North Of Purgatory: A Coma Diary. Part V Tommy Udo , June 19th, 2008 12:53
After a run in with The Crips Tommy Udo's imaginary world started to crumble all around him the nearer he got to consciousness.
Airports and aircraft figured prominently in my deluded state. This is probably because I was lying on an inflatable bed that moved me around to stop me from getting bed-sores and made a noise like a jet powering up and taking off. But for years I’ve had dreams about watching planes and helicopters crashing, usually flying low overhead and coming down just beyond my line of sight.
Things started to get really strange as I edged my way closer and closer to the surface of consciousness. I became more aware of people around me, talking to me. I knew the names of some of the nurses but started to cast them in paranoid internal dramas that seemed all too vividly real.
There was Paul, for example. Probably in real life a really dedicated guy: as with all Intensive Care Unit staff, he was part of the hospital’s elite, the people who saved lives. Mine included. But was I capable of feeling gratitude? Was I fuck: to me the guy was a fascist, a terrorist, the antichrist and ultimately a cruel evil prankster. Satan as Jeremy Beadle.
It probably kicked off when I heard him ordering drugs for me. Except in my mind he wasn’t getting morphine from the pharmacy, he was on his mobile scoring some dodgy Ecstasy. He was going to load me up on this hooky E and take me to a party. “He needs this,” he told somebody else. I wanted to scream: 'NO, I’M DRUG-FREE! Leave me alone. I don’t want to go to a party, I’m too fucked up. Leave me here to sleep.'
Then I was waking up in the aftermath of a party, except we were in a flat but everyone was strapped into airline seats. It looked like the party was actually a simulation of an air disaster. There was a girl in the seat next to mine who looked dead. There was the deafening roar of aircraft engines, people groaning. And I was the only one who knew that it wasn’t real.
I unhooked my seat belt and crawled into the next room where there were more people sitting in a mocked-up airliner watching a film. This lot, however, were all part of some African religious sect that believed that they had all died and were on their way to heaven. The film they were watching showed what heaven would be like. It was mostly blue sky and clouds. An old man asked me if I wanted to come with them.
“I don’t believe in Heaven,” I told him. “And anyway, this isn’t really happening.” He smiled: “But all these people believe. You’re the only one who doesn’t. Are they wrong and you’re right?”
It was only out of politeness that I didn’t tell him: damn right!