Sitting Coldly

in #fiction13 days ago

The light filtered through the skylight above, giving a warm glow to what was otherwise a cold space. The kind of environment where well-intentioned bad news was delivered on a daily basis to people who were hoping for the best for themselves, but in the back of the thoughts they tried to ignore, feared the worst.

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He sat waiting, looking around the space for something of interest to take his mind away from the fears threatening to slip through the cracks of inattention and into consciousness. Cold posters, warning of risks of infection, to stay vigilant, keep distance. Informative and heartless, lacking the warmth and compassion the uncertainty required. Nothing to put a heart at ease.

It is not that the furnishings were uncomfortable, as the decoration had been built for function, heavy usage and longevity, it was just that for the short periods that a person utilized the space, there was little to bring comfort, no warmth other than the natural light falling from above.

Falling light. Perhaps this was an apt metaphor to represent the moment. Better times, lighter times, now dropping into the shadows. The depth of which are yet to be revealed. At times, there seems that there is no floor, no end to the sink that keeps pulling life into it until its mass is so dense, it has a gravity so strong, it pulls the lives of others in too. A blackhole of experience into which the falling light has little chance of escape.

It was early and there were no others waiting, yet a receptionist sat tapping at a keyboard, busy doing what she had to do when there was nothing else to do. She must have felt eyes on her and she paused momentarily and glanced over her screen and met the eyes of the man. He smiled weakly, she looked down and continued on, her expression unyielding. The will of the decoration had pervaded the souls of those who spent too long in its presence. Cold. Disconnected.

He had never accepted why so many people seemed incapable of compassion or even common courtesy. He understood why, but the how they can actually being themselves to treat others as invisible takes a robotic unawareness, an avoidance of what makes us who we are, a denial of humanity. He believed it a hard life to be unfeeling, even though he valued the control over emotion so that it is an advisor, not a dictator.

Yet, he also understood why people avoided facing reality as it can be crushing at times. With all the opportunity for beauty and love, so much of the world is ugly and painful and at the times where one negative follows another and then another, it is easy to lose sight of what is good and feel that the difficult is all there is.

He had felt he had been in this tunnel for far too long, drawn in further and deeper into a widening void. As much as he had tried to escape, each clawing attempt to escape seemed to be met with twice the force in the other direction, the scraping sound of life being unwillingly consumed, almost audible.

He waited patiently, running the spectrum of scenarios quickly through his mind, trying to focus on the best, but inevitably being pulled into the worst. Well, the worst his mind would allow him to imagine at least. Things can always be worse than that, double, triple or more than what we knowingly create.

It wouldn't be long now until he knew either way, whether the latest attempts to escape would be rewarded or today's news would be another step into the rising darkness.

This was a good point. Is the light falling or the dark rising? Is it he that is stepping or is he standing still and the universe is shifting along a conveyor belt of time and space, uncertain of which direction the production line runs. Evolution and improvement or devolution and regression.

Silly thoughts, he mused, as it assumed there was an order, a consciousness involved with the organizational of life, rather than the chaos that he tried to order the best he could, largely falling short and finding all who understood far too limited to believe in a meaning.

Movement caught his eye and she walked from the corridor, the natural light raising a glow in her hair, raising his hope momentarily until his eyes caught hers and his heart dropped into the pit of his stomach, splashing into the abyss.

The cold of the room felt right.

Taraz
[ Gen1: Hive ]

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A perfect description of how a hospital sitting feels like. Cold. A lot of the staff is detached, performing various tasks almost robotic and lifeless. I think that working in such a place is hard and I do wish we could see more smiles of compassion regardless of the struggle.
Being sick in a hospital can take your thinking to unimaginable depths. Illness can force you to go deeper within somehow, if you are ready and willing.

A lot of the staff is detached, performing various tasks almost robotic and lifeless.

I think it is partly due to desensitization and also self protection. Dealing with the ill daily must suck a lot of the time.

Dealing with the ill daily must suck a lot of the time.

I wonder why do they pick the job in the first place then?

Perhaps they want to help, but it wears them down. Most teachers seem to be the same.

I never liked sitting idle in the waiting room of the hospital. It's bad enough that I am ill. Then I have to wait for my turn/results to come. Waiting is irritating.

And then I start noticing people who are more ill than me. Who are more suffering. Imagining about their life, how they are handling things, I often get lost there. And forget about my pain/suffering.

I have a habit of thinking about the people's life when I am waiting somewhere, and there are a number of people around me.

Looking at someone, I often think about -> is that person happy or not? Has that person figured about his life or just lost in the crowd that keeps him pushing.

Lol, got this habit from my college days, used to travel through the bus. It took about 2 hours each side. Would often see people travelling frustrated to their work, lazy, happy, angry etc.
And then I would try to guess, why's he behaving like that. What's bothering him?

If there is happiness on someone's face, I would often ask myself what would that person have figured out that other's have failed to do.

Waiting somewhere was boring for me. But whenever I get lost in this imagination, it's fun🙂

And then I start noticing people who are more ill than me. Who are more suffering. Imagining about their life, how they are handling things, I often get lost there. And forget about my pain/suffering.

Maybe this is the upside of seeing others suffer, as it gives us some perspective. I find that in these scenarios, no matter how bad things are for me, I get the sense that I am more capable to deal with it than others - true or not.

If there is happiness on someone's face, I would often ask myself what would that person have figured out that other's have failed to do.

Smile. It will make people wonder what you have been up to.

I find that in these scenarios, no matter how bad things are for me, I get the sense that I am more capable to deal with it than others - true or not.

Lol, I am opposite. I get frustrated a lot. The first thought that comes to my mind is "this sucks" and "this should not be happening to me".
Then I calm down after a bit. But the first thought is always, I can't handle this.😅

I really liked the end, morbid I suppose, but it leaves me wondering, who she was. A good ending hook for a sequel or follow up to the story. Was it a lady doctor, his wife, daughter, mother, girlfriend?

Are they coming to pass bad news to him about someone else, and not about themselves or them?

I was able to hear and understand some of his thoughts, you did great setting the scene up and leaving us to wonder what the issue is, what the response will be.

Enough holes were left for us to fill in, to want to be filled in, yet also complete enough by itself to be a nice read.

Was it a lady doctor, his wife, daughter, mother, girlfriend?

I have the answer, but it isn't for me to give, it is for you to decide.

Enough holes were left for us to fill in, to want to be filled in, yet also complete enough by itself to be a nice read.

Thank you. Space is important.

The dreaded room. It tried to be comfortable, but, came off cold and unfeeling. Do you think they know? Do they even care?

Yes. They probably really do, but, there is a piece of them held back. It is what is taught in school and it probably sounds harsh, but, clinical detachment serves as a protective mechanism for dealing with a job where emotions run high. You already run a risk of burnout early on if you cannot learn to do that. Do they care? Probably more than most would guess, despite what it looks like. Then, after giving people crap news, they get to go home and bawl. Far and away from the crowd.

On days where they get to share good news, it's always a good day.

This was such a superb write and it was so spot-on, it gave me chills. You are a master.

It is a difficult job to deal with the worst moments in people's lives daily. The person being dealt with changes constantly of course, but the issues remain the same. One of my friends is a heart surgeon that specializes in the worst cases, due to high skill. They lose about half their patients - yet has to daily understand the odds of survival and come to terms with having it all literally in their hands.

Have you noticed that a lot of surgeons have escapist addictions?

Yes. Actually, I do. It's really a coping mechanism otherwise the depressing facts would do them in.

Thanks for the always thought-provoking posts.

Why do people pick a job like that? I can say that many are idealists.

I agree. I know several nurses and doctors who are very close to our family (family too) and they are generally not the most unfeeling people, quite the opposite. Yet, they have to create a separation, otherwise they will be consumed.

I think teachers are often idealists too, wanting to make a difference in an institution that rarely supports them.

I agree with you on both counts. I will say that I have the utmost respect for educators and even more when homeschooled for a short time. Although not the same as teaching under an institution, you are still responsible for that human being(s) and that thought ran my blood cold. What if I didn't do it right? What if they didn't test well, would it reflect on me and my lack of skills?

So many things. It was actually then that I realized just how much they were undervalued. My three kids did well and I can remember going to bed at night, hoping I would fail to teach a first grader, where all the foundational things are taught and learned. I said this all wrong, a busy day today, but, didn't want to leave it as it might be forgotten or buried.

Thanks again for treating each comment like it's the only one you get. You are awesome.

Written so beautifully and powerfully that I started imagining the entire scenario with much clarity. From chaos into something deeper 🥺💕 I've felt that when when aren't finding enough driving forces around us and world seems like an unending dark tunnel and then a hope pops up making our lives comparatively better, bringing orderliness. Though that hope or that person was the reason of the darkness and chaos in my life.
Your write ups are amazing Sir 💗 hope you get better health so we get to read more of such quality content.

I've felt that when when aren't finding enough driving forces around us and world seems like an unending dark tunnel and then a hope pops up making our lives comparatively better, bringing orderliness.

this might be the way it often goes and I wonder how many times in life we find some spark of hope to cling to, that carries us a little further and helps us survive.

Couldn't agree more sir 💕🥺

Even in massage school we were taught to remain detached from our clients as a means of protecting ourselves from getting burned out. I can still remember the instructor using the phrase 'Stay in your own canoe'. There are a lot of people who have a lot of different issues.
Your writing constantly amazes me.

Did you find it easy or difficult to disconnect?

It was difficult, but when you are stuck in a room with a needy client for an hour and instead of relaxing they choose to use the time like a therapy session and tell you all of their woes, it is sometimes necessary to be detached. Of course I listened and hoped it helped them to talk about their problems, but I needed to not take it on, so that I wasn't bringing a load of negatively to my next client.

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 12 days ago  Reveal Comment

How much warmth does a person need in order to deal with the cold of life? There must be a point where it is not enough to survive.