Jocelyn Patten

Lonely Diagnosis

And if my allowing myself to be brought here confuses you, if you think for one minute that I am singing one song and dancing to another, then you have not been following along. Stick to the facts. That’s what I have to tell everybody. They are clear and crisp and lay cold and unblinking on the snow banks that lined the drive here. I press my nose to the glass and nod at each, and as they pass they slip under the car and up into the backseat and down my stomach. I feel them still; they have not melted, despite the heat in this room. There are hundreds of them, and they tell the story of what has happened to me, what was done to me in the beginning, what must be stopped. I will open my mouth round and wide, and each fact will come slipping out, only to attach itself to the blank wall that faces our chairs; there they will remain hard and sharp and be beautiful and powerful and all-knowing. And all I will have to do is point and say, here, here is all that you need to know. Here is where my doctor refuses to look, and here is what my mother does not accept. But you can see it, I know you can, and you can understand what the truth is. You can stick to the facts. You will recognize the danger I am in, and order that I be removed outside the city limits, far from the grey grip of the pill-pushing death angels. Gone, wiped off their video screens, the metal disc in my brain growing weaker and weaker with every moment. Come spring, it will be mere dust, and one morning I will stand up and sneeze, and it will all be gone. 

Jocelyn Patten lives and writes in Ottawa.