I’m writing this sitting in the hospital waiting room, waiting to be called in and advised of the biopsy results and, in the best-case scenario, have the surgery I need firmly scheduled. I’ve been waiting about 80 minutes.
I’m quite used to it by now. This is my third visit and the shortest wait has been 90 minutes. It’s a cosmopolitan, motley waiting room. Most are working class I would guess. There are people of all ethnicities and others seemingly from the fringes – a man with his jumper inside out, an angry person, and others you look twice at. Some are old hands it seems, quietly reading a paperback as they wait, but others fidget it play with their phone. The only person talking is a man calling up his address book to tell them of his dodgy oil pump. I know the story so well by now that I could tell it myself.
Me, I sit quietly.
I was slow to wake up again this morning. When I got going finally I was to the railway station early, planning to catch up with colleagues for lunch before my appointment.
It’s a cool day. It rained overnight. A plump pigeon in mottled brown and white pecked at the ground, hobbling from what looked like a club-foot (club-claw?).
I listened to an audiobook as the train slid through the suburbs. I’ve been listening to audiobooks last thing before I sleep and often when I wake. It’s easier than to read the old fashioned way, which I would normally.
Last week I finished listening to an Alistair McLean classic When Eight Bells Toll – perfect listening for the borderline infirm. The book I’m listening to now is very different – A.S Byatt’s Possession.
This is a much more intricate piece of writing, much distant from MacLean’s bombastic and unlikely adventures. It seemed perfect, however, as I journeyed in. It’s lovely, sensitive writing that inspires reflection, which is very much in sync with my mood.
I caught up for lunch at a Uighur restaurant where I was bright and to the point. My colleagues know of my situation, but the last thing I wanted was to appear frail and vulnerable.
And now they call my name – only to tell me the results are delayed. The analysis has been completed, but not yet validated or written down. Did I mind waiting a little longer? It won’t be long…
So I wait again. I’ve nowhere else to be.
PS Voiceover: and then he found out he had cancer.