived or how long she has been there, but a young nurse stands at the end of my bed.  I cannot make out her features, as if she were backlit.  She is young with shoulder length hair, though I cannot make out the colour.  She stands very still and silent.

I blink.  She is gone.  It is the mildest shock, more like confusion.

The moment passes.  The bubble of tranquility breaks.  The sounds, smells and motion of reality surge back in.  There is not much space in the room, and a quick looks confirms the nurse is gone.  A moment later, I feel strangely self-conscious about the encounter; as though fragments of that calm, peaceful moment linger about me.

This nurse visits me several times during my stay.  Sometimes, she holds my hand or feels my forehead.  Each time, she disappears moments after I become aware of her.  She always takes the calm with her; though I am too overwhelmed in those moments to realise it.  The echoes of recollection are surreal despite the simplicity of the encounters.

The nurse is not real.  She is a concoction of my mind, distilled from a mix of insomnia, drugs and suffering; a nearly comforting hallucination.  Still, she was quite real in those brief moments.

I return home.  The nurse no longer visits.  I am glad to leave her behind. Perhaps she will visit others there.

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