Hospitals deal in the best drugs. I have never really been a connoisseur of recreational drugs. I’m no angel. I’ve done the college thing, and I have experimented – but nothing mental. It wasn’t until I landed in the hospital that I discovered that drugs are everywhere. Some patients and staff self-medicate, out in the carpark there is a roaring trade in surplus-to-requirement pills, and the smell of weed can be caught on the stuffy air of the corridors. In my own experience the very best stuff comes with the curative pain inflicted by the nurses. On my re-dressing day the white clad darlings would pump me with morphine and proceed to re-open the cavity on my bottom – sending me into a glorious journey of pleasure and pain.


No sooner than the hole has been refilled, and the nurses have retreated back out beyond the veil of the cubicle, than the pain subsides and the voyage begins. Fifteen milligrams of Oxycodone Hydrochloride (a morphine of sorts) grips the imagination and washes it along the streams of the dream world; the liminal void between waken rationality and sleeping delusion. Day one was all about sailing. Here was I on a yacht on the Aegean with scantily dressed nymphs and cocktails, and then it was the Grim Reaper on the corridors. The latter managed even to stay on the camera. I was convinced that this spectre on the way to A & E was just a shadow, or so I told everyone who saw the picture, but Kevin was still on the film in the morning.


Closing the day there are the nurses with painkillers – the most wonderful things in creation; the nurses and the painkillers. Most nurses belong to a special category of the human species. They understand what pain is, and what it means to the sufferer. They are able to see the futility of unnecessary pain, and know that there is a pill for it.


Making sense of the world on opium makes the world a senseless place. Morphine isn’t for making sense out of things – it is for putting us out of it. According to the Noble Truths of Buddhism all suffering is born from desire. The drugs – albeit momentarily – free us of all desire, and so for the spell the suffering flees.

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