Posted by Barbanne on December 26, 2003 at 22:11:16:
PART ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE
It was a bleak, grey day and a steady mizzle of rain drifted down.
The small group gathered around the open grave.
Alex and Dave looked stiff, formal and grim faced as they stood with their hands clasped in front of them. Loreen and Jade were crying and holding onto each other, Keely and Rinka looked stoney faced and Cass was unable to stand still. Obviously drunk she tottered a bit as she stood apart from the others. Every now and then she took out a hankie and wiped her eyes and nose. A small knot of people whom had dealt with Playdead over the years stood opposite the main mourners.
One of them muttered loudly enough to be heard by all, "She was just in the wrong place at the wrong moment."
The simple coffin hovered above the ground as the priest intoned, ".............ashes to ashes, dust to dust."
"She'd have hated this," Jade murmured to Loreen, "you know what an irreligious little scut she was."
Loreen giggled and then sniffled.
Alex looked at them with an expression of bewilderment.
The coffin was slowly lowered into the hole and the first clods of earth smacked down on the closed lid.
I sat up so suddenly that my head banged against the drip bottle setting it to swinging wildly.
"Watch it there girlie."
The guy who said this was tall and craggy faced with bushy eyebrows and I just knew he was a Doctor with a capital D.
A beautiful ebony skinned nurse standing next to him hurried over and grabbed the bottle and steadied it.
"Damn it girl, after all the trouble's been gone to over you don't you go busting things again, oh damn it, you've started yourself leaking again."
I was in a hospital bed and was bandaged across the chest like the original mummy. A yellowish discharge on the bandages was tinged with brighter red.
"Now lie still, what you doin' waking up all sudden like that?"
"I was dreaming," I croaked.
"And damned lucky you can dream too girl."
Doctor and nurse started unwinding my bandages to clean me up.
"I dreamed I was dead," I said plaintively.
"And so you was girl, three times."
"Yep, once't there on the chemist's floor, and they tell me you made a real mess of that carpet."
"You're a very lucky young lady," said the doctor.
They had revealed my chest and I had a row of stitches from my collar bone to my tummy. The nurse cleaned away the ooze and leakage and slathered me in salve and started rebandaging me.
"I'll leave you to it nurse and keep her still, tie her down if necessary."
He left and I smiled a sort of agonised grimace at the nurse.
"Tell me about it?" I said.
"You was stabbed by a crazy boy girl........."
"My name's Barb."
".......well Barb you was stabbed by a crazy boy with enough drugs in him for an elephant and you was bleeding and choking and drowning in it not that you knew it as you was way out of this world."
"The pharmacist did what she could and just as the paramedics arrived you went into V-fib and then quit right there on them and died. That was the first time."
"Yeah well they don't give up easy those folks and they got you started again and then took you for the fastest ride you'll ever have in this town and there in the ambulance you checked out again."
"But they saved me?"
"Wouldn't be having this conversation otherwise. Told you they aren't quitters those guys."
"And then they got you here into the ER and just as they got you into a crash cubicle you went and flat lined."
"So you ought to be. Anyway we got a new resident down there and he says, "No way she's fuckin' dying on my first day," and he whacked you with the paddles and got you going and held you together with his own fingers while they sailed you into surgery and there Doctor Hamilton, he's that gent was just here, he sewed you all together again although he had to sort of cut a doorway into you to get at everything that crazy mother fucker carved up inside you."
"So you just lie here until I tell you can move even so much as an eyelid and we're going to give you enough stuff you'll think its party time yourself."
She stood back my repairs complete.
"By the way there's a feller here has been waiting for days to see which side of dead you were going to wake up on."
My tummy fluttered.
She stuck her head outside and called, "You can come inside now for exactly one minute."
Alex looked around the corner.
"And don't touch Miss Barb or even come close."
He stood at the foot of the bed looking at me and I knew that my life had been saved to give to him.
"Barb," he said tentatively.
I started howling and the nurse said, "well I think she's happy to see you so off you go."
"Wait," I called.
"You can come back tomorrow," she said.
I started to rise.
"Not one eyelid Miss," she barked. Then she said, "Aw go on then," and Alex skipped over and leant down and kissed me on the forehead and when I grumbled he touched me lightly on the lips.
"You've probably given her a zillion germs but I guess from the way she's shining she don't care."
My nurse, Clio was her name was as good as her word and filled me up with heaps of stuff. Every day Alex would come and sit with me for about three hours and then Clio would come back and say, "OK Barb time for your little friends."
On about the third day I told her, "Hey Clio you know how Alex comes and sits with me and then you come in and zonk me with them goodies?"
"Well I gotta thank you for that because in between my lover's visits I'm having these twenty hour erotic dreams."
"Listen girl your poor body isn't up to that so I better give you something to make you dream of sheep."
"Is that what turns you on Clio? Leave me with my dirty man inspired thoughts."
She laughed and laughed.
"You is a bad girl Miss Barbanne and I'm beginning to think you must be getting better."
I was and after a week Doctor Hamilton came and said I could be moved from ICU to an ordinary ward. That meant I was going to lose Clio and I cried like a baby when she told me but she said she'd be down to see me whenever she could.
"You gotta tell me what goes on in those erotic dreams of yours Barb. I reckon I can see steam coming out of your ears at times."
We laughed and then I cried and hugged her as best I could what with tubes and stuff and a horribly sore chest.
Down in my new room Alex brought the gang around to see me and there was a lot more hugging and crying and far from being back on the drink Cass was as clean as ever and she confided to me, "Barb I promised god that if he let you live I'd never take another drink and I'd only do good things and he did and I will."
"Cass I'm delighted for you..................and thanks, maybe thats what saved me although I doubt god takes much notice of prayers on my account."
We giggled together.
I had almost disappeared behind the flowers and Dave and Jade and Loreen and even Keely and Rinka were just amazing. Clio came in while they were all there and said, "Wow I never realised this girl had so many wonderful friends, no wonder she is getting better so fast. Hey by the way girls do you want me to tell you details of the technicolour erotic dreams your little friend here has been having while she's under?"
"Oh yeah," said Jade and Cass together.
"Yes please," said Keely and Rinka.
"Us too," said Dave.
"I've known her forever so I just know this will be good," said Loreen.
"Do I feature in this?" said Alex.
"You sure do," said Clio.
I went bright red and they all broke up laughing.
I won't bore you with the rest. I'm out of hospital now and have another three months recovering at home at least.
I have a monster scar, not bad but noticeable and I reckon my modelling days are over.
Alex doesn't actually know it but wedding bells are ringing in the distance and a little girl for me to love and spoil is also in my future and of course my own little Kommandant Rex is coming on Friday.
So thanks for listening and coming along and I guess the tale of Barbanne and Playdead is over but.......................
...............never say never eh???