A Message From A State Hospital


By Dan Greene

The 4am face of the lady behind the thick glass begins to talk to me,
it never changes every time I come in.

“Who is your doctor?
Why are you bothering us at this time?
We’ll get you seen in like an hour,
go sit down.”

The red metal seats with the holes in them in a row,
I sit in one as far away from everyone else as I can
you see I want to actually get this over with.

But it is not that simple,
for there are people with blood dripping from their heads
oozing onto the shirts of their favourite football teams
the porters keep them separate
for now.

The extreme end of one side is fascism
then extreme end of the other is state socialism
sure we can bring politics into sport
as long as there is politics.

They are in Scotland arguing over a divided Ireland
IRA this
UVF that
I hate the back and forth so much that I want to smash their heads together with a hard crack.
The thought satisfies me a little as I lurch my head back and look at the now-yellow ceiling tiles.

What I know is useless to them,
So I refrain from jumping in and stay in my red metal seat,
the men continue to shout as I listen intently.

“Fuck the queen!”
from one side
“Fuck the pope”
from the other.

I become angry because they are distracted
they are being played off against one another
their anger erupting in the form of glass bottles
cracking against heads outside damp pubs
screaming the clichéd words of their fathers.

I am unsure whether its the fact that they are indoctrinated
or whether it’s that they don’t think for themselves that upsets my balance
“What about no fucking state!?”
Keeps going through my mind
but I won’t shout that
besides they are now shouting so loud that I can’t concentrate on my own resentments
never mind theirs.

I am struck all of a sudden by their similarities
“My state management ideas are better than yours!”
“My religious upbringing is the right one!”

I don’t care whether their parental figure is the pope, the queen or Willy fucking Wonka
I think as I wish I was anywhere else.
It’s a blind nationalism that makes you feel comfortable,
Everyone else believes in it, so why not?

The men behind the curtain just sit back and watch you idiots rip each other apart
based on flawed theories of history and economics
while they bleed you dry
you fight each other over sport for sport.

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