Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone.

My fear of needles stems from early childhood. One of the doctors at my father's small town practice used to chase the children with syringes. As a joke. I took it so seriously that I refused to go in and would sit in the car, waiting for my mother. She'd leave Springbok Radio playing, and so began a life-long love affair with music.

I convinced myself that I could never bear to have acupuncture - that house in Plumstead filled with human pincushions, the doctor who spoke no English. But perhaps I was just waiting for the right person. This calm, compassionate man, who can tell, from taking my right pulse and then my left, from the set of my shoulders, that my stress levels are down. Then he says: "But your heart has nervous energy - what's up?"

I lie there in the half light, with ten fine needles in my body while he is at his desk, working on his notes. Behind closed eyelids I see bursts of colour and try to imagine the messages flitting furiously from muscle to brain and back again. And I wonder what it must feel like to live without fear.

There has been a spate of burglaries at the apartments where I live. Someone bypassing a security code, the violent tearing open of gates and doors. Every little sound makes me jump.
The letting agents are astounding in their apathy. (Steer & Company - you suck!)
This is what people say to me, over and over again: TRUST NO-ONE.
I hate that.

It's a major kick under the butt and time for change. While I decide what to do, I Spring Clean.
And take a few days off, away from the big, bad city.

To the magical place where the doors have no keys. We find fragments of other lives. A rusted fork, ancient little bottles. The houses are mostly empty, waiting.

If, instead of words, I could have a photograph as epitaph - this would be it:

In the hour preceding, we took the yellow kayak and paddled out onto the lagoon. Surrounded by flamingos and their chatty honking: they flew up and circled around us, the sound of their wings like the rustling of many taffeta skirts.

1 comment:

Marie said...


I hate jumping with fright.

I think about that, a lot.