There is a humour, quick, hot, RAW, cruel, hilarious in a cancer ward; at least there is in mine - or perhaps it is an unquenchable bubble of the ridiculous in me that sees humour in most things that are taboo to others.
Dignity goes by the west window - boundaries stretch like Popeye's biceps - no gentrified metaphors - no euphemisms but the cancer word is always accompanied by descriptive names, angry adjectives and the vilest epithets.
A woman screams next door and in the ward behind me a man calls loudly,
'Call the Police' she screams, he calls the Police.
June and I - cohorts, funny bones in sync; exchange side glances and begin to giggle - just a slight shaking of shoulders, bobbing movement of the hips. I tell June my theory of sound and mind pictures; a theory expanded by twice daily ingestion of the miracle of steroids, which seem to boost whatever bare minimum of talent you never have shown an interest in.
For example; one night shortly after my first dose. I wrote - in my head and in the middle of the night while all around slept- nine chapters of a thesis on the joys, perils, rights and wrongs of hedonism - a subject on which, I swear to God, I know nothing more than seen in 'the velvet something or other'
One night I solved an equation, 'DUH!!' and another I began a sitcom situated in a cancer ward and so it was not a great stretch to explain how one can or cannot live with weird sounds:
'It goes a bit like this....'
I began, already feeling the thrill of the laugh we were about to have,
'Mrs Tourettes of the mouth goes -
'la baba, la baba, la baba'
and I mean ad infinitum - and we are going mad, needing sleep more than a druggy needs his fix
' It is possible to survive this June', I say,
'What you do is this: you close your eyes and listen for the rhythm; doobly, doobly, dooble dum, repeated at a constant pace in that low voice she is using. Now it is possible to envisage a small herd of Pyrenean mountain goats running across a wooden bridge...'
June's head tips to the side and gives it some thought.
'Yep i can visualise that; small, furry, horny, rough wood. Got it! (Double entendre) ... doobly, doobly, dooble dum, " " " " A HA!!!!'
but then, just as you are about to drop off, lulled by this visual and aural comfort, she suddenly changes tack,
and doobly, doobly, dooble dum, suddenly goes dolacky, dolacky, dolacky ad infinitum.
Bringing us back from the arms of Morpheus just in time to hear Nora scream again and the man yells
' Bloody Murder call the police!'
It is about now that June and I erupt. Squirming with tightly crossed legs and streaming eyes and to finish off the whole debacle off to perfection: Nellie- a rather prim and quaint lady who has been listening with increasing wonderment, sneezes loudly and fires off the loudest 3 gun fart I have ever heard.
Collapse of 3 stout ladies.
( more of this sunday post to come shortly.. don't go away)
(posts are chronological, but may be a few days later as I receive them, handwritten then decipher. And yes as I have been asked, if you wish email me I will try and update you as I am able, Saz)