Fused, but not at the hip

Fused but not at the hip

I was standing at the front desk, chatting to another work colleague and an awkward scrawny middle-aged man came up to the counter. I was in the watch-house at the Police Station. Being closest, I turned to talk to him. Behind me, I could feel everyone else cringe. I wasn’t sure why, but it dawned on me as I chatted with him to find out what he was here for, why the audible intake of air from my colleagues. I was just in work zone and had been troubleshooting all day.

Let me start from the beginning. When I turned up for work that morning – it was like 4 am or something horrific, being shift work. Anyway, we had three women and a man in our team that night and as shift changed over everyone caught up and swapped information – did the hand over thing. Of course we all gossiped about things we had dealt with, seen or heard that day, what the constables had been up to, failed at, succeeded in catching, blah blah blah and of course, some real oddities and this was one of them.

A young detective came into the office after his shift to catch up with us. I must say, he looked a little green around the gills but I didn’t think anything about it at the time. He gathered those of us who wanted to see (only myself and the guy I worked with), some evidential photographs of a case of abuse. It took a couple of seconds for him to get his personal screen and files up. He knew I was interested in the abuse of the vulnerable, certainly children, but the animals, handicapped and elderly were all in my sights and desperately needed help. So the photos upload to his screen and I take a second to understand what I’m looking at. I thought a burnt body initially and then realised she was on a gurney in a hospital with tubes and an oxygen mask swallowing her “White-walker”-type face. I turned to the detective and with a rather incredulous tone asked him if she was actually alive.

“She is,” he said, “she’s still alive. This woman’s son was supposedly looking after her. Somebody who managed to finally get into the house found her and called an ambulance.”

“I just can’t believe someone so thin is still sucking in air! And how old is she?” Her dirty, mottled skin was just managing to cling to the bones of her body. She was filthy – hadn’t been washed properly in years.

“She’s 92. When we got to the hospital they told us that it was a miracle. I personally think maybe not – poor woman. Her son hadn’t fed her properly or washed her, medical needs ignored. She had maggots crawling around in her vagina…”

“What the fuck! Are you serious man!?” I was mortified.

“I knew you’d love this case Kait,” he said smiling up at me from the desk chair. ” Not only that but her toes had fused themselves together – there was green mould and a stink you would never believe possible. She smelt dead but was breathing – the living dead, literally!” he looked quite pleased with himself at the reality of his reference.

“I’m absolutely stunned! So what did her son say…has he been arrested then?” I ask.

“No, not yet anyway – he’s coming in to be assessed by the psyche team and questioned. Apparently he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong…whatever!”

“Good grief! Who’s he been sleeping with if he thinks it’s normal for flies to come out of a woman’s hoohaa!” We had a bit of a giggle – it’s like that in the face of horror. Apparently she had gangrene as well, on her fingers and other extremities. One of the worst abuse cases I’ve ever seen and I’m sure many of the police – even seasoned ones – felt that way too.

So the day carried on and we had all sorts of shit hitting the fan – parolees, detainees, people who had lost kids, found kids, P cooks, drunken idiots, abusive situations – just the usual crap.

So anyway here is this awkward guy in front of me. I am my usual helpful self and ask him what I can do. He tells me he’s here for an interview with a certain detective. I contact the right detective to come and get him from the watch-house, in the meanwhile I say “So are you having a good day?” just to be polite and make his wait in a police station a little less awkward. I had no idea what he was here for – he could be being interviewed as a witness for all I knew. Well this was a trigger question for him as he just spilled his guts to me about how he had hurt his mother even though he was trying to look after her. He told me about the maggots and the mould – as if I was giving him the interview. It only took him a few minutes to vent his story and he stood quietly with his head down in front of my counter.

“How come you didn’t clean her or help her to clean herself?” I asked cautiously, making eye contact with him.

“Well….I….I….” he bumbled along.

“It’s OK,” I said “you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to…” I trailed off.

He looked pleadingly up at me and I could see tears peeking out of the corners of his eyes.

“I want to.” he whispered.

I kept quiet.

He took a deep breath in and said “That’s my mum y’know ? I don’t want to wash her there or her top chest or anything! It’s not right…I’m her son – not even a daughter – I couldn’t do it!” The tears fell off his face. After initially feeling slightly ill talking to him, I found I was feeling sorry for him.

“Hell, I can understand that.” And I certainly could.

“So can you tell me why she’s so thin then? Why didn’t you feed her anything?” I pushed on through because there must be some accountability here. How can he get out of this one? Surely if he’d fed her she wouldn’t look like this. I tried to keep the picture of the poor old woman in my head, the decrepit, stinking semi-corpse that was his mother, to give her justice and keep a strong mind in this.

“I tried – I tried everything but she wouldn’t eat anything! I tried to force her but she choked so badly I was afraid to give her anything…I know now that this was wrong…” he looked down at his shoes, the tears still rolling off his nose and landing on the stations’ loud carpet. “She was my mum and she used to beat the crap outta me if I talked back or didn’t do as she bid. So I listened to her when she shook her head away from the spoon or growled at me, I left her alone….I was scared…” A slipknot of snot was making it’s way out of his nose and I tried desperately to keep a gag down. I managed. I passed him a box of tissues gingerly – not wanting to touch his skin at all.

Thankfully the detective who was going to do the interview arrived and took him through the security doors to an interview room. I stood there for a moment and realised where the blame lay in this. Society, society was to blame. Yes, he was at fault for not contacting the hospital or some sort of care for his mother, but he didn’t know anyone would help him. Surely if his neighbours had just said hello once in a while to the slightly, strange, creepy guy he might not be suffering endless guilt as it dawns on him in his slow mind what he has actually done. And his mother would not have had to suffer the enduring starvation and pain she had. It is about accountability – but who is accountable? We call ourselves a welfare state but whose welfare are we really caring for? I consider this man and his mother both victims in this instance and a severe failure on our many organisations parts. He was charged with numerous offences relating to the abuse of the elderly. I wondered if he wanted to lay charges against his mum for what she had done to him – for the monster she had created in him who would become her living nightmare.

What’s really sad is he will more than likely end up like his mum did….

© Kait King, 2015

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Do or Don’t, Can or Can’t

Don't you

Don’t you leave me

left behind

Don’t you cut me

out of your mind

Can’t you see you’re here all alone?

Can’t you hear your heart say

This is home?

Don’t you hurt me for ever more

Don’t you walk away

and leave it all

You can’t hold me like that

then let me go

There’s something more

that you don’t know…

© Kait King, 2015

Avoidance = Safe

avoidance-equals-safe-lonely-pics-6

I’ve been loved

by someone

When I wanted

to be free

And I’ve loved someone

desperately

When clearly

they didn’t

love me

I couldn’t find

a balance

I felt all men

would just hurt me

I made a choice

very purposefully

And I withdrew

from family, friends and society

Alone

I finally could see clearly

the common denominator

in my failed relationships

was me

© Kait King, 2016

Never Quite

Never Quite

You never quite got to be here

You never quite got to breathe in air

I never quite got to touch your face

take you home

show you your place

I never quite got to watch you grow

I never quite got to get to know

you, your love

I never quite got to hold your tiny hand

or do anything else that I had planned

I’ll never quite hear you say “Mum you were right!”

Or get to read bedtime stories at night

You’ll never quite miss me when I am not there

Sadly our lives, this time, we’ll not share…

© Kait King, 2015

Andy’s Addiction

Andy's addiction

Andy has a problem

he doesn’t know what to do

there’s a monkey glued to his back

and it’s really chewing through

his heart,

his bank account,

his tired soul

Andy has a problem

he doesn’t know how to say

that he doesn’t want to be here

not for another single day

of hurt,

of frustration,

in an angered mind

Andy knows this problem

he knows what he should do

but it wraps him up and chokes him

and he can’t see his way through

another single day

with no way

to feel

Andy can’t reach out for help

that would just mean pain

How can he reach out for help

when his hand is trapped

by shame

and addiction

and fear

© Kait King, 2015

Blink of an Eye

Domestic violence

that Evil Beast

Thriving on hurt

when all you want

is Peace

Insecure person

always comparing in loss

Punching out your feeble Anger

But your Family pays the cost

Vulnerable? Were you

beaten yourself?

Shouldn’t you know better

than to put them through

this Hell?

Poor little person…

Is that what you want

them to think?

So here you stand at

a Crossroad

You can change all of this

in a Blink

Kait King 2017

Monetize Me or Dehumanize Me?

Seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. Airguns are so loud that they disturb, injure or kill marine life, harm commercial fisheries, and disrupt coastal economies. These blasts are repeated every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time.

Crazy isn’t it – that money is the most important thing to have…

It’s not even just necessary to live anymore, but needed in excess of a gluttonous, consumable rate. Also, sadly at the expense of every other earthling – plant, mammal, marine, insect life. Ultimately at the expense of our Mother Earth – without whom we wouldn’t exist….But sure, let’s go ahead and blast the oceans, rape and pillage land and sea. Mankind is adventurous and a conqueror! Of what? Ourselves? War seems to already qualify that bizarre question!

Discovery and experimentation for the benefit of survival of all living things is most definitely a necessity, don’t get me wrong. But destroying our only home for the benefit of gaining money is a totally different story. Forward thinking has become about bank accounts when it needs to be about human accountability. Animals adapt to their surroundings, blend in – whereas people force the surroundings to adapt to what they require, causing droughts, floods, contamination.

Humans are the most alien thing to this planet – perhaps we are the ones who don’t belong here…

Kait King 2017

The Creation

Creation

I lie in the quiet

of the solid dark

A fractured individual

with a many fragmented heart

I don’t regret the past

but I struggle to see ahead

Life seems to race by way too fast

just to wind up dead

I try to stay well afloat

But here, I’m not the strongest swimmer

Life has me tight around the throat

and has moulded a grateful sinner

© Kait King, 2015

You know you know…..

you know you know

You already know –

You know you’ve

known for ages

But just didn’t

want to look into that ugly face

or go to that ugly place

You knew months ago

when he was angry with you

when all you did

was be excited he was home

and he turned his back

and left you there alone

You already knew

when you could

smell the hint of perfumes

that you know you

don’t wear

Those whispered

phone calls

He doesn’t want you

to hear

You already know –

you know you’ve known

for ages

but just didn’t

want to look

into that ugly lying face

or go to that ugly empty place

© Kait King, 2015

Do the Right Thing

do the right thing

I saw a man dragging a puppy

that didn’t want to go

And everyone else in the street didn’t want to know

“Don’t get involved!” said a nervous Mr Hay

And he crossed over the street

to walk the other way!

I saw a brother pinch his little sister

on her tiny arm

How could anyone want to do

another body harm?

“Don’t get involved!” said a spiteful Miss Melissa

She won’t play with me at school

and is meaner than her sister

I saw a man shout

and push a woman to the ground

She bowed her head and was crying

but you couldn’t hear a sound

“Don’t get involved!” said a crabby Mrs Mend

And I wondered for over a month

if that poor woman had a friend

But now I’m older and I know better

I want to pass this message on

If there’s a body in need

you must always take heed

Because nobody wants to go through it

alone

© Kait King, 2015