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The chair in front of the door to the intensive care


Memory from Egil Johansen

I might remember it wrong. Maybe it is all a vague memory from the hours when a close member of my family balanced between life and death. But it is about the narrow corridor, the small room and the little table in front of what was called “intensiven”. I had to ring a doorbell to get in, I had to wait until someone opened and while I waited in seconds that felt like hours I sat on a chair by a small table at the innermost end of the corridor in front of the door – the door to “intensiven”. Sometimes I saw other people there, all with sadness in their eyes, all curious about who I was and whom I was going to visit, and no one did know what to say, or where to look. But if you turned the chair you could have a glimpse of people in the hallway outside the corridor that led to the intensive care unit. How liberating it was. Totally strangers, all on their way to something, all seeming so strong, with their own stories of cause, but in total oblivion of mine. In the brakes that occurred during the days when the intensive care unit was the only place I could be, I sat at the same chair and gazed out towards the hallway, out towards the world and observed those who passed seemingly unaffected. Maybe I remember it wrong, maybe this is a vague memory, but I don’t think so. This is how it was!!