Sam Tyler is a whining, pathetic, useless pile of fucking shit.
He knows this, not because Gene tells him - he doesn’t, he’s careful never to say anything about Sam’s continuing feeble-mindedness. Besides if Gene was saying what he thinks, he’d say Sam was being a pathetic whinging nancy tosser. No, Sam knows what he is from deep inside himself, and because he can see it in Gene’s despair. If Sam was any use as a human being he’d be out of this bed by now, back on the streets with Gene.
But he isn’t any use as a human being. And he’s certainly no use as a police officer, a friend or a lover.
What he can’t live with is that he allowed himself to believe he could go home. The bastard who’d kept him gagged, bound and blindfolded for uncounted days in a dirty dark hole told him to shout for help when he woke up. If Sam had done that, if in fact Sam had displayed any intelligence at all, he wouldn’t be wasting his energies now on coming back from infection and dehydration as well as from beatings, starvation and too many pills.
It’s his own fault, and he doesn’t even have the excuse that he thought it was real. He knows it wasn’t real, knew then that it wasn’t real. Knew that if he gave up and turned to the voices and the visions he would probably die right there as he deserved. Yet he pursued the fantasy. Followed the beguiling primrose path out of the pain and misery into the false light and Gene’s darkness.
And this he can never say.
Because it’s Sam’s stupidity and Sam’s failure putting Gene through these weeks and months of hell. Sam’s fault Gene is running his city without his deputy, and when he comes home exhausted he still has to look after Sam, do things for him. Sam knows he can never make that up to Gene, not if he tries for the rest of his life. He’s just a pathetic useless prick, a complete waste of space.
But he’s still Sam Tyler, and to attempt atonement, and to address the issue of punishment, he must get himself back to work as soon as possible, to take the load off Gene. So he’s got exercise plans from every doctor, every therapist and three of the senior nurses, and he works through them all.
Most days he doesn’t take the painkillers, they slow his mind down and make him lazy, and he hasn’t got time to waste on drifting. He’s planned it all out, how many minutes every routine will take and how often he should be doing each one, and it’s working well now, he’s conquering each cycle of pain and sometimes he doesn’t even break down till the end.
And when his weakened muscles contort and spasm and he has to stop for a while, he reads case notes, feverishly searching statements for something, anything, that was missed the first time round. It’s the only way he can contribute. He may be useless, but he’s a police officer, he’s got a job to do even if he can’t walk down the road yet, can’t even make it to the front door most days.
He finally understands how much of him is defined by what he does, and now he can’t do it, maybe he isn’t who he was any more. Maybe he’s no-one now.
In between case reviews, in the brief rest periods he allows himself when he can’t hold the files any longer, he lies briefly back and burns with impatience for the day he doesn’t have to look at that ceiling any more; the day he can get outside and be strong enough to be some use to Gene. So he starts the next exercise a little earlier than he should and if he does that enough times he can fit in a few more every day.
Gene tells him to sleep more, just relax for God’s sake, but every time he struggles through the day, every time he sees Gene coming home exhausted but magnificent from fighting through another day alone, he knows all over again that he’s just a useless fucking cunt who doesn’t deserve a prize like Gene, and he should go back to his lonely flat, set him free. Gene is saving his city alone and unaided while Sam lies pathetically abed with his reading and exercises.
He doesn’t count the days or the nights; they’re all the same anyway. He wakes each morning and pushes himself harder, and sleeps only when he can’t fight it. He despises himself these days; he is a pathetic whinging nancy tosser, a whining, pathetic, useless pile of fucking shit. And every day he hates himself a little more.
Useless is too good a word for him.