Healing Waters

It’s a long walk from the one public car park on site to the Prince Charles Hospital mental health unit. The fastest route snakes past the front entrance and the adjacent private hospital, skirts the emergency department, doglegs down a pathway between the education centre and the satellite endoscopy unit before finally delivering travellers to their destination. There aren’t many signs for guidance, and the path is an accidental one.


Along the way, wedged between an ambulance bay and a delivery dock, is a lone artwork. The abstract, molten glass creation is mounted on an otherwise barren brick wall. It begs to be touched and there are no gallery guards to stop me, so I do. The smooth, undulating surface is very satisfying. It may well have healing powers for those lucky enough to see and feel it. Alas, cousin Suzie is being treated in the ward and there are no artworks there. So when I get in, I spring her, and we head to the cafeteria for a hot chocolate with two sugars and a Cadbury Flake slice.


Suzie and I talk and walk for over an hour. We don’t have much in common and I do most of the listening. She says she hopes her husband and son are feeding her birds, budgerigars named Panda and Snowy.  She’s had a few birds over the years and doesnt’ like it when they die. The last one to cark it she buried in a shoe box on the nature strip, only she couldn’t dig a hole deep enough so the box is still sticking out of the ground. I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing at this image. And Suzie laughed with me, a great gurgle with crinkled eyes and wide open mouth. The dead budgie put a dent in the psychosis and the drugs and in that moment we were five and six again, sitting in her room listening to Abba.

For the record

The airconditioning is still broken and the pantry moths are multiplying. The Athlete will shortly touch down in Copenhagen before flying to her final destination, Stockholm. She slept for nine hours on the flight from Melbourne to Dubai. In economy. The Ballerina is tired after day two of her marathon rehearsal period. The Socialite has just booked a flight to Sydney to catch up with friends. She has so many friends. I submitted a short piece to a local publication for consideration, something I would like the courage to do more often. It’s hot.

Angela Bensted Bw 1x1
Angela Bensted is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.
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