Monday, January 18, 2010

Headline: Heavy Cold Sweeping the Country


Today I'm sick, My head feels like it's made of wood. My temperature is leaping about on the roof of a neighbour's car. I'm surrounded by a faint injured air. Have I a cold, a heavy cold, or a very heavy cold? I'll weight it later when I'm feeling better.

The headlines in the morning newspaper confirm a "heavy cold" is sweeping the country. Surely that's a job for Council personnel? I was considering embracing a tin of meat for comfort when Doctor Wobbleski strutted into my bedroom. As I was downstairs in my living room I found his behaviour outrageous.

He had brought his three-pointed black and white beard which looked ridiculous hanging out of his trouser pocket. He uttered unspeakable words: 'You scum!' I stayed silent. While I have the gift of the gab I'm damned if I'm giving it back. I resumed listening to myself growing old. I glanced at Doctor Wobbleski. He looks like a man who works hard all day, but has nothing to show for it. His jacket is shapeless and baggy: in league with his face.

'Well, doctor,' I said, in a polite murmur. 'What do you think?' He seemed indecisive, scratched himself, ignored me, and attended to the "faint injured air"! Suddenly, I remembered why I dislike people who smell of carbolic acid. I began to howl but the doctor told me to be quiet. My anxiety for my health persisted. Meanwhile, the doctor made vague promises he would tend to me shortly. I watched as he grunted like a pig while examining the faint injured air.

'I'm at a loss, ' he said. 'Of course, I don't know what's going on inside . . . No, indeed . . . But you look in terrible shape . . . It has been a cold winter. I do believe you've caught a dreadful cold. I'll give you something for the cough.' The injured air had another coughing fit. The doctor enlightened the injured air of the benefits of a refreshing trip to the seaside, or to a quiet corner of a park. He felt it would help its mood, ease its headaches. He further prescribed excitement, music, curiosity, a change in diet and whistling.

Just as I felt all was lost Doctor Wobbleski approached me. He felt my pulse, listened to the blood racing through my body, then shook his head. I sat motionless, anxious, covered in dandruff. 'You're in a dreadful state. You smell like a mouldy rope, and worst, look like one. Do you want my advice?' he said, clearly intent in getting out of my house as quickly as possible. 'You've lost your spirit. First of all, take that cigar out of your left nostril, your glasses out of your mouth, and your false teeth out of your ears. Get out of bed, shave, and kiss the first women you meet outside who is blessed with full pale thighs. Get a job that doesn't involve work, and remember: It may be foggy, but it's not raining. Whatever the hell that means!'

After Doctor Wobbleski left I put on an extra layer of clothing and jumped into a warm scented bath. I lit a cigar and dozed with Pleasure, a young lady friend, who rinsed my back with her soft hands. I believe it was her hands. I could be mistaken, of course.

Reflections: Some people, places and things, once important, lose their impact on us over time. Loss of colour and ambivalence, speed their demise, and our conviction towards them. Something to be celebrated, surely.