Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 5:04 pm

What it means to be useful

I’m calmer now.  Part of that might be because the doctor is curled up in the corner, whimpering and shivering.  He’s going through withdrawal.  I feel sorry for him, but I don’t know how much of that is guilt over shouting at him yesterday.  I want to be sympathetic to his pain, but it’s hard.  I keep remembering the girl with the empty eyes, I keep wondering about what was really wrong with her.  I keep wondering about what he was doing with her, and then getting revolted.

He’s getting closer to being able to help us, though.  The others need him.  I guess I need him, too, for my arm.


I went prowling after my last post, because of that need to do something.  Just wandered around the building to see what I could find.  Dillon followed me – he usually does, but I think he was worried about me.  He kept asking me if I was okay, but I didn’t know how to talk to him.  Poor kid, he was only trying to help.

We cracked that vending machine open.  We now have lots of candies and chocolate, and, best of all, some muesli bars and chips.  It’s crap, but it’s food and better than nothing.  There was a vending machine with drinks in it in the same stairwell, so now we have liquid to keep us going for a little while.  It took us three trips to get everything back to our group’s room.

I also pilfered every useful piece of equipment I could find.  Fresh blankets and pillows, dressings and bandages, that sort of thing.  Even some clean gurneys, for the injured.

Masterson and his crew only took the drugs they could use to get high, leaving the less fun ones behind.  So I grabbed one of every other kind of drug, and I’ll ask what they’re all for when he’s sober.  I recognised one or two antibiotics, and Ben and Sax should take those.  Just in case.


I feel useful again.  That makes a bigger difference to me than I had realised.  Hearing the thanks of the group that I am so viciously attached to.  Seeing the surprised smiles they gave when they saw the food, the relief in their shoulders when they cracked open a can of soda.  The way they relaxed back on those pillows.  Even the way Ben tried to catch me and ask me if I was all right, though it was too early for me.  I don’t think I could answer that question without cracking, so I moved on without answering.

I’m not all right.  I know that now.  But I’m better than I was.

I suppose it is all about purpose; it’s the futility of things that has been getting to me.  The hollow hopes and ashen promises.  The knockbacks at every step.  The things that I can’t do anything about.  The things piling up against us.

I know there will be more knockbacks, more mountains that will rise in front of us.  I know it’ll seem impossible and I’ll feel tiny again.  And it’s hard to think that I’m going to feel like this again and again. 

I just have to keep reminding myself that we have to keep going, and that will have to be enough.