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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Proceed with Caution

‘Don’t lift your head! Don’t move your arms.’ A junior covered the robotic Head with a plastic cap. ‘Now I’m going to pin your arms beside your sides.’ She smiled insincerely. A Japanese face at the door: ‘Will I scrub now?’ ‘Yes,’ shouted Dominatrix. I expected a mop and bucket in one hand, a tough-teethed scrubbing brush in the other. Not so: she returned with a colourful surgeon’s cap on, a wrap-around apron. ‘Don’t lift your head!’ ‘Sorry.’ More white ceiling meditation, Om. A small hand lifted the curtain on my sexagenarian flanks and swabbed thighs and groin with antibacterial fluid, splashing drunkenly like Pollack in a mood. Colourful cap said, ‘A little prick.’ Who she referred to I don’t know – I was distracted from my meditation by a small needle pain in my right groin. ‘A sting,’ and it stung. She began steering the Head like an inquisitive praying mantis, testing angles on my chest area. I expected any moment to hear, ‘Warning! Warning! Aliens approaching!’ and smiled to myself and the white ceiling. The Head flew in close and nudged my shoulder as it took a close up of the cave within. Stalactites and stalagmites competed for room, having grown neighbourly for 65 years. Ceiling flouros flicked off, a whirring sound, then blazed again. The Head drew away at speed and swiveled in the purified air, sniffing out some morsel, and bent its neck to peer up-close at my left ribs. They shrunk back in fright. ‘Keep still!’ a disembodied voice whispered in a stage whisper from amateur variety. ‘Last photo,’ the colourful cap kindly added. She leant down to the ear of her captive audience: ‘You have blockages and …’ She spoke on. I lifted my head …

It was so high tech, and such a team of specialists in the control room, theatre and recovery ward, that the final token of the morning’s procedure was a surprise. ‘Nurse, it may need a band-aid.’ A band-aid!

Next morning, I stood in the shower, wondering at the minimalist punctuation on my groin: a band-aid, from a cupboard in Recovery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your work has improved beyond
reconition from when we first met.
you are truly a poet of the first
order. Raymondo