Damn…

Damn. Mehdi told me we would probably not need to discuss the biopsy results until the stitches came out in ten days or so.

Now I have an urgent appointment to see him this afternoon.

Why don’t they still send out telegrams with a black square on them?

Doesn’t karma make any concessions for those who share their Basil Pesto recipe?

Competition

Entry is free.

What are these objects?

Post your answer in the comments. Only the precisely correct answer wins. The Winner, if there is one, will be announced as soon as the correct answer is posted. Otherwise I’ll let the cat out of the bag in three days or so.

The prize is one of my original works of Art, valued (by me) at a Huge Amount. The Undisclosed Sum we hear so much about. (Terms and Conditions apply*)

Here they are again, from another angle.

*but I’m not telling you what the terms and conditions are.

Lessons.

Today was a day in which I learned, or was reminded of, several important things. It was intended to be a quiet day sorting out the van and disposing of things that are no longer needful, or that do not bring me joy. I am decluttering with a ruthlessness that would make David finally proud of me.

Having swum ninety minutes every day this week I thought I’d take a break, but then, in a fit of energy, and procrastination, I rationalised that I may not be able to swim for a while after the surgery tomorrow. So I should definitely go today. The truth is, I am becoming a swim junkie. I need my fix of weightless, fluid, pain-free motion with good music, the cool silky feel of water flowing over my skin.

Also I had spotted in the Target catalogue, a cheap, small microwave oven that looked as if it might fit into the space created for one in the caravan, a space currently filled with sauce bottles and assorted condiments that do not require refrigeration. I decided I need a microwave, now that I am on mains power semi permanently.

I measured the space and recorded the dimensions on my phone. Then went for a swim. I forgot my walking stick. Emerging from the pool and feeling the return of gravity, I regretted my decision not to go back for it. I decided I need three. One always in the car, one in the bike trailer, and one at home. It is getting hard to do without it.

After my swim, I showered, changed and headed for Target. I stopped into the bargain shop first to pick up an extra walking stick.

In Target I found the oven I was interested in, pulled out my tape measure, and checked the dimensions of the front of the oven. It would fit. I picked up a boxed oven from the shelf below the display and headed for the checkout. By the time I got there, I knew I had made a serious mistake. The shooting pains in my legs and the grinding sounds from my knees told me both they and my back were buggered from this weightlifting exercise. It was only a small oven!

I left it by the checkout and went in search of a trolley. I had not limped far at all before I needed a rest. I leaned on my stick in the forward leaning pose that seems to give me relief. A young woman, who had been at the checkout behind me, came up to me, pointed at a bench and told me to sit there while she found me a trolley. She then headed down to Woolworths at the other end of the mall, returning with a trolley.

What a sweetheart. Her name is Tara. I felt so old. Especially when she patted me on the shoulder and told me that like me, her grandma was always trying to do more than she was now capable of. Hey, I’m father material, not grandad. But of course, I was her age when my grandad was my age.

Such people are the treasures of humanity as much as any great Nobel laureate.

Once I had a trolley to lean on, I was fine. I collected the oven and transferred it to the cruiser. Back at the caravan I unboxed it and carefully, if painfully, carried it inside. Of course it did not fit into the space available. Only the face had the right dimensions, and even then, only just. A short existential crisis until I realised I could remove the top of the cupboard, insert the oven and put the top back. A quick gathering of tools and the step-stool I call the standy on-thing.

First, I put insect screen over the ventilation hole through the wall of the caravan. That should keep out the ants and insects that might otherwise colonise the back of the oven.

It did fit though the cupboard top does not quite go back as snugly as before. I then reheated some cold coffee in a mug. No more reheating in a saucepan on the gas stove and forgetting it.

But I now need to find somewhere to put all the sauce bottles and assorted condiments that do not require refrigeration.

I wondered at the marvellous technology before me that cost only $68. I remembered my first microwave and how expensive it was. This thing cost little more than a packet of 40 cigarettes, or an hour of my wages, back when I was earning them.

That made me think of all the man hours and material that went into manufacturing it. If the retail price is so low, how much do those who do the real work get? Then I felt guilty. This is why the world is in crisis.

But coffee. And reheated chicken, turkey and chorizo in mushroom sauce.

Non-Existential Angst

A foray into a new genre. I don’t know what it is.

Sometimes, when you are dead, you just don’t know it. Your mind continues to believe in your life, despite the irrefutable proof lying in a wreck on the roadside. You ignore the clues, carry on in a dazed trance, doing work that does not need doing, and which is never noticed. You raise imaginary dahlias and runner beans and children. You still believe in Love, Family, Friends. Hope. You believe in Truth and Balance and Justice. They are ideal, because they are not real. You take foolish risks for their sake, not realising it matters nought. For you have nothing to lose that is not already lost.

You edge sometimes towards an unwilling awareness of your sad condition, this seemingly human condition. When you do, you seek diversion. You lose yourself in fiction, for deep inside you know that only in the imagination is found the Happy Ending. Every book you think you read, is one you write yourself. Every movie you watch is no more than your own reimagining of all you missed while you were still alive. Your own mind sometimes produces that rare masterpiece, a dream so moving, so sweeping, with such an epic, tragic, sad or bitter-sweet finale, that you weep. You weep. You feel. Because despite being dead, on some unconscious level of your non-existential soul you are aware you have just realised the Truth.

Entropy rules. Decay. That is how you should know you are dead. There is no other condition.

And the only question for you, Zombie, is “When was it that you died?”

There, perversely, paradoxically, is your true immortality.

You were, you are, you shall be – always – nothing more – and nothing less – than a skin cell shed from the Universe as it searches for meaning.

© S.P. Nov, 2019
Another skin cell, shed from the Universe

Sonnet

“The Martini; the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”

H. L. Mencken

I think that I shall never see

A Bottle lovelier than thee

And this companion by thy side

Is quite thine equal, undenied

And though some might discuss the merit

Of lesser, Cossack potato spirit

It’s you the connoisseur preferred

Either shaken, or just stirred.

Either way is just as nice,

In a glass of chinkling ice.

But if one to six I mix you in

I’ll need another five bottles of gin.

Me.

HCP

Yesterday, my favourite young nurse, with whom I am completely in love, helped me complete my health care plan for the coming year. I’m in love not because she is beautiful, although she is, but because she understands me. If only I was forty years younger.

That smile.

We see each other only once or twice a year, and since my last visit much has changed. I can tell when people are gushing and cooing because it is their job to be encouraging, and when they mean it. Her genuine pleasure at my progress was touching. Her understanding of my mental state and my pragmatic approach to it tells me she has a black dog too.

It was she who introduced me to the MyFitnessPal app, which helped me get my main issue under control. I thanked her for that. Now at last we can turn to the matter of the legs and feet, and the pain. Not just to manage it, but to do something about it. That was not really an option until I shed some weight.

She laughed when I told her about the Really Really Fat Persons Support Group, she told me I was her favourite patient. I bet she says that to all the boys.

By pure coincidence, while I was waiting at the surgery, I received a call from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, asking me to do another blood and urine test. They had already supplied me with the necessary form, which I carried with my medical summary in my man-bag. The pathology lab is right there at the surgery so it was a simple matter after my appointment to drop in, bleed and pee in a cup.

I then checked out the op-shops in Woodford for clothes. But I think I’m too fussy. I’ll try Caboolture later. On the way home I drove straight past Beefy’s for the second time this week. That’s willpower.

I felt so positive that rather than stop off at the pool for a swim on my way back, I drove all the way home, had a light lunch, hopped on the bike,’ and pedalled back to the aquatic centre. That’s dedication.

After the swim I rode home and immediately took a nap until 8 pm. That’s old age.