by Domingo

When you are on dialysis you live a double life. You are like a bat who goes flying around for a while and then you return to the dark quiet cave where your blood is recycled, away from the eyes of those who know you. It is like keeping a secret. Some people regard you as a mysterious entity, not quiet human, because you spend a lot of time hooked to a machine in order to survive, and that makes you a little subterranean: a little subaquatic, rather. Those on dialysis are like a school of fish, emerging into the light after a stay in the cold chill water at bottom of the sea.

When I lay in the metal bed with the tubes driving the blood slowly into and out of my veins through long needles, the deep, monotonous gargling sound of the machine cleansing the blood in my ears, I fall into a sort of trance. My mind wanders. It frees itself from the flesh, somehow, and travels places and sees things from the past, and sometimes from the future. People like to think of disease as a physical state, yet it is largely a journey of the mind, the spirit. At all times the mind dances on the tight rope and senses the possibility of death. It is not impossible to perceive, as if out of the corner of one´s eye, flowing of specters nearby.

The supernatural is involved in everything that happens to a person. We refuse to admit it, for the sake of solidity in life, for the sake of sanity, but then there are those moments when a fleeting shadow crosses before our eyes and leaves us trembling with an undefinable sadness, a fear, because we have been tapped on the shoulder by a cold hand, the hand of someone no longer in the physical world, or when we have dream which cannot be explained by any form of reasoning. For some weeks before I was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure, I had a reoccurring dream, in which I saw a large, very healthy looking vampire bat sucking the blood from a cow with a sort of dumb relish. Its fur had an amazing copper luster. I know now that the beast was a symbol for the machine which would soon be ingesting and regurgitating my altered blood, my treacherous blood.