Wednesday, 19 March 2008

4 Kinds of Cloud

It's been a long night.

Technically, it's daytime now, but my body clock has gone into another dimension. For me, the sight of bright sunshine is surreal. Earlier, coming back from the hospital, I nearly swerved into a parked car, but I felt calm and peaceful. I had one of those peak moments where I felt like I'd really been present to something special. I wondered if anyone else in the city had seen what I had: that there were four types of cloud in the sky.

One was airy cirrhus, a horse-tail flick so high up that no one could touch it. Below that was a neat, light formation of clouds that looked like the ridge and furrows of a freshly ploughed field. Below that, were cumulous clouds, fat cauliflower heads, looked full and comfortable. And last of all , there was a fine, even, unformed cloud like a breath that appeared to be gaining strength, bit by bit.

The weather recently has been strange: where I live had experienced the lowest air pressure for 50 years which drew in some mighty storms - 80 m.p.h winds, flooding and wild waves along coastal areas. Somehow, looking at those clouds, I felt as though I was seeing the aftermath to all that - the breakthrough that comes after stormy times.

You've got to understand that before the glory of the clouds, I'd had a terrible night's work. It's a Sleep In, so you're supposed to be able to sleep - though ,occasionally if someone is anxious or unwell, you might need to work for a bit of the night.

The client I was supporting had the worst kind of diarrhoea - pure liquid shit - and it was splattered on carpet, floor, round the toilet, in clothing, down her leg and back, in her bedding and on the sofa. The foul stench thickened the air and made me heave.

The worst thing was that we didn't have enough gloves (one red rubber left-handed glove and some ancient vinyl gloves that split as we tried to put them on). Also, she'd used up a whole roll of toilet tissue, so had nothing left to wipe herself. It was 3am and I had no idea where might be open to sell us rubber gloves and toilet paper. Even with this, she would have nothing to wear and no bed linen.

Eventually, after a few heated phone calls, we were able to get some help.

With the right tools, we could set to work on getting her and anywhere she'd come near cleaned up. Windows were opened and the smell was disguised with air freshener, the sweetness of vanilla making the job bearable. The only thing we couldn't manage was to scrub the carpets, but I tried not to think about that. My boss could figure something out in the next day or so. I'd done my share.

I was shattered.

I went home to learn that my housemate had suffered 2 seizures, gone into hospital and had one more. She needed a change of clothes, so I headed up to the hospital. I was relieved to see that she was doing okay. It was on the way back that I noticed the bright sky and four kinds of cloud; the sorts of clouds that come after a storm.

Funny how after the darkest hour, we can still be struck by beauty and light and promise of new things.

1 comment:

Charlie Bluefish said...

P.S. One week later. I got paid not to work today cos they were still getting the carpet cleaned. Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?