Friday, April 18, 2014

Giving death the slip

I am in hospital. something really  wrong with my innards.
I seem to be in n internal medicine ward and they have just moved somebody in next door.
He is a slightly greing  fiftyish man, not yet really old, wheeled in by what seems to be an entourage of family and friends.
I pick up from their conversation as he is helped into bed, that his name is Sam and from the paddock talk, a horsebreeder throughout our region and even the United States.
Immediately to  his left  pleasant brunette seems to be almost tucking him in. I take it is his wife. I pick up that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
The unfairness of it all. The successful business--the other people around him treat him with great respect, almost love.
He was/is somebody.
First bleeding ulcers. And the the godawful diagnosis. Cancer of the bowel.
Right in the middle of his success, the livery business, which today has to be  high end, the loving wife the loyal partners.
They all talk shop for a while, the four of them, and eventually the three men leave, but not the wife. It is getting late, past visiting hours, but she is not leaving.
I see her lift his blanket to lie down beside him. Apparently she will try an all-nighter, keep him company of the staff will not ask her to leave.
I listened to their talk for most of the night. The nurse had been in but no one was asked to leave. She left in the morning with a loving kiss and hug. Sam had been a lucky man.
The money, the ribbons the prizes. But the creeping sickness. The first time he had  just had the bleeding ulcers and ending up in a V.A. hospital. Ex-marine. Gulf War. Back home in one piece, to recover and succeed. And eventually here, Joker's Hill, East Gwillumbury, to be  told that he has cancer.
The unfairness of it all. Right in the middle of your sucess, two Big Ones in the bank, international notoriery, and then bowel cancer. Real bad. He still has the slight American drawl.
Sam the man, felled by something viral and stupid.
I make a dusting-myself-off gesture.
I am neither smart or successful. And I have this persistent bleeding ulcer. The doctor had said  it doesn't feel like cancer.
But poor Sam Hill.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My tapeworm left me this morning. Now I have to walk alone

My tapeworm left me this morning.

Now I'll have to walk alone.

The parting was far from amicable, downright traumatic, as the silvery nematode undulated somewhat gracefully this way and that in his bowl, the squarish head, light sensor on each side, seeming to say, "All right, wise guy, it was bad
enough not getting any mustard on that last dog, but now you';ve really pissed me off."

I knew something was wrong for weeks. The little bastard liked to roam around a lot at night, and sometimes he'd forget the way home and end up sleeping on my scrotum. Then, before I could say, "gotcha, you little bastard", he'd disapear faster than you can say "Tally ho! The Fox!."

The fox hunt went on for quite some time until, as an old Air Force guy, I thought of Agent Orange and where it could be gotten. Sure enough, down at Camp Petawawa, I saw some denuded trees (along with at least one denuded Warrant Officer). I plucked forth the nearest branch, rotten apple and all. I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

That was the night before I gave the eviction notice to my
tapeworm. He ignored it to his peril.

There he is, splashing around in his bowl. Aggressive bastard, really. Didn't realize tapeworms were fully equipped with scuba gear. They are aquatic. And they like to roam around at night sometimes. Creepy, what?

"This is hurting me more than you. Parasites are supposed to clean out the intestines. Too much bowel cancer around."

"Fuck off," said the tapeworm.