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World Loneliness

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World loneliness

Everyday in the afternoon John sits in his bed for an hour as the doctor had instructed. He looks from the window and describes the outside world to his friend, Charles. In one of Kuwait's hospitals there were two old patients who shared a room 104. My duty as a Nurse was to look after them, namely bathe, feed and clean them. I did have help from another colleague called Chuppy who used to cover for me in my absence. Chuppy is late fifty's and single and his work is the only thing that keeps him going. In the one hour we end up meeting while shifts crossing over, he will always talk about work and his entire shift and nothing else. He would never fail to talk about Charles and John and how their day went. It seemed as if he did not watch television and the room 104 was his entertainment center. For all I cared, I knew they would be cared for in my absence and not mark my record down for these two guys.

Thinking about John and Charles, old age certainly had taken a toll on them. Of all the issues that came with John, he was only able to sit for one hour a day. Charles on the other hand had a spine surgery and could not move from his bed. Recovery was a very long road. These two men had no relatives or friends who would come to visit. Overall they were good people and had formed a bond amongst themselves.

John and Charles spend most of their time speaking and chatting with each other while we stood there and watched. I quite often watched them laughing over a joke or sharing their past. The only peculiar thing about them was when John would sit up for one-hour everyday! In this hour John would sit facing the window and keep talking to Charles. In this one-hour they always looked like they were not hospital patients but two old friends enjoying time in a park bench. It almost seemed like breaking their sanctity when I went to lay John back to his bed. This is why in that one hour I would try to keep away from them as much as possible.

Despite the bitterness of the treatment and the medication they opened their hearts to each other. Their conversations were from the depth of their hearts they shared their Intimate feelings to each other. To entertain themselves and survive in this empty room they had to go along with the journey, the journey of faith.

As everyday in the afternoon John sat in his bed as the doctor instructed and would start narrating the world outside the window. John always heard Charles complains about his clinical situation and his spine surgery. Charles was very eager to get out in the world and start his job back. Was it compassion or pity that got John closed to Charles is hard to say, but the daily routine of describing the world outside the window continued without fail. One of those days I had heard John talk about the vibrant colors and scenes outside the window. The look on Charles face at that instance felt like he was actually able to see all that was being described from John's eyes.

The journey of that afternoon had begun and John started to enumerate the things he saw outside the window. And he started telling Charles about the amazing big lake that he sees with the wonderful black swans that had just flown down. He spoke of the children that were making small paper boats with different bright colors. He spoke of parents teaching their children how to swim. How the birds of one tree had started to fly down to take their places in their branches. He started naming each bird based on the name he had given to each branch. The lowest branch I surely knew was called Charlie, rest was difficult to keep track off.

On another day he was speaking of a man who was renting small boats to families and how much he was enjoying his work. Describing the smiles on the faces of little children when he handed them a balloon along with their life vests.

Charles used to frequently ask for more details so that he could imagine a clearer picture in his mind and John always grudgingly obliged. However even Charles knew that John always loved telling him about what's happening outside irrespective of those nudges Charles kept throwing. Charles thought of John as a great storyteller.

In the summer John used to describe all the people that would crowd the lake. John would try to describe each and everyone he saw with



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