Sitting in Death’s Waiting Room.


Friday, 26 April 1996

Howdy Sis o’ Mine,

Still sittin’ here in Melbourne, Autumn chill closin’ in around me. Trying hard to ignore the blustery football analysis that trumpets around, usually on Monday, but today on a Friday.  It was ANZAC day yesterday, and there were a few games played.  I actually walked through the park near the MCG yesterday as the people swarmed in, swathed in their respective tribal colours. I was checking them out, the crowd.  I wanted to see if there were certain types missing, but I gotta say, just about everyone goes to the footy, Sis.  I even saw some women with the footy scarf, the footy jumper (tight, of course) and a full face of make-up, stage-thick.  I thought to myself, “Surely they can’t be trying to pick up at a football match,” but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.  Can you imagine meeting your one true love at the footy?  Maybe I’m just a snob, but it’s just not a romantic setting, is it?  The meat pies, the wool rubbing against ruddy cheeks, the aggressive yobbos screaming abuse at the umpire… It’s not exactly Barbara Cartland, eh?  But then again, perhaps it’s a nice, reassuring kinda display of the human hunger for companionship, a bit like when you see that requisite news story about the peregrine falcons making their nest in some construction site. You say “(sigh) Isn’t it wonderful how Mother Nature just battles on tirelessly?  Making life in the most unlikely of places? I sure hope those tweety birds make it, don’t you Carol?”

So what have I been up to I hear you ask.  Well,  not a lot unfortunately. I’ve been ill, you see. At death’s bloody door if I do say so myself.  Got one of them super-flu’s I did.  I even had to go to the Doctors. I even made an appointment, coz I feel so crap that I don’t wanna wait around some waiting room for ages with tatty magazines and tattier people for a thirty second consultation that ends in invariable Amoxycillin.  So I arrive five minutes early for my 12:45 appointment.  I slouch onto one of the grey velour sofas to hear my name called out before all these others.  Hoping it’s gonna be soon, so I can rise with a swagger, look around with superiority and say, “Heavens, look at this crowd.  I’m certainly glad I had the foresight to make an appointment.”  How I looked forward to that moment. (small triumphs like this matter S). I waited for SIXTY-FIVE GODDAMN MINUTES!  Can you believe it?  I was furious.  I was doing that head check thing, you know?  Turning around every time someone was called through.  “Did they get here before me?  I don’t think so.  What’s  going on here?! I HAD AN APPOINTMENT!  DAMN IT ALL!  DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!” (Borrowing from Planet of the Apes there.  Charlton Heston is in town.)

So I finally get in there, the doctor says “Have a seat”, and then he pisses off with a “Back in a moment”.  So I’m sitting there, waiting yet again, and I think to myself…  “I should steal something.  Yeah, that’d show ’em.  Keep me waiting sixty-five minutes.”  So I look around for something to nick, and there’s nothing worth having!  Nuthin’ but cervical swabs (eeeuuuugh!) and tongue depressors.  I couldn’t filch the stethoscope, because I knew he’d be using that to listen to my chest.  Not even a jar of jelly-beans.  My shoulders sagged, and Dr Vertoli strides back in, listens to my chest and prescribes some (wait for it) Amoxycillin and bed rest, all in under two minutes.  I picked up my backpack and trudged next door to the chemist.  Goddamn drugs cost me $50.

So here I sit, in a TV desert with no-one to keep me company but the germs trying to establish a new country in my nasal passages.  Fab.  And now I think to myself, “Should’ve nicked those tongue depressor thingies.  I coulda used ’em as swizzle sticks.”

I hate being sick Sis.


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