Walking past beeping apparatus and people moaning and crying, past hurried nurses and anxious family members and calm doctors, breathing in the stench of the medicine mixed with ammonia and the smell of old people, I remember how much I hate hospitals.
I walked to my dad who laid there with the oxygen mask on. He looked like one of those Call of Duty Spetsnaz soldiers except he didn’t had that black uniform on him and didn’t carry an AK47 with him. He was a sick old man.
“How are you feeling?”
He rolled his eyes to me and said softly, “Much better. But they’ve inserted this tube into my cock and it’s burning. I feel like my cock’s on chilli and my backside is on fire.”
The doctors nearby glanced over at us and pretended as though they didn’t hear what he just said. I chuckled.
“It’s just for a while.” I said. “How’s your breathing problem?”
“I’m much better now.”
A cute Indian doctor came over to us and asked me, “Is this your dad?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Okay, he’s got water in his lungs. Has he any history of heart problems?”
“Yes he has. He gets chest pain on and off at times.”
“I see” and she writes these stuff on the file hurriedly. She asked us a few questions and we had this interesting question and answer session going on when my dad interjected the both of us.
“I need to use the bathroom.” He said.
“Owh sure Uncle. Go ahead.” the doctor replied.
“No but… I can’t go because they’ve put this tube into my err…” He motions at his groin area and continues, “into my…. thing.”
“Okay wait..” the doctor was confused now. “You want to do the number one or number two?”
My dad looks at me. I knew he was confused on why they associated numbers to going to bathroom. He turns to her and says, “No, I just want to take a shit.”
She blushed a little bit and from the tone of her voice I could tell she was embarrassed. I muttered in my heart, “Gee thanks dad..”. She then replies, “Owhh okay I’ll get the plate for you.”
“You want me to do it here?” my dad asks.
“Yes Uncle, we can’t let you move around.”
My dad sighed.
They brought the plate and my dad slowly ambled to get up. I closed the curtain for him.
10 minutes later, after cleaning up, he sat on his bed again. This time he looked at me and said, “Take care of your mum and be a good boy.”
I hate it when he talks like this. He gives the impression that he’s going away soon. It’s scary. It scares the shit out of me.
“Would you not talk like that?” I said.
We became silent and a nurse came over to our place to break the silence. She handed me a green robe. The hospital uniform.
“Adik, ayah kamu kena masuk wad. So you suruh dia pakai baju ni eh? (Boy, your dad has to be warded. So help him wear these clothes alright?)”
I passed my dad the clothes and I closed the curtain for him. The nurse seeing this runs to me and says, “Hey hey! Masuk dalam tolong your father. Jangan bagi dia berdiri sendiri dalam. Takut dia jatuh! (Hey hey! Go inside and help your father. Don’t let him stand inside alone. He might fall!)”
So she shooed me inside and my dad was halfway pulling his pants down when I was pushed in. He looked at me with surprise and exclaimed, “What are you doing in here??”
“I’m here to help.”
“I can help myself.”
The nurse came to my rescue. “Uncle, bagi anak you tolong. You baru recover so jangan ambil risiko. Jangan malu malu. You sakit.. tak payah malu malu. (Uncle, let your son help you. You just recovered so don’t take the risk. Don’t be shy. You’re not well, so there’s nothing to be shy about.)”
So I helped my dad out. Helped him unbutton his shirt and remove his pant. Helped him button the hospital robe and pull the pant up. And funnily, I didn’t feel embarrassed or anything. I think probably he did, changing his shirt and pants and getting naked before me. But I didn’t had any trace of embarrassment.
All I saw was not nakedness, but an old man who’s my father.