Saturday, 1 January 2011


Nurse Anna had not expected to find Daniel so blithe and alert. But here he was, sat up in the bed and beaming warmly, as though watching her coming to open the blinds and make morning small talk was the greatest thing in the world.

She was frankly surprised he was upright at all, given the military precision tucking of hospital bed sheets.

Nurse Anna parted the blinds, letting in the dim, grey morning light. She looked over to Daniel could not help staring at the bandages on his wrist. They looked, she thought, a little like they could be tribal paint.

“And how are you this morning?” She queried.

“Not bad,” he replied, looking thoughtfully to the ceiling (the only thought that occurred was that it was rather dirty), “I’ve decided to give it up.”

“Give what up?”

“Oh, you know, being dead miserable.”

“Just like that?”

“Well, yeah, I mean…” He either ignored or did not see her cocked brow and continued, “It takes a lot of effort, being upset all the time. And whenever I think I’ve reached the pits, there always seems to be some hope.”

She smiled at him absentmindedly, “Can you pass me that pillow to fluff?”

“Of course,” Daniel duly obliged and spread his hands in a way he hoped would be honest, “I guess what I’m saying is: I just don’t think I’m very good at it. Misery.”

Anna propped the pillow behind his head, “Maybe you should take up gardening.”

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