The Tower Block - post mortem The tower block - post mortem. Click the windows for memories

What I Remember Best

- Bjørn Erik Hanssen

What I remember best –
In a way, it’s the pale green walls.

I remember that day like it was yesterday.
When you turn up for such an appointment,
it’s like it may go one way or the other.
Like leaving on a journey.
A déjà vu.
A green landscape. The summer fields of childhood.
I ascended the stairs, taking my time.

I was only a matter of blood in my feces.
Nothing dramatic. I bought some kind of ointment at the drugstore.
Otherwise, I was in good shape. In great shape, actually.
There was only some blood once in a while.
My own doctor couldn’t make sense of it.
Should I have been more insistant?
The bleeding continued, and after a few months I was given a check at the polyclinic. Flights of stairs again, corridors and a sweet-scented odour.

It had become really painful.
I was given a drug – what’s the name of it – it makes you sleep – narcose, that’s the name.
It was as if I weren’t there at all.

Up a flight of stairs.
Into an office with pale green walls.
There was a nurse there. We shook hands.
I told her what I had come for.
There were some tests, right? She nodded and fetched her papers.
There was something about the way she stared at the papers, the way she moved, that gave her away.
She said: I’ll fetch the doctor.
The doctor enters, wearing his white coat, of course, and he starts studying the papers too. It was such a peculiar sound, the fluttering of those sheets of paper, in the room with the pale green walls. Before he utters the words I already knew: I’m afraid it’s malignant.
Something rushed past me.
There seemed to be some kind of echo in his voice.