Foot in mouth disease

foot in mouth

I loved university. I loved being up to my eyeballs in something I was fascinated with. The challenges and deadlines were all bonuses on top of the actual subject and I rose to greet each one. Anyway that’s by the by, so I’m in the lecture theater and the lecture is about to end. I know I’m getting a phone call very shortly so I excuse myself to go outside to wait for the call.

I get outside and there’s a kid doubled over, sitting pretty much folded over on the side bench. I wander to the bench, my phone out, texting and looking up as I walk. And I sit down on his right side. He shuffles over a little to make room. He is not moving much and my curiosity gets the better of me and I surreptitiously glance sideways at him. Yep, he is totally bent in half, but I do see his phone in his hand and he’s got his left hand side of his face plastered to his phone. Not the left hand side as in, his ear and talking, I mean like with his eye and not talking. Possibly taking a picture of his eye? Or the pupil of his eye? So without thinking for another second I pipe up with “I think you need glasses by the looks of things!” and chuckled a little, breaking the ice and everything. And this is my problem – my brain doesn’t engage with my mouth or vice versa – they work independently (against me!) so this is where I have ended up with this Foot in Mouth Disease – I’m a a frequent flyer.

Well, this kid looks up at me and one eye is covered with that cloud, the cloud that means that they can’t see much of anything out of that eye and the other one is scarred too.

He says, “It’s the only way I can see my texts – glasses won’t help…” I’m sitting there like an idiot. But I did what I usually do and chose not to ignore the elephant.

“So what happened to your eyes?” I asked.

He looked up from his phone again – well, as best as he could, and explained that he had been walking down Queen Street and it was winter. A super stormy day, and Queen Street can become like a wind tunnel on days like that. He had a jacket on that zipped up and as he grappled in the wind with it, the zip sliced across his eye, blinding him totally in his right eye and severely impinging on his sight in his left.

“I’m so sorry dude – really impressed you’re at university…I didn’t mean to be rude by the way….” I trailed off. He smiled, “It’s OK,” he says to me, ” at least you didn’t just walk away – that’s the worst. Everyone knows something’s up with my fricken vision. Lots of people don’t know what to do when they’re confronted with something unexpected…”

We were silent for a split second.

“I’m sorry this happened to you…. but I see in spite of a universal fuck-up in your life, you’re still here, still givin’ it all that!” he laughed at me and I laughed too.

“Often people so let the wrong things define who they are, or the worst things. The fact that you rise above this defines who you are.” He looked at me with a serious frown, somewhat created due to his lack of vision.

“Thank you for that, I needed to hear that right now…” he said.

I didn’t know his name but I did know much more about him than just some letters to identify him to his friends, family, fellow students and work colleagues. Not only that, but I found out even more about myself, or maybe about people. We all share commonalities – common likes, enemies, feelings, injustices etc. We all share bonds and those deeper threads of what make us who we are are far more interesting and important than your name, your clothes, your home, car, bank account…we truly are here to fill our souls and not our wallets. I take my soul with me when I go – I will leave my earthly belongings behind.

© Kait King, 2015

I Will Not Carve You In Stone

I will not carve you in stone

I trace the shape of you

with my eyes

with my hands

with my lips and tongue

I trace the shape of you

in my mind

in my heart

in my very being I let you sit

I trace the shape of you but

will not carve you in stone

The shape of you moves

the shape of you changes so

I will not carve you in stone

© Kait King, 2017

The Empty Room

the empty room

I remember being trapped in a lift once. At first it didn’t occur to me to panic – being the reasonably stable individual I am. I just slid down the elevator wall and squatted at the bottom, thinking of other things to while the time away. What really planted that little seed of fright was when the intercom crackled on and some disjointed voice announced that there was going to be a slight delay – yeah right! A delay as in repairs being made to cabling blah blah blah. That’s when something started chewing at the base of my brain. I could feel that icy trickle of panic beginning to seep into and numb the rational part of my brain. I imagined the lift plummeting down thirteen storeys with me in it. A compact human body, being mine of course – discovered under the dusty rubble. Or maybe in three years time, after not wanting to repair the lift they find a grinning skeleton – or perhaps just my crushed bones…

Well I started chewing my fingernails. I say that, but it’s not the actual nail bit but the little pieces you can shred off the side. Making my thumb bleed didn’t help at all and I was eternally grateful to the Universe that I wasn’t a hemophiliac. So then I started pacing out the elevator for size. It was four by four, or by six or four by eight or something. After a while the size didn’t matter – and I never thought I would say that with absolute honesty, but it didn’t. After a while my squares turned into circles and I was still gnawing at my fingers, nails inclusive now.

The appalling thought of needing to pee enveloped me and I was shamed into believing that I would just have to release my bodily functions in this confined space should it come to that.

At least two hours had passed and I was beginning to feel strange – almost like I was in a shimmery bubble. Fortunately they let me out, tearful and shaky, about twenty minutes later. Two and a half hours is a long time to be stuck in a lift – I truly thought I was going to go insane.

I’ve never been one to be claustrophobic or anything, but that lift episode really scared the begeezuz out of me. I always took the stairs after that, I just couldn’t get in a lift. Well I went for a drink with a friend of mine who had always been really terrified of heights. He said his worse fear was that he would be pushed out of a window or fall out of a building from too high up to survive. He said he had nightmares about it and it was absolutely ruining his life; work-wise and socially – let alone emotionally and the psychological toll a lack of sleep was taking on him. He said he dreamt of his arms frantically flailing to reach a hold that he could see but always he clutched at nothing. He screamed for help helplessly, as no one would ever hear him. His lover would wake him up as he had been screaming in his sleep and often hit them with his flailing limbs. Now I’d never experienced anything like that. Never had I suffered from “bad dreams” or nightmares of being trapped in a confined space at all, or trapped. When I was a kid we would hide in boxes and cupboards during games or to give someone a fright. I never felt trapped or scared then, just anticipatory. I was the frighter not the frightee and it was exciting. I could wait for ages in the crawlspace, tiny aperture or cupboard waiting for my prey to step by. Or huddle tightly and quietly in some of the darkest and smallest places, waiting to be found.

Many so-called professionals say that you should live out your fear and it will solve your problem – but I wasn’t afraid. I met my friend again and we went out for lunch. I asked him about his own phobia about heights and falling. “Well, y’know…” he said between bites, ” I know myself that this stuff is just in my head. I’ve spent a fortune on shrinks and been to a few – they all say the same thing – it’s in your mind, babe.” He stopped eating and looked at me while his tongue sought the escapee’s around his mouth and tidy teeth. “Doesn’t mean I’m cured though….” he mumbled and carried on eating.

But it did make sense. It was all in my head, my stupid brain, my over-active imagination and analytical mind. No matter how many times I told myself this though, I still could not get into a lift. Moving or otherwise I couldn’t do it. I knew I had to be brave and thought of ways to make it less traumatic. In fact it might be easier if I see a bunch of people in a lift I could squeeze in – at least I wouldn’t be all alone. There would be someone to talk to.

So today’s the day! I have decided to find a people-packed lift. I will walk through those lift doors and they will close. I will be carried up to my destination and everything will be just fine. Absolutely fine. Well…I did it! I went in the lift, sure I hyperventilated a little and blamed the air-conditioning. It’s not like I was scared or anything like that. I journeyed to the first floor but walked back down via the stairwell. The lift was busy, too packed. All you do is stand around waiting to get in and then get spewed out on one floor or another – it was a waste of time when you could just walk.

Life seems to be so much better in the summertime. Everything regains its glamour and beauty. Even people do – well some of them. Summer is a time for barbecues, hot late nights, swimming, playing and loving. We went on wild yachting weekends, champagne breakfasts and innumerable parties. We took off for an amazing holiday in Honolulu – total luxury and decadence. There were white sandy beaches, hot sun, beautiful people and drinks served in hollowed out fruits. We were there for three weeks and came back home ready to knuckle down and work. Refreshed, renewed and invigorated. No time for lifts – what lifts?

Ignorance is bliss. It’s no big deal – I’m just not interested in travelling in elevators or lifts. Some people are not interested in baking or stamp collecting either. I had heard a story about a woman who was terrified of germs and she used to hold her breath when she was in a hospital or medical clinic of some sort. She kept fainting, she was so terrified that her brain overrode the fear so that she could keep breathing and would knock her out! Now, come on – I am no way that bad. I mean that is silly, air is a necessity – I know, I’ve been trapped in an elevator.

The weird thing is, I’ve been having these really weird dreams about elevators. I was mainly travelling through space in them and I feel very very edgy, unsafe. Like some feminised Doctor Who in an elevator not a phone booth…ridiculous. But I would wake up sweating and feeling incredibly anxious, as if I was waiting for something to happen to me. No, more like expecting something to happen to me. It’s no biggie though – I can cope, it’s just a little disruptive to my sleep pattern, is all.

A couple of nights later I’m lying fast asleep and I dream I’m shooting unpredictably through space and it suddenly jolts to a halt. I wait – the doors open and it’s a hospital. I have to hold my breath or the germs will get in and smother me, my lungs, eat through my heart and brain. This is not good – panic has set in and I’m holding my breath, holding. I’m pressing the buttons in the lift – even just to close the door! I feel like I’m pressing the buttons through the wall and nothing is connecting. I’m stuck in this lift – the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I can feel my face cracking as tears and sobs are overriding the desire to not breathe in disease. Thank God I’m breathing though. The breathing is turning into convulsions, I’m going to die in that elevator and it’s dawned on me. I scream so hard the veins pump blood in rushing gulps to my head. My face is all screwed up and ugly. Somehow I’m looking down on myself – I’m watching me die, it’s almost funny.

I wipe my face with the back of my hand. The snot and tears are all down my face and like a gibbering idiot I am begging anyone and anything to let me out. I see myself in the metal walls, my clothes look so dishevelled and I don’t know when it happened but the doors had closed sometime during my hysterical tantrum. I bang on the doors and walls, air seems to be hard to suck in – like it’s syrup. Suddenly things slow down, I watch my tears thud into the company carpet. Slowly it occurs to me that the elevator is my coffin and I am dying in it. I always thought I’d be dead before I got this far! You are supposed to be dead before you got put in a coffin. This is unbelievable. But here I was, scratching at a coffin lid. Splinters of wood from the detail around the metal find their way up under my fingernails. It hurts but I don’t care. I’m bleeding but I don’t care. I’ve gone beyond. My clothes are drenched with sweat and the heat and closeness is overbearing. I feel the walls getting closer and closer and fortunately I blacked out and don’t remember anything else.

Apparently they found me in my bedroom wardrobe. The door was pretty scratched up and covered in my blood and so was I. I was unconscious when they found me, as I mentioned and I guess I’m lucky to tell live to tell the tale – passing out is most probably what saved me.

I woke up screaming about the elevator apparently, and that still happens now and again – maybe even more now. Everyone here at the hospital tries to tell me it’s only an empty room. But I know better than that. They have elevators there if you wait patiently – when you’re a patient there’s not much else to do but waiting. And like they say, it’s all in the mind and mine goes there.

My Dancing Feat

My dancing feat

There were just

too many

in this crazy crowd

Crushing in on

me

So I’m unable to

shout out loud

It was just

way too

noisy

in that clamouring

sweaty swarm

Body smells too

pungent

The air I breathe in

is warm

The darkness

has a dampness,

a claustrophobic clamp

The lighting bulbous

and hypnotic –

like a giant lava lamp

A pulse

united in

a passionate beat

And ignoring all

the warning signs,

I’m led by my dancing feet

© Kait King, 2016

Here, take the knife

here take the knife

Carve the edges off your haunting pain

With time as sharp as a knife

the moments slide by in an agonizing grind

You’ll have this moment for the rest of your life

My feet sunk deep in a cement grip of permanence

a ball and chain of grief connects my soul to the earth

My bones and skin just vehicle remnants

My soul will have rebirth

© Kait King, 2015

Thought # 1

thought 1

If you’re very rarely or never told “No” or don’t have to wait or work for anything, will it be a harder struggle to get on in the World? (This is based on most normal and reasonable of situations – single or separate parenting included and of course, on a continuum).

In the “Real World” no one else treats you the same way as your parents do. No one else cares the same way for you as your parents do. No one else in the World will give you the same leeway. Will one lack a certain resilience because one can’t deal with a No, or don’t understand why it’s a No?

Your Ego takes a beating, hearing all those ‘yeses’ and how wonderful you are at everything and then a No would just take the wind right out of your sails, it’s a shock. Is it about that resilience? Even against adversity and with all the curve balls life throws you, wouldn’t it be better to be able to face that adversity? I am not talking about being a nagging No Hound about everything – but I do think we need to prepare our children for “out there”! Just tell them the truth, make them stand for something, let them know what their strengths and weaknesses are and let them embrace them all and use them to their best advantage in this crazy Life.

If it is about resilience then we must give our children that strength and fight. They need these things to be able to survive – and not just survive but to live well.

Kait King 2017

Is There Something You Want to Say?

6770e126a537a6ffad7898af07124786-nurse-meme-funny-funny-nursing-quotes

Do you mean to tell me,

forgetful soul

That you love me

even more

Do you mean to tell me

I got it wrong

that I’m not the girl

in that love song

Did I hear you right

Is that what you say?

That you could never love me

any other way

Do you mean to tell me

I don’t shine so bright

I’m not the one,

You didn’t get it right

Do you mean to tell me

that we should just be friends

That it will only get broken

if we fix it in the end

Did I hear you right?

Is that what you say?

That you couldn’t really

love me

Any other way

Kait King 2019

God’s Diamonds

Gods Diamonds 7d9eebc0cd7e02435bcf750956ebccba

God left diamonds

in my garden today

Draped elegantly over tall

wild grasses

clinging in teardrop perfection

from the arch of an unfurling koru

God left diamonds

in my garden today

The sun pushing a rainbow

paradigm through this

sparkling rare

jewel of Nature

God left diamonds

in my garden today

Worn with a breathtaking beauty

a spider’s web is adorned

Dripping in dew-drop diamonds

A lavish gold in sunlight

Every color of

every gem in any brilliant spectrum

lies here at my feet

in the garden

the beauty around me

The Earth

She is my wealth –

God left diamonds in my garden…

Kait King 2017

Your Design

Your design

The design

of the twine

led us

to your crime

The footprint

there below

showed us

where to go

Your fingerprint

on the door

the blood spatter

your hair

and more

The tooth marks

on her thigh

will direct us

to our guy

A hair that fell

out of your head

the semen

and sweat

on the bed

We can tell

you were there

by the print

of your ear

As you tried to hear

so much more,

lent against

the stained glass door

© Kait King, 2015

Oh I Didn’t See You There…

Oh I didn't

It’s going to get dark again, even if the sun is shining I know what I’m in for. Staring into nowhere with a sense of hopelessness and despair that seems to have no end at the time. So you’re back, you’ve returned with your sticky, clingy sadness I must wear as a shawl. It’s a shawl made of all my wrong-doings, lost dreams, failed relationships, and a frightening anxiety about the future. It weighs a tonne and I struggle to sit up in bed with it on, or get out of bed, or brush my teeth or my hair…you weigh me down, Depression.

I didn’t know I was feeling so bad until I was in the kitchen making myself a coffee…I had been thinking negatively, granted. And the cold of winter doesn’t make it easy either so the future looks grim with the situation I’m in. This is the exact time the Shawl of Depression draped herself securely around me so I had to drag myself sadly and tearfully back to my bed. I see the sky, the sun, the birds, the beauty – the beauty in everything but me and my life. Then I tell myself off for being so ungrateful and get angry at the things that stop me being who I want to be. My anger covers the fear and anxiety. I would rather be angry than scared. It’s a long process to get to angry. It’s a long, unseen, unknown process that puts me there in the first place though.

I lie facing the wall. I don’t want to look at beautiful things. My eyes are open, I’m not moving though – my breathing hasn’t changed, it’s still, rhythmical and the tears just seem to fall out of my eyes endlessly. No noise, no change, nothing – just a waterfall coming out of my face that seems like it won’t let up. I don’t understand the grief or the sadness. Perhaps it is the broken me saying goodbye to the real me but refusing to let me go… In a little bit I will sit up and write about this. It’s crippling and yet I know I have to ride this out. I know I should take a good look at those feelings but I’m just too angry at the moment…

Kait King 2017