Saturday, March 04, 2006

Wild blue yondering on seven shillings a day

Another broken night's sleep, interrupted and barged-in-upon by the noisy but unseen other patient in the hospital. He stamps around on his heels, this chap (I'm assuming he's a chap) and sometimes pauses outside the door of this ward, making a sort of tuneless sub-music with lips and teeth, halfway between a whistle and a series of gasps. Sometimes he stands out there while he consumess whatever food and drink he has found, wolfing and gulping, stuffing so much into his mouth at one time that breathing becomes a problem for him. It's as if he expects me to come out and save him from himself, with his groans and muttered "Oh, sweet gods". But when I call out to ask if he needs assistance, he just expostulates a bell-clear flatulette and stamps away.

But I mustn't grumble. The smell didn't hang upon the air too long, and the disturbance meant I was awake as dawn crept around the ward, lighting up its corners with its magic wand. Soon my cup of tea will arrive and soon thereafter my tiny boiled egg. I will joke with the nurse, as always, on the theme of tiny chickens in the basement providing such eggs. And she will smile, and tell me I'm a terrible man altogether.

Here's hoping there's a date on today's paper.

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