Friday, 9 October 2009

Phew! Return returns and stressful situations

Zach is coming back tomorrow night. I can't say that I'm excited about it. More like stressed, enervated, anxious. He's excited about it. So much so that Sam was worried that he was spiralling again. That's all we need. Another reprise of 2007. Weeks in hospital, then return to London and a squat among the market stalls in Camden. I can't see that we'll get any help from the NHS. Zach's been 'out of the loop' for the last two years. No CPN (community psychiatric nurse) has ever been doled out; the social worker disappeared off the scene. The hospital psychiatrist left his post and no one has bothered to contact Zach. Great.

The past few days have been spent waiting for the man from the electicity company to come back and switch on the lights. I got a parking ticket for that. Four hours backbreaking cleaning. The bathroom and kitchen look far less squalid now. I kept on looking for ratty but he didn't show his face. Maybe the smell of cleaning fluid and bleach frightened him. It was a new experience. I don't think that the kitchen floor had ever seen a mop before. I doubt that it will again but I left it behind. No doubt if I go back in six months it will still be in the same place.

Apart from dust and discarded cigarettes and ash, there wasn't too much to clean in the main room. The poor plants had mostly died. How can you kill a cactus? Poor sad things, all wilty brown leaves and crumbly earth. I tried to revive them but my Hippocratic skills, learned when I started my MSc at Imperial, were weak. Dosing them with water only created crators among the scorched soil. Maybe he can leave them outside in the rain. They need tender loving care.

The bits and pieces of groceries have been put away. The kitchen and bathroom almost shine but I wonder for how long. Other friends ask their cleaners to clean their respective kids' flats. I don't know if I could do that. It makes sense but then he'll never even lift a wet cloth to a tea stain in the knowledge that L. the clean will come along and make it pretty again.

The psychiatrist has sent him home with two weeks' meds. The psychologist has given him her advice and directions as to how best live his life. Ragesh is making his way back to Nepal, no doubt having made a friend for life. But at what cost? And the wonderfully kind men from the High Commission have extended their friendship. So rare among the various embassies and high commissions and consulates.

We'll be at the airport to see Zach among the crush of bodies on the New Delhi flight. Once again. How many times? He says that he's bought new clothes. That we should be 'proud' of the way he looks. That he wants to continue 'some' medication. I can't bare the thought of the extended conversation. The one that's been ensuing for twelve years. The thought of relapse makes me breathless. Then I think of the man with no arms and legs. It's not THAT bad!

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