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Essays

Jaazzmina Hussain 

15/11/22

Something To Believe In

  

Two a.m.
A cold and dingy flat, cluttered and dirty, now crowded with strangers, three of us, pens, notebooks and papers readied.
A young woman is on the floor, in a terrible state. Heavy in the cold, damp air, the chilling and sickly-sweet smell of blood, which should be inside and is now outside of her body in frighteningly copious amount. It seems so wrong on a visceral level that it grabs my attention away from the smell of the cat urine and faeces which makes the floor a hazardous place to sit or even stand; away from the smell of an unloved body, in unloved clothes, in an unloved dwelling.
We all knew this young woman, and yet did not know her at all. We only visited in the middle of the night, when a neighbour or a worker assigned to her grew sufficiently concerned about her behaviour. We only ever came to take her away—from what, we didn’t know but we all agreed she shouldn’t stay in that flat and there was only one other place we could put her: the psychiatric ward. 

 

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