Energy was in short supply in those days, so we all had to do our part.

Like everyone in the infirmary, I wore a rheum-colored, surgical rubber backpack from which a length of tubing extended.The nurses would insert it quite far up my anus to tap deep into the intestinal fermentation processes.  I was unable to remove it without their professional help. They’d take it out once a day to allow for a bowel movement, which would have to be performed within a strict time limit. That part was a little stressful.

For the rest of the day though, we were free to wander among the subtropical foliage and lounge on the deck chairs reading magazines. We’d nibble on the smoked fish and water melon slices that they’d leave out for us on pressed bamboo trays.

We felt proud to be doing our bit to fight terrorism.  From time to time our small-talk would be drowned out by the gurgling of gases from someone’s backpack. But it was no big deal. We’d carry on as if nothing had happened.

Syndicate content