Austin and Repatriation Medical Center
The Austin Hospital is a large general public teaching hospital which comprises several buildings, most of which are linked by overpasses and underpasses -- this is a place where you can blend in and become invisible. You can wander around the corridors and find places to sit and rest -- there are seats scattered throughout the complex, in every waiting-room and corridor. When people see you in the Casualty department, they assume you're waiting for an injured friend. When they see you in the outpatients department, they assume you're waiting for a doctor. When they see you in a ward, they assume you're waiting for someone to come back from surgery. And if anyone asks you "Are you looking for someone?", you simply reply, "No, I'm fine." They don't want to intrude.

me inside

Death is good. Why should it be bad? There's nothing wrong with it. I mean, some people should stay alive because they have people in their lives who are going to miss them. Their death will cause sadness. And sadness is bad. But YOU... YOU -- a person like YOU -- who just wanders around doing nothing -- no one knows you -- you have no friends -- you have no family -- you just lie around on rocks and on benches, cluttering up the city -- no one wants you to keep on living -- you're a burden to society -- your death will be a positive thing for the world -- no one will miss you --

For the next few days you stay in or around the hospital grounds, always being careful to keep a low profile and not to become a familiar face to anyone. You can foresee this hospital as being your final resting place, the place you will die.

believe my lies

This is your destiny. This is OUR destiny. Death. You knew it all along. Even as you set off from St Kilda, you knew deep down that it would come to this -- you were brought here to die. Your only purpose on this journey was to die -- you're like that character at the beginning of a murder-mystery book who dies and you know he's going to die, you can see it coming because that's the only reason he's in the story

I spent about three months in this hospital back in 1992, when I was recovering from the injuries resulting from my suicide attempt. I had broken feet so I had to stay in bed for a long time. This was the first time I had ever been a hospital in-patient, and I really, really enjoyed my stay. That time I spent in hospital caused me to fall in love with the whole hospital lifestyle. I didn't want it to end. After it did end I was still so preoccupied with hospitals that I started creating hospital-related pictures and stories, and I started going back there to explore the whole place whenever I had an appointment with my psychologist.

sunshine and flowers

You could have died along the way, by eating the apple, by eating the cake, or any of the other endings, but that's too easy and quick. There's not enough suffering involved. You see, the suffering is important. The person who doesn't suffer is the person who doesn't really know what life's about -- and now that your pain has reached its peak level, you can welcome death with open arms. Suffering is good. Your pain is my gain. I steer you down the path to maximum suffering -- that's the perfect model of an ending -- suffering first, slowly building up until it becomes death.

Some areas of this place are open twenty-four hours a day, like the Casualty Department. Other areas are closed to the public at night, but in the process of your exploration you discover a dark space at the bottom of a concrete stairwell. It's one of those stairwells that goes down to places deep in the bowels of the building where people rarely go. Even when people pass on the stairs above you, they don't notice anything in that lowest of low hiding places. It's too dark to see under the stairs without a torch. During your later days at the hospital, this is the place where you spend most of your nights.

accepting our shadow

The cafeteria is full of food. You can wander among it and feel no hunger, even though you haven't eaten for a week. I've conditioned you to hate food, you see -- it's all about changing your attitude. Food is bad, Starvation is good. Food is bad, starvation is good. Food is bad, starvation is good. Food is bad -- come on, repeat it with me. If you repeat it often enough, it will become truth.

You are dying. A lot of people die in hospital, but most of them are in beds. You are dying on a hard floor. As you get weaker from starvation, you find yourself spending more and more time in that dark space under the stairs. Sometimes you go out to get some water, but it's getting harder and harder to walk. Pretty soon you're spending all of your time in the dark windowless space, lying flat on the hard concrete, day and night. There's always the chance that someone might find you here, and tell you to leave, like they do for all homeless people, but you're to tired to keep moving now.

  that warm connected feeling

Your short life has been full of agony, anguish, bitterness, discomfort, distress, grief, hardship, heartache, misery, pain, suffering, torment, torture, and woe. And you get high on the suffering -- you enjoy it. But now something even better is about to happen: death. Death is not scary -- it's peaceful and restful and sweet relief. Are you looking forward to it? I am. Are you excited? Me, I'm tingling.

Bit by bit, cell by cell, the living flesh of your body is turning to dead meat. This is the end of the line. You don't have the power to move anymore, and it looks like no one is going to move you. Except to the morgue, perhaps, but that comes later. Right now you are slowly losing touch with reality -- you can no longer feel the cold or the hardness of the concrete underneath you. Your body seems like nothing more than a dead thing that's attached to your head somehow. Your eyes are dead -- you can no longer see the tiny amount of light that you used to be able to see in this place. Consiousness comes and goes -- every time you wake up, you find it more easy to blank out your mind and think of nothing. Your brain cells are dying -- the neural pathways are closing up, preventing you from thinking straight. You allow it to happen. Slowly but surely, the life in your body ebbs away. You're nearly there -- not quite but nearly...


  Click on the image below to conclude your journey:
The graphic above contains quotes from "Neon Genesis Evangelion"