Laura and Leila, nurses, both looking at me fondly, one on the left and the other on the other side. This in itself is distracting, never mind their descriptions of the ‘ Procedure’ that is only twenty minutes away.
I want to know what drugs are on the table today, being curious. Fentanyl and Oxicodone says Laura, plus a couple of tabs of O to take home if something starts to hurt unnecessarily. I almost have to promise not to share this news with the outandabouts around town sometimes seen in my company. Timmy Twohats, Wendy, Angry Les and Pete the tin and bottle collector who makes about $300 a day and doesn’t wash. Ever.
Better to flush them if you don’t use them, says Leila, and give the sewerage system a spike in the dope levels for the day.
They both grin at each other. Nurses, they know.
Jacob comes by for a shave … my shave. Inside right leg all the way up to what always should be kept private and on the way with his electric razor he stopped at the offending material that was scheduled to be removed and drew back.
See many of these? I ask.
Plenty, says Jacob, but this one’s a belter!
Skip has a bed further up the ward, lung problems due to the smoke up here. Skip’s a big and a very hairy unit, tells me they need to haircut and shave him before he goes in next week. I ask him how long it’s been since he saw his face.
He says thirty years. Believe me, it’s got to rough under there, but I don’t know Skip well enough to say it out loud.
The Doctor squats on the floor beside me, I’m standing and he’s using a felt pen on the offending article, which now looks as if a small snake with a couple of undigested mice in its length has slid inside my thigh and died. Appendix times 50.
I told him it was undignified for a man such as him to squat on the floor … then he uncoiled like Yoga was his middle name.
Hospital smocks. Always wear jocks underneath seeing most of the professional attention is in areas usually held in tight and modest regard. Think of the Laura’s and Leila’s. Nobody has to know.
Going under. Coming out.
Where was I? Not even a dream to remember and plunder for relativity.
Blind, dumb, deaf, unfeeling, still, but breathing. Where was I? So later on that night a little Billie Ei on the IPad. She does dreams like Dylan does, did, hardtimes.
Skip’s just finished his late breakfast and is now looking fondly at his early lunch. Baked beans, scrambled eggs and toast number 2. Skip does doubles, breakfast and lunch. Consistent fellow, Skip.
Lil drove me home in her taxi. She was born in Ballina and remembers diving off the stone wall behind the co-op and grabbing blackfish by the armful. Now she lives at Uki and watches the Mt Nardi Fire glow in her bedroom windows at night.
They come out like bloodworms from the small cuts I’m going to make in your thigh, says the Doctor, after I shaft them with a hot needle.
Who needs to dream?