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Thread: The Bench

  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default The Bench

    Dear people
    Please, help me and proofread this text.

    The part of the city I live in was in the past a huge mental hospital dating from the nineteen century. It was a home for thousands of patients who were kept like in a prison behind thick walls and high fences. One can still see fragments of the rusty fence that prevented patents to get lost in the nearby forest. Nowadays, the majority of the buildings are destroyed and in their places they have build expensive flats. However, there are still two buildings where they used to keep the most violent men and women.

    The walls around are about two meters and a half high and very thick. The buildings are two storeyed, with high ceilings. One day I met an old Swedish men who used to work there as a male nurse. He is now eighty four years old but still vital and remembers everything. We talked at the bus stop while waiting for our bus to arrive. He sat on a bench holding the stick in his right hand and pointing with his left at the pavement said, "Just where you are standing now it was a high wall that continued about fifty meters and surrounded other buildings." When I asked him how it was to work there he told me it was difficult because at that time tranquillisers still did not exist and if someone got violent, which happened often, the only solution was to tied him up to the bed and wait until he became calm again.
    "At least they got food three times a day and a roof over their heads." he concluded.
    Nowadays students live behind the thick walls and probably the majority of them do not know how much suffering is hidden inside the walls. I am glad I do not live there because I do not know if I would ever be able to sleep peacefully thinking about all these humans who became free first when they died.

    There is a museum where one can see how the patients were treated at that time. When I visited it for the first time I felt such an uneasiness. Looking at the beds with wide and strong leader belts and bath tubs where patients were kept in a cold water one can only imagine how much suffering they have experienced during the years. The majority of them died behind the walls and they were buried in a cemetery some hundred meters away.

    But one can still see that among all the madness there were still creative people who painted, made sculptures or did other creative work. It is interesting to see how a human mind fought with illness and tried to make sense in all confusion. There are dozens of paintings on the walls who witness of the state of mind of their creators. One of the patients got an idea to make a perpetual motion machine. He surely spent years sawing weed parts, filing them away, gluing, until finally a huge wheel was ready to prove his theory which unfortunately was wrong.

    If one continues to walk for about fifty meters one can see the building that dates from the very beginning of the hospital. It is a white painted, oblong two storied building, about fifty meters long with the windows that still have metal bars. The part of the building is still hospital for drug addicts and the other part occupies a high school There is also a church inside for those who still need help from God.

    Every day I take the bus to the centre and during all these years I have seen almost the same faces coming and going from the hospital, trying in vain to get rid of their addiction. Some of them remind me of robots; they take strong medicine that make their speech slurred and movements slow.

    When the weather is fine I use to take a stroll downhill only to escape my prison flat. On the left there is a villa which belonged to the hospital's chief in the past. It is situated in the middle of the forest with a few trees and a lawn in front of it. Nowadays, they hold lectures for the medical staff inside it. But mostly it is empty.

    There is a little river and path beside it that one can walk all the way to the centre. It is very peaceful. The only passers by are joggers, bird watchers, walkers and students cycling from and to their lectures.

    There is only one bench around and I use to sit on it watching the river passing slowly. There is a little jetty where I always find a flock of ducks. They enjoy the sun or bob gently on the river. Whenever they see me, they start to quack loudly. We know each other for many years and I believe when they see my figure moving slowly and despondently they talk to each other, "Here is he again, the unhappy man." said the one
    "He is always alone," said the second. "He must have gone through the terrible things, said the third.

    I sit on a bench with a notebook in my hands and try to write down my feelings. Behind me are orchards and gardens where in the past patients used to cultivate the land and grow fruit and vegetables for their own use. Nowadays, they have turned into weeds and grass. The little river is like a balm for my soul. It reminds me of the river in my home town on which beaches I used to spend months of the summer. This river, however is cold and the quality of the water is bad and not recommended for swimming in this part. There is a little metal plate which reads that in the eighteen century just a few meters from the bench there was a bridge that collapsed
    killing nineteen people. So the river was not so peaceful all the time.

    On the other side there is a field where Danish and Swedish armies met in a bloody battle which ended up in a massacre. Nowadays, every spring thousands of white and blue flowers bloom all over. People use to say the white are Danish soldiers and blue Swedish.

    Whenever I sit there a feeling of deep sadness fills my heart. I feel like a prisoner deported to the far away place where nothing joyful happens to me. I never could have imagined that life of a refugee would be so difficult in this country who prides itself as one of the best in the world. It was more then fourteen years of suffering, feeling pain and powerless.

    We are not welcome here. We are outsiders, strangers. Even our children who are born and speak the language fluently are called "immigrants."

    I am living in a vacuum trying to keep my mind sane in a society where expediency is one of the main ideals. I never heard before of such an idea but here it has been existing for years and people are simply following the orders of their politicians. Ethics and moral are not important any more. Nobody talks about a character of a person or his or her feelings. What is important is the material gains, profit and gadgets.
    And I who came directly from the war where thousands of innocent people were killed, women raped, property destroyed have ended up in a society without love. I know, I can search for it for the rest of my life and never find it because love is such a rare "phenomenon" here.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by Bassim; 02-Apr-2008 at 15:33.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Bench

    In that part of the city in which I live was once a large mental hospital dating from the nineteenth century. It was home to thousands of patients who were kept inside, like a prison, behind thick walls and high fences. One can still see fragments of the rusty fence that prevented patients from getting lost in the nearby forest. Nowadays, the majority of the buildings have been destroyed and in their place have been built expensive high-rise? flats/ apartments. However, there still remain two buildings where they used to keep the most violent men and women.

    The walls are about two and a half meters high, very thick and solid; the buildings are two storied, with high ceilings. One day I met an old Swedish man who used to work there as a male-nurse. He is now eighty-four years old but still active and remembers everything. We talked at the bus-stop while waiting for our bus. He sat on a bench holding the stick in his right hand and pointing with his left at the pavement said, "Just where you are standing was a high wall that continued about fifty meters and surrounded the other buildings." When I asked him what it was like to work there he told me it was difficult because at that time tranquillisers did not exist and if someone got violent, which happened often, the only solution was to tie them to the bed and wait until they became calm again. "At least they got food three times a day and a roof over their heads." he concluded.
    Nowadays students live behind the thick walls and probably the majority of them do not know how much suffering is hidden inside these walls. I am glad I do not live there because I do not know if I would ever be able to sleep peacefully thinking about all those humans who only became free when they died.

    There is a museum where one can see how patients were treated in those days. When I visited it for the first time, I felt such uneasiness. Looking at the beds with wide and strong leader belts and bath tubs where patients were kept in a cold water, one can only imagine how much suffering they experienced during the years. The majority of them died behind those walls and were buried in a cemetery nearby.

    One can still see that among all the madness there were creative people who painted, made sculptures and did other creative work. It is interesting to see how the human mind fought with illness and tried to make sense of it all /of all the confusion. There are dozens of paintings on the walls that witness to the state of mind of their creators.

    One of the patients had the idea to make a perpetual-motion machine. He must have spent years sawing away, making all the parts, filing and gluing, until finally, a huge wheel was ready to prove his theory, which unfortunately was wrong/didn't work.

    If one continues to walk for about fifty meters one can see the building that dates from when the hospital was first built/established. It is a white painted, oblong, two storied building; about fifty meters long with two windows that still have their metal bars. This part of the building is still a hospital for drug addicts and the other part is occupied by a school. There is also a church inside, for those who still need help from God.

    Almost every day I take the bus to the centre and during all these years I have seen many of the same faces coming and going from the hospital, trying in vain to get free of their addiction. Some of them remind me of robots; they take strong medication that make their speech slurred and their movements slow.

    When the weather was fine I would take a stroll / when the weather is fine I take a stroll/walk [past or present??] downhill to escape my prison flat. On the left there is a villa which belonged to the hospital's chief in the past; it is situated in the middle of the forest with a few trees and a lawn in front of it. Nowadays, they hold lectures for the medical staff inside, but mostly it just stands empty.

    There is a little river and a path runs beside it where one can walk all the way into the centre' it is very peaceful. The other passers by are joggers, bird watchers, walkers and students, cycling to and from their lectures.

    There was only one bench around and I always used to sit on it watching the river passing slowly, also a little jetty where I would find a flock of ducks, bobbing gently on the river. Whenever they saw me, they would start to quack loudly. We knew each other for years and I believe when they saw my figure moving slowly and despondently they talked to each other, "Here is he again, the unhappy man." said one "He is always alone," said a second, "He must have gone through some terrible things/times, said a third.

    I sit on a bench with a notebook in my hands and try to write down my feelings. Behind me are orchards and gardens which patients used to cultivate and grow fruit and vegetables for their own use, now it is all weeds and grass. The little river is like balm for my soul. It reminds me of the river in my home town where I used to spend the summer months. This river however is cold, and the quality of the water is bad and it is not recommended to swim here. There is a little metal plate which reads that in the eighteenth century, just a few meters from the bench there was a bridge which collapsed, killing nineteen people, so the river was not always peaceful.

    On the other side there is a field where Danish and Swedish armies met in a bloody battle ending up in a massacre. Nowadays, every spring, thousands of white and blue flowers bloom all over. People use to say the white are the Danish soldiers and the blue, Swedish.

    Whenever I sit there a feeling of deep sadness fills my heart. I feel like a prisoner deported to this far off place where nothing joyful happens to me. I could never have imagined that the life of a refugee would be so difficult in this country that prides itself as one of the best in the world. It was more than fourteen years of suffering, feeling pain and powerless.

    We are not welcome here, we are outsiders, strangers. Even our children who are born here and speak the language fluently are called "immigrants."

    I am living in a vacuum, trying to keep my mind sane in a society where expediency is one of the main ideals. I had never before heard of such an idea, but here it has been in existence for years and people are simply following the orders of their politicians.

    Ethics and morals are not important any more/no longer important. Nobody talks about the character of a person, of his or her feelings. What is important are the material gains, profit and gadgets; and I, who came directly from the war, where thousands of innocent people were killed, women raped, property destroyed, have ended up in a society without love. I know I can search for it for the rest of my life, and never find it, because love is such a rare "phenomenon" here.

    I hope this is helpful
    it is very good. . . . very interesting,
    best wishes
    Last edited by Svaneska; 02-Apr-2008 at 20:28. Reason: corrections

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The Bench

    Svaneska

    You are a real lady!
    Thank you so much for your time and your effort to help me!

  4. #4
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    banderas is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: The Bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I am living in a vacuum trying to keep my mind sane in a society where expediency is one of the main ideals. I never heard before of such an idea but here it has been existing for years and people are simply following the orders of their politicians. Ethics and moral are not important any more. Nobody talks about a character of a person or his or her feelings. What is important is the material gains, profit and gadgets.
    And I who came directly from the war where thousands of innocent people were killed, women raped, property destroyed have ended up in a society without love. I know, I can search for it for the rest of my life and never find it because love is such a rare "phenomenon" here.

    To be continued...
    This is a a good piece of work! I was reading it as it was a book which is so good that you can not stop reading it and it makes you want to know what happens next.
    So what happens next in your story?

  5. #5
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: The Bench

    Banderas

    Thank you for your support. I am just writing Part two and we will see where my thoughts are going to end up

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