Days can pass terribly slowly on a ward. Speeding them up and otherwise making them bearable takes a great deal of our energy. Thinking about home, and our lives outside of the hospital – as it might be in prison – is not altogether a helpful thing. We are in hospital. A zombie invasion has us trapped inside the building without visitors. There isn’t a whole lot that we can do. We have to make do and get used to the situation in which we find ourselves. Valentine’s Day doesn’t make this process any easier. Our women folk have been on the phones. Some of them have even been breaking their hearts on the other end. Sure, wouldn’t you be thinking that we are sick men and all?! None of this is good for morale. Deco takes the time to write out a real romantic card for his wife – complete with Roses are Red poems and that jazz. Jimmy gets a delivery of helium filled foil balloons which say “Get well seen,” but which were meant to read “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Despite our resolve to get through it, we are all missing home, and right now we can feel it.

My own good news was that I have managed to get day release. You would think that this is a great thing, but no – it has created a problem. With my brief hours of freedom I can go and spend time with the woman in my life, or I can hightail it into town and find her something nice for Valentine’s. Of course I opt for the latter; in the knowledge that I will see her a little later in the day for a walk around the carpark of the hospital. Under normal circumstances I would have gotten something a lot sooner than this. She deserves it though. So off to town I went.

Long before bedtime all of the lads are back on the ward – spending time with new friends when they would rather be somewhere else instead. All that we can do is cope with the place that we are in and the company we have. Our simple solution to this is regression. We are a ward full of adult men who are acting as though we are twelve year olds on a Scouting trip. Sadly, I can’t share all of the fun that we have had. Let’s leave that part for the memoirs.

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