Self tape club. It’s happening all over the world. So many tiny flats in big cities filled with personalities with big dreams. Little bubbles of friendship groups who help each other. The familiar phone call. “X casting director needs Z for Yday”. Usually it’s just a little scene, or two or three little scenes with a weekend turnaround. They come in on a Friday, they go out Monday morning. Fire and forget as often as not. It’s a chance to hang out with your friends.
I was in Camden today as the sun set over the HS2 station. I was in a flat with a very friendly cat. The room we used to use has been turned around and now has an occupant so we built into the living room. It’s involved. Two tripods to hold the screen, and then attach the screen. Two tripods to hold the lights and then open out the diffusers and screw in the bulbs, then adjust the “heat” of the light with white muslin and reflectors. One more tripod to hold the mobile phone. My friend is using a paid for apple app so can at least frame her own shot in the selfie camera. She’s learnt the lines, even though some friends of mine swear by paid for autocue apps (“It’s brilliant but it can be a shock if you get an in person recall!”) Three scenes. Short but learnt. The cat wanders as he pleases. Occasionally the new flatmate goes to the loo or talks loudly on the phone.
I find myself thinking back over the sheer volume of stuff I’ve learnt for these occasions. Scenes from all sorts of styles of story. Flashes of story from all over the world. Today we are in Scotland. My friend grew up there. My dad and most of my remaining family carry that idiom. I’m reading an ineffectual husband to my friends practical angry wife. “Let’s only do one or two takes per scene,” she says at the start which is a good shout as you can get unnecessarily mired in detail otherwise. Still it takes time. There are three scenes, one static, one mobile and one post coital. They need to feel different and the difference needs to feel considered, even if this is just a pitch. “Hi! I’m a human! I could be this human for you?!”
The sun goes down while we work. The end of the work blends with the beginning of conversation and reminiscence and gossip and friendship and I’m driving or we would likely share a bottle of wine but instead we find a local kebab shop and have it with chili sauce and I drive home hopeful that my friend will get the job, happy that I could help again, and ready once more to completely forget the whole experience just as the lines she learnt so well over the last few days will now slowly fall out of her memory unless she gets that happy daytime call from the agent…
It’s a strange thing, being mister pretendyface. It’s the best thing in the world when it works. The fellowship is extraordinary. Even last night as an example, to fit in to a 25 year old’s awesome house party without feeling like the creepy uncle. But… the unpredictability and the GAPS! Ugh. Something in March please, universe. Something in March would be really really nice.
Seven o’clock on a Saturday evening. I just got out of a hot bath and I’m tired. Bed feels warm and welcoming. The rest of the flat is cold.
In less than an hour I’m going to go to a party. I’m sure there were times where the prospect of such an endeavour would have filled me with anticipation. “What curious conversations will I find?” The party habit got smashed when we all splintered into solitary fearfulness. Now I am trying to marshal my energies so I can do this instead of just staying in the warm place switching the light off and snoozing until morning. I almost went to Vault Festival this evening but the thing was sold out and I think that didn’t help my mood. Plus it has been grey all day and now it’s dark. Dammit February, you’re letting me down.
My friend has started sending me selfies from Vault now. She’s tempting me out. Doesn’t want me to flake. Vault is a kooky lovely mix of theatrical strangeness. She’s all dressed up and is also going to the party after watching a show. “I was sad too but then I got dressed up.” Damn. She’s right though. Change the outside and the inside changes with it.
This party… it is gonna happen whether I feel like it or not. I might galvanise with a cup of coffee and then put something ostentatious like a frock coat and hat on and drive there with the last of the Christmas prosecco in shotgun. Then I can celebrate my friend and donate alcohol and it’s Sunday tomorrow so if I do end up getting sloshed I can come back to get the car in the morning, and if I’m restrained then I give myself a comfy ride home to warmth. And I’ll have a disguise which will allow me to be gregarious. Having the car will be an incentive to behave well as this place is the other side of town from me and it’ll either be multiple buses or too much money in an Uber, one of which I don’t fancy and the other I can’t justify.
London London London. Always the prospect of something to do, but the expense of it all and the crowds. Right. It’s twenty past. It is time to haul up and consider the bizarre and disorganised contents of my wardrobe.
Well that was easier than it could have been. Jacket and trousers courtesy of Os de las casas, hat courtesy of uncle Peter. Tie and waistcoat John Jones. Cravat by Lou. I feel a bit more like someone who goes out on the town. Now it’s just the business of doing it.
I did it mummy I did it! Lovely people in a house all the way across time and even though I brought the average age up by about ten years I was happy to have made it and felt included. I also didn’t reflexively drink loads to try and stop myself from feeling awkward. I had a single prosecco and ended up taking some old friends home. It’s not quite 1am and I’m liable to be back in bed soon, although typically now I’ve been at the party I’m wired on company. I do like people and talking long hours about the nature of things. Didn’t that used to happen virtually every night?
“Your realise alcohol is a depressant so its the last thing you should go to if you’re sad…” Wisdom.
I woke up bright and early this morning somehow. Mostly the egregious tinkling of my alarm which hauled me out of a very interesting dream to fully awake in a moment. A few minutes trying to remember why I set it so early, as I half wanted to climb back into the dream and then I remembered. Cold calling. Arse.
Espresso in the aeropress and blearily looking at the script I’ve been given. It’s not an easy one, plus I rarely if ever do this sort of work. It isn’t sales at least. It’s just trying to get a list of names of sixth form students in Yorkshire who might want work experience. Problem is, a stranger ringing up a school and asking for information about their pupils isn’t a way to inspire confidence. “Is everybody at this company of yours DBS checked?” asks one receptionist. “I am… and it’s a global company so I’m sure safety will be a priority.”
I make notes in my very crowded notebook, and the hours tick by as I’m sitting in a patch of bright winter sun coming into my window from over the river. Thank heaven for the lack of clouds today. Vitamin D helped balance the fact that I really didn’t relish the work I had agreed to do. I learnt that lesson years ago – never commit to work you know you’ll hate. Hasn’t stopped me, but it’s only a day and a half and it won’t define me.
Those few teachers I do get through to are thoughtful and friendly, but my list is pretty weak. They’re a kind breed, teachers. I get why they’ve been striking too. I’ve seen how hard they work, and the care they take for every individual personality, rolling round year after year. The schools where I get through to someone almost all don’t HAVE a sixth form. They’ve all already left. The company want something like 150 names and I finish a whole days work with nowt but a few contact numbers and a lot of people who never got the original email. I’ll have to follow up on Monday now I’ve sent it to them. Now I’ve made my notes it’ll be much less frustrating. Demoralising though, but a friend of mine was having a similar experience with the other half of the list and we could communicate which took the edge off as we could corroborate the experience.
This week of work experience we are trying to fill could be really positive for the right candidates. A bit of a boost and a way to meet other proactive young people right at the start of their working life. Maybe even a route into a good first job. It was never the route for me, but for some … I’m trying to connect young adults to something that might shift them onto a fruitful and happy track. So at least I don’t encounter that bitter taste you sometimes hear in the unfortunates who call you unexpectedly to flog something they couldn’t care less about. I know this could be a valuable opportunity for some. I like to try to bring positivity, and … at least the sun was shining on me through my cold window while I went about it.
All that and trying to overlook the fact that, by drinking yesterday, I only made it harder today to be in a happy mood. Kinda managed it helped my a pint of apple and ginger juice, but the voice of BED is calling loud now and maybe it’s time to finally try and get back to that interesting dream I was having. If only I could remember what it was about…
I have been throwing my diary around and attempting to stitch possibilities together. A large chunk came out of one of my molars, adding to the narrative that I’m gonna have to go to Turkey and get them to make my ivories less dead. It’d be nice to have a meal and not have to dig it back out of my face. But if all of that was working…
Well. I’m not your posterboy. I just spoke with Lou and she could tell immediately that my line is squiffy. I was sad and so I opened a bottle of wine that I had brought back from Binissalem in Majorca. It made me momentarily happy, but in the long run it just made me slow. Maybe the slowness is what people pay for? All I know is that my state was not welcomed and now I’m attempting this writing. Nobody pays for my writing. This blog is just noise. It might even have contributed to the imagination-fail that means I’m actively looking for work in March instead of being central to the operations of a forward thinking and brave company.
Who knows? I’m just here… just me being me forever, but … discreet forever. So I found the perfect dayjob match, but the world energies closed in to remind me why I’m actually here.
I’m off to bed and thankfully it’s early as I’m not really sure who I am right now. I can only really open one eye at a time. Still, being asleep before nine? Excellent. Tomorrow I’ll be cold calling a load of schools in Leeds. I think the wine happened when I thought about the difference between what I want to be doing and what I’m doing. Life, eh?
I’m ok. I’ll go as far as to say I’m happy. But bed and sleep is needed… I’ve had a lot of wine. It’s barely 9pm and yesterday without any chemical augmentation I slept at 8, woke at midnight and slept again at 3am. I might try a similar pattern. Apparently it was a thing back in the day when we lived by the sun…
February is upon us. I like February. It’s a hopeful month. It feels like its trying.
Likely named for Februus, an Etruscan death god taking in purification, it is a month of cleansing. One of the last months added to the calendar by the Romans, it plugs the gap in my imagination between the dark and cold of winter and the warmer wet of the coming rains. The worst is now passed. The dark is shifting back. Things are starting to wake up and the world is not quite so cold. That’s what I’ve told myself, having just got into bed before 8pm cos I’m suffering in the flat without the heating.
Another late night call from my agent and a chance to be involved in an institution. Past versions of me will have reacted differently to the chance, but it might be the catalyst I need to get out of here by May. It’s just an idea at present, but I’m open to things shifting. It has been unusually quiet recently. But the world has been hibernating. February is bringing cleansing light back.
If I’m gonna do a detox I tend to do it in February. It’s short, and a marginally less depressing month than January. The mood swings caused by the broken habits are not as sharp as they are when it’s colder. I’ve been doing pretty well at cutting back on the things that hold me back anyway. There’s so much to do, and I’m having to start relying on my diary and on making lists in order to make sure I stay on top of it all. No official detox this time round, but a general reminder to continue to unblock myself and shift forward, particularly with this flat. Too many years of comfortable stasis. That’s gonna be my Februa purge. Stuff.
Februa likely originated our word “fever”. When all your body is pushing toxins out of every possible orifice. I’ll be pushing stuff out of my flat. It will be sweating books, leaking furniture, coughing up pictures and then at the end of the month I will likely be spitting myself at high speed south across Europe to Majorca again.
It’s still dark but we can believe in the light. It’s still messy here but I can believe in getting it emptied. Lou will be staying in a week, working on The Brits. Right now there are three books and an iPad on the bit of bed she’ll be sleeping in. I am gonna have to improve my habits. Normally I get to go to her considered and soft flat in Brighton when I want to see her. I’ll have to do something about the lighting in here, and get some good sheets on the bed… Throwing things out, but the right things and in the right way. Ideally I should rent a ground floor flat out of London and get all the furniture out of here so I can get to work turning it around.
A gentle wake-up, and an early morning visitor from California. The original keeper of Tessy the pedigree cat with a heart condition. She comes over with pastries for us all and a coffee for me. Gently we trick Tessy into her carrier and bring her protesting down the stairs and into Bergman. She’s going for a check-up. She was given a year to live. It’s been a year. She’s fine.
We drop her off and then Lou and I both have work to do. For me it’s emergency tax return. She’s making clothes for DJs. We sit together companionably and work while the cat mummy is having a boozy lunch.
Hours later Lou and I try and make sense of all the arcane inner city traffic restrictions in Brighton, to pick up drunk cat mummy and go back for Tessy. In trying to avoid closed roads I pull up on a pavement directly opposite a camera. I expect there’ll be a letter in the post. So be it.
The cat is well. £1000 worth of well. All she needed was more medicine but they wouldn’t release it without her being checked out and cat cardiology is an expensive business it seems. “Money lubricates everything,” announces cat mummy from the back of Bergman and I’m not sure if she’s happy or sad about that situation. There might have been a cheaper solution, I think. But I get it. It’s a very special being that little beast with a prune-sized heart. And I still have this suspicion that cats help those who are good to them in all sorts of strange energetic ways.
As soon as Tessy was deposited back home safely then I shot back to London thinking I was going to be late for a Factory rehearsal. As I was coming in on the M4 my agent rang. 6.30pm. She just happened to be in the office and being wonderful she picked up and there’s a film I taped for where they think they might lose an actor. He’s tested positive for COVID. Can I drive up north tonight? Damn right I can. I divert home and pack an overnight bag. It’s only a 4 hour drive. I do that sort of thing before breakfast.
“Wait until they confirm,” says Esta, and I do. Time passes. She calls me back disappointed. “Apparently he doesn’t have COVID after all,” she says. Perhaps he’s neurotic, I think. Self sabotaging? Panicking? I stand down. Missed The Factory now. Oh well. It was worth it to roll the dice.
I’m glad I could say yes and I’m thrilled the casting director tried me and had a positive experience. Sure I didn’t get the part first time – it was the one I did in the corner of my hotel room at The Headland in Cornwall, with awkward natural light and my phone gaffer taped to my suitcase handle. Nice that there was some effect. You often never know if you’ve come close. The things we do send ripples.
Cold flat. Warm bed. A good day today and I’m glad the pussycat is well.
I’m a yoyo again. Bouncing back to Brighton for the day. I’m exhausted and don’t want to think or talk but Lou is glad to see me so I’m probably coming across as grumpy as all I really want to do is nothing in silence. Tomorrow morning I’m driving the cat to the vet. That is my purpose. Then I’m straight back up to London.
I woke up at 5 still a bit zoned from the drugs and shortly afterwards I woke up a surprisingly game Tristan and we drove to Chelsea and Westminster hospital to pick up Bergman from the side street where he had been sleeping. A quick goodbye to Tristan and then I floored it and made it out to Northolt for 8am only to discover that there’s been an error and I’m expected tomorrow morning not today. That’s that job down the pan then. They’ve found a replacement. I was kinda glad not to have to do it even though I wanted the money. I drove slowly to Brighton instead.
Lou had a lunch date with some female friends at The Ivy, so I studiously avoided getting invited to join them despite the good food – you know, so Lou could happily talk about whatever arcane things the ladies discuss behind closed doors. Instead I thought I’d give Bergman a little treat for all his hard work of late and I took him to be valeted. It’s not a full service like he needs – that’ll come in good time. Just a nice scrub. He got a proper shining inside and out. He’s looking and smelling much more salubrious now. It took them fucking ages though, so while Lou was howling in The Ivy with the ladies I was freezing my ass off in a concrete car park by ASDA waiting for the noisy bugger to finish shining my wheels. It would have been warmer and cheaper to’ve done it myself. But sometimes it’s nice to have people do a thing for you.
The weather today was a flash of hope. There were moments when I felt something close to warmth outside, standing in the sun. If they hadn’t taken so long I would’ve been able to keep in the sun, but by the time they finished it was half four and it was an orb falling into the sea again. Ciao Sol.
I drove to the lanes and grabbed a quick carbonara and a glass of Montepulciano and just as I was finishing Lou rang to say she was done at The Ivy and I chauffeured the ladies home in my newly spruced whip.
Now it’s bedtime. It’s nine. It’s bedtime. My feet are cold and I crave oblivion. I just had a lovely hot bath. Great to spend time with Lou and if we are sleeping then I won’t have to think.
This morning I hauled myself out of sleep to force myself to drink another horrible litre of salty orange poojuice. The heating wasn’t on. Freezing. Nothing I wanted to do less than get out of blanketbed. But another two hours of attempting to be a self propelled jetski but failing to take off forced me to find flushable water.
I wasn’t certain it was poosafe to travel by noon, but I wanted to get to hospital early. Clothes on and lights off and heating off. The hospital is in my borough so I can park anywhere. I drove in and parked a few streets from the hospital. I went and checked in.
One nurse on reception. I checked in and then watched. They were working front and and back end on their own. Some patients were more demanding than others. “Excuse me, it says no mask no entry on the door, is that still the rules?” “You can wear a mask of you prefer.” “But it says on the door no mask no entry but I’m not going to wear a mask. Also it says Endoscopy. I’m here for a Colonoscopy. Is it only Endoscopy patients with masks? How can you do an Endoscopy with a mask?” “Just use your common sense you passive aggressive cunt,” he didn’t say. “This is the right place for a colonoscopy too.” “Then why does it say etc etc” This is why I’m not a nurse. I would have had a secret trapdoor built in front of reception with a chute leading to the snake pit.
I’m only there about half an hour before I get called, in which time I watch that poor nurse working two jobs. Another nurse comes and introduces themselves. She takes me into a little room and gets my scrubs. All my stuff goes into bags. She double checks my identity and we fill in some forms. She leaves so I can get into scrubs.
I’m trying to make out like I’m not nervous but it’s clear I am. I get disposable shorts with an access hatch in the bum.
I put all my stuff into plastic bags and wait. She is off seeing other patients. Eventually she returns. It is time to attach the cannula to my arm. “What’s going in there?” “Midazolam and Fentanyl. But not now. This is just the cannula.” “I always pass out when I’m injected,” I tell her. “I don’t know why. Usually it’s about 3 minutes after. It’s not something I can affect. I’ve tried. I’m usually very good at mind over matter but I can’t make sense of this one. It’s a thing.” “I’m scared of needles too, ” she says and does a great job of getting the cannula on fast.
She then leaves to look after other people again. I take that photo, send some texts. A couple of minutes pass and I’m thinking I’ve gotten away with it when the familiar haze encroaches on the edges of my vision. “Oh fuck here we go ,” I think. I’m sitting down and I know how this goes even if I’m gonna be alone for the mad wake-up. I consider calling out but … I can handle this and all the nurses are overworked.
Shutters, white noise vision. I ensure stability in the chair as I am gianthand swatted right to left into boundless oblivion.
Everything. Everything. The boundless cosmos. The SIZE THE NOISE. Kaleidoscope voices. The edges are on fire. Moments telescope into aeons and I am gone forever into other lives and worlds and spaces.
I recover suddenly from infinite dreams of madness and who knows how much time has passed but I’m presently launching forward out of my seat with urgency. One of those endless versions left a memory of a need. Something I must do. In this world or their world? A powerful aegis to put on a man with disposable bumflap shorts. I’ll have to try to remember. This one is sane again and here is the world this one is in again in this idea of a time stream, and I once more inhabit this unusual being I chose. The end of the faint brings a sudden shock of cold sweat. Every inch of my body makes itself sweat wet, especially my face. The remaining laxative in my gut has not had the benefit of any consciousness holding it in for however long I was elsewhere. I’m back in this version of time and the poo is knocking at my door. I know where the loo is thank God. I asked the nurse. I rush there and it’s still a near miss as sweating and still remembering who I have decided to be right now and I clear the scrubs out the way and let the liquid contents of my gut Vesuvius downwards. Still I don’t achieve flight. The model is flawed.
I go back and I sit on my poor bum. Time passes, and since we are back in the timestream it must. Enter Mike.
“Well then, here you are,” says Mike. “You’re young. I guess you’re wondering how you got here?”
“It’s how it goes. You notice changes in your bowel, we find deep blood in your poo, next thing, here you are. I’m the doctor.” I love him. He artlessly called me young.
We fill in forms. He’s great. “You’re an actor?” “Well, yes but I think you’ll be seeing a different side of me from the one I present as part of my work.” He thinks about it. “Yes, but I mostly see a part of everyone that they haven’t seen before.”
He makes some notes and leaves me alone again. He’s evidently extremely good and extremely busy.
Eventually two new nurses come and get me. They bring me into the room and lie me down. They check who I am again and attach blood pressure and heart rate monitors. I get relaxed.
The doctor has made the call that I don’t need Midazolam. That’s the sedative that is anti anxiety. “Just the Fentanly,” he says, and says to me : “There are people out there who go out of their way for this stuff.” I respond; “Mate, there are people out there who would go out of their way for what you’re about to do to me.” “Not so many people,” he responds, and he shoves a long long camera all the way up my arse to my bellybutton.
Without the Midazolam I am weirdly happy to be fully aware and watching the screen. The invasion of the camera causes a catastrophe of farting which is welcomed by the doctor : “Good, that’s the best thing to do.” I think one of my farts lasts about a minute. Call Norris McWhorter.
Together we watch Gut-TV. It’s ok up there. I’ve just had a full purge too. And mostly my gut is all fine. Just one great big 1.5cm polyp, causing all the problems,b in my rectum. Mike is an expert in his field and happy to offer his opinion. “Big one there. Let’s get it off. Doesn’t look cancerous to me.”
I watch as it is frozen off and then stitched up with a small metal stud. They momentarily can’t find where it fell but they gather it up for biopsy. “Oh and there’s piles,” he says almost conversationally as it all comes out.
‘Twas a polyp. Nothing more. A big one though. They’ll be dissecting it now. It looked like a little brain. I’m glad it’s gone. Doctor was happy it was benign.
More nurses in aftercare and the receptionist again in discharge and good God how can the government not SEE that they are wonderful humans working so hard? Every one of them will be working long hours and without any stops, fielding nerves and pain and cleverness and shyness and all the tricky bits of humans with SKILL” They MUST be paid better. Sadly the government literally doesn’t understand what work actually is. Or skill. Unchecked privilege has driven our country almost to standstill.
Tristan picked me up. “I’m fine I can drive home don’t worry.” “Your eyes are glazed. I don’t believe you. What have you had?” “Just a tiny tiny bit of Fentanyl it’s fine it’s fine.” Fentanyl killed Prince.
I’m back at T&T’s. I brought along a jar of foie gras de canard that my neighbour gave me ages ago. We had the lot along with some excellent Bolognese, and now Henry the cat and I are settling in for an early bed. The dreams won’t be the fever dreams of earlier when I momentarily accidentally shunted out of this place to another of them. I’m back here again whatever “here” is, and this one is healthy and polyp free and ready to make some interesting and weird changes on this version of now going forward.
Thank everything for the NHS. Nye Bevan. May his legacy last 1000 years. May it certainly outlast these manicured empty incompetent liars in Westminster.
A little jaunt up to Hampstead today via Camden. The lockup hasn’t been raided again yet, so I put a few more things in there. Nothing valuable as I can never be sure if I’ll come back to it in one piece. Glad it’s on the ground floor and easily accessible. Those boxes of books have been pissing me off and likely making every journey much more expensive. I need to look after Bergie as he’s off to Majorca again in three weeks or so. I might be clever to get him serviced. Money though.
In Hampstead I assessed the basic Majorca load and then noticed it was almost 3pm. I wasn’t allowed to eat after 3pm because of this damn colonoscopy. It’s a very limited list of permissible food items allowed before the cutoff, and I hadn’t brought myself a cheese sandwich on white bread. God I like good food. Alongside heat it’s definitely one of my favourite things. I stopped at a sushi place and explained the diet to the lovely man at the counter. He made me up some of the best salmon sashimi I’ve ever had, with sesame rice and no veg. Sesame seeds sprinkled on it though.. Damn. I had neglected to mention that I’m not allowed seeds, nuts and pulses. I went and sat in Bergman and painstakingly separated the seeds from the rice before enjoying a surprisingly tasty lunch within the rules. A few stray seeds surely won’t do too much harm tomorrow.
Then I drove home, booted up Sea of Thieves and had a sloop loaded full of treasure when my alarm told me it was 7pm and it was time to start working my way through my first litre of laxatives. A measuring jug, and two sachets. One of them, the big one, has got 100 grams of an osmotic laxative in it, mixed up with loads of different rehydration salts and some really pokey orange flavouring. The other sachet is basically just vitamin C. It’s a berocca with consequences. Most of the thing I’ve taken is designed to help with the effects of the thing I’ve taken. (I also have a little bottle of something that helps babies fart, in case I get bloated). Mix the sachets up with a litre of cold water and gradually drink it over two hours. I realised I was never gonna get that treasure sloop back to port quite quickly and abandoned everything but my book. I ran a hot bath. I spent two hours bouncing in and out of it. Comfort and warmth and cleansing water to counterbalance an unpleasant few hours. I kept on topping it up. Now finally I’m in bed. Four hours have passed since I started sipping that orangey gack. I’m not quite out of the woods yet. Once it’s safe to go to bed though I’m gonna have to as first thing tomorrow morning it’ll be time for another litre of nasty orangey ick, with likely very similar results.
Outside my window I can hear the Saturday night party boat. All the youth dancing. Saturday night, innit. I like to think that my Saturday night has been rock and roll too. In some ways very Elvis. Definitely it’s been unusual and strangely memorable. I’ve not had a Saturday night like it. In between bouts I’ve been looking at cheap and pleasant Airbnb options in the middle of France and Majorca to stop at mid February as I fly down to the sun again for a brief but welcome job. Now I’m adding even more liquid to myself with a great big camomile tea to take my mind off the fact that I want FOOD.
So it seems that for ages now, all the people I know have been going off and having loads of colonoscopys without telling me. There I was thinking it was something reasonably unusual, and I get a phone call this morning and mention it. “Oh yeah, we both had that last year. The worst thing about it is the diet beforehand.”
Then later in the day another call and “Oh yeah, I’m having one on Wednesday.” Then a bit later and “We went to Santa’s grotto after a colonoscopy in December…”
Either everybody is always having colonoscopys secretly, or the people I’m talking to regularly are a little bit older than they used to be, heaven forbid. Didn’t the conversation used to be about how my friend did that thing and then someone said X and so I said Y and can you imagine and have you SEEN the new Z? Now it’s “Oh yeah I had that weird medical procedure oh hang on sorry got to go the child is biting my ear again.” “WE ARE OLD,” says one dear friend. She’s the oldest mum at the school gates. I’ve known her for over twenty years. I remember when I was twenty I thought I was ancient. Hell.
The diet is shit. Well… the opposite. But it’s annoying. No fruit. No nuts pulses beans etc. Nothing wholemeal. No vegetables. No red meat etc etc. No fibre. I’m making a mac and cheese without the chili or chorizo. Tomorrow I’ll have chicken wings or something. And then I’ll have to drink a litre of medical strength laxative in the evening before getting up at six to have another litre before fasting all day until they do unpleasant things on Sunday afternoon instead of a nice roast dinner. What price peace of mind, eh? Thank Christ we have this NHS still despite the fact they’re closing in on it. I’m gonna be super strict and obey all points of what I’ve been asked to do. I am aware how incredibly fortunate I am to have this test available to me gratis. If this was America I’d have had to take Bergman to the dealership.
The mercy is that coffee is allowed even on the morning of the procedure. Black only, so I’ve bought some posh grains. Gonna suck what joy I can from this. Cheese is on the menu, hell yeah. Coffee and cheese? If red wine was allowed it would be a normal Friday.
I just finished my book. I’ll need something good to take to the hospital as I have no doubt at all that my call time is a long long time before I’m gonna go in. I still hate hospitals so it’ll have to be something that catches me or I’ll be a nervous wreck…