I don't like hospitals. Nobody does, yes. But besides the time they squirted water into my ears, a procedure I can only presume to have been designed as a torture instrument, I never really minded them. All I felt was the highest level of reverence and compassion. They are temples of healing after all, gifting a new life to many who worship and persevere hard enough.
A couple years ago, everything changed. I went to visit a friend, and found a disoriented stranger instead. A shell of a person, lost among heathen wires and devices. See, they may be temples for some, but hospitals have a unique way of wringing out one's life-energy. The more they bandage you up, the more they break you down - until bit by bit, you lose all sense and soul, stuck in a dismal loop, at the mercy of those more learned than us.
My second appointment was worse. I saw a human being smiling back at me amidst a pile of machines. I saw sparkling eyes and indomitable heart. I saw hope. I felt hope. As it turned out, it was the last time I ever saw any of those, and life, as I knew it, was altered forever. All that remained was a photograph, remembrance and anguish. That's when the idea of hospitals started to scream less sanctuary and more sepulcher to me.
So naturally, when I had to get used to the idea of another loved one in one of these places, I was unwilling, to say the least. It's absurd how a person can be so optimistic in certain contexts, and so morbid in others. But that's me, paradoxical, as advertised.
I have always wondered what it would feel like to break down in somebody's presence. I've spiraled down into a hole more times than I can remember now, but exclusively in solitude, by design; a hypocritical trait I've unfortunately grown up with. Only the paranoia and agony associated with my last memory could overwhelm my self-restraint enough to violate my golden rule.
I don't like the idea of mortality. It's distressing. I don't like violating my golden rule. It's incongruous. And at the risk of being sacrilegious, I don't like hospitals.