Wednesday 26 August 2009

The English Patient

Just in case this is intended to give the impression of some higher and more noble heart, it's not true. It's just the way I'm cut out. I don't like other's suffering and furthermore I see friendship as having umpleasant and trying obligations at times but in this instance I've nothing left to offer so here goes for something I've endured years and years.

After this, some of you might appreciate why I'm quiet at the moment. The email I received recently is intolerable given how hard I've tried to take care of someone who was once brilliant and is no more.

I wrote this after years and years of patience and kindness. It was he who taught me that no good deed goes unpunished. True but not enough for me to be silent. I did that already but as the manics said. "If you tolerate this then your children will be next".
I wouldn't read on if this too raw. I wish I could park it but I can't. So here's what I wrote a few nights ago. 

Yes, I'm guilty of going the extra mile, time and again from quite a few remote countries while pulling as many strings as I could to help. Yes, I'm guilty of over empathic feelings and yes I would hope some reciprocity might be earned. A visit lavished on me; a call, an inquiry and ear to listen to all the hours upon hours of putrid hate that you've exhausted all your sadness. I've been polite but you really haven't been anything close to the wonderful person you once were and it's your HIV that nobody believed which began the decline so let me share the Wat Phrabat Nampoo story I have. I went to with the editor of Cleo magazine a few years back - it was tough but nothing compared to the patients.

One of the more acute memories of visiting this Lop Buri Aids clinic a few years ago, where AIDS victims go to die is of one unforgettable and obscenely bitter face, contorted, hissing and twisted like some decaying-queen of indeterminate former glory, (if any at all), but it's difficult to determine when they're skeletal, wearing nappies and dribbling.The stench of decay before the onset of death is heavy in the tropical air.

Nevertheless, I spoon fed him for as long as I could while he vented his fury at me for getting something miniscule wrong. 

Maybe it was the tinned fruit the wrong way round, or the spoon held at the wrong angle or just the sheer nausea at my comparative health providing succour to his impending death.

Whatever the reason. You clearly need the anger........The last time I encountered such needy yet misdirected hatred was a (Nazi officer's) funeral in Frankfurt c. 1993

I buried him, but only because the family pleaded with me to attend.

A big mistake but not without it's repurcussions.