First, they tell you to sit down There is news: the results are back from the lab Sitting down doesn’t help Your blood pressure goes through the roof The tiny room filled by the latest in Austrian medical tables spins Then they are talking about tumor types and blood counts You are thinking of your kids And your brain screams SHIT! but you never say it until you get outside to your car How can you drive home after this? You are staring at the list of appointments they gave you There are four specialists in the next three days and then the surgery is on Monday morning You hope you wake up soon, but it isn’t a dream It’s a nightmare; a nightmare where everyone is sending you flowers already Each specialist tells you to sit down They start talking about procedures and recovery rates One even gives you a colorful graph Sitting down doesn’t help Then Monday comes and you are at the hospital bright and early Somehow you are wearing a pillowcase And they draw all over you with a black marker The surgeon rushes in and takes a photograph of you for his “Wall of Fame” You hear the intern flirting with the nurse You would scream if you could but some jackass is counting backward from one hundred and you can’t focus Then, hours later, you discover you aren’t dead because if you were dead there wouldn’t be this much pain It’s like that every day for a year; you’re still not dead Then you get a call and the nurse tells you to sit down Sitting down doesn’t help
The moon was full, obscured from time to time as clouds drifted past. The two men stood on the hilltop as the creature came towards them. "What an extraordinary animal!" declared Jenkins. "Here it comes." Wickham turned away, unconvinced. "If that’s a werewolf, I’ll eat…"
Looking into her eyes he realized she didn’t know him anymore. She didn’t know anyone anymore. Not really. Oh, she had many friends, people who existed only in her imagination. They had been married for forty-two years, and now, she was lost to him. And he didn’t know what to do.
Try as he might, he just could not get through to her anymore. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t seen it coming. The doctors had told him what to expect, and he had witnessed her gradual, unmistakable and sadly inexorable decline. As for her physical health, she wasn’t doing too badly, but her mind had imprisoned her in her body. And he didn’t know what to do.
This was simply beyond him. The love of his life sat opposite him, more beautiful than ever, but it was as if she had been placed in some sort of glass case. There was a barrier there that he could not breach. And he didn’t know what to do.
So, he made sure she had a sweater on, and asked her if she would care to go for one more stroll together down by the lake.
He had always regarded Gerald as a bit of an insufferable bore. No matter how hard he tried, he kept drawing him in the squash ladder at the club. Here he was again, droning on and on: “You wouldn’t believe what happened the other day, mate. What a disappointment! I paid for a “full” massage, you know, “full”..? They gave me a hairy Bulgarian chiropractor and kept my credit card.”
Pledging yourself to any particular religion is no more or less weird than choosing to believe that the world is rhombus-shaped, and borne through the cosmos in the pincers two enormous green lobsters called Esmerelda and Keith….
— Andrew Mueller, Independent on Sunday, 2 April 2006, Sunday Review Section, 12-16.