On the train, the young woman is overflowing with happiness: last night, she met a school friend she had not seen for eighteen years, and now she has a date. We giggled together at the announcement that tickets sold on Easyjet planes are not valid on this service, and then as we passed the First Capital Connect stopping-service, we giggled again. “Easyjet passengers!”
Mmm. Young. 18 years since school. Hmmmm…
H is noticing aging, having just passed a Life Event: her 50th birthday. She celebrated, and she considers life, and doors closing. She notices that she does not recover from a pulled muscle as quickly as she would. My nephew broke his leg very badly, so that it was shorter than the other: he endured further treatment to lengthen the shorter leg, over about a year. I watched him walking, taking precise care to keep his pelvis level, and we walk through Regent’s Park in the sunshine mimicking this shorter-leg walking. I only notice her limp because of the noise her backpack makes.
S has also been thinking of aging, and of aches and pains, which frighten her.
-My father used to hang out in this café with other old Jews.
-Do you feel the need to hang out with [slight pause, concerned- should I say “Jewish people”?] other Jews?
“Some of my best friends are Jews”, she says, which makes me guffaw. She recognises the irony. She has the Synagogue choir, and various friends, and that is enough, really.
I do not “know what she feels”. I only have my own experience: being slightly alien, and wanting to honour that as well as to fit in and be normal and rub along with everyone, rather than retreating to a small group of particular like-minded folk. Just like everyone, I suppose.
F has been very ill, and her GP did not spot it in time. She explains precisely what it is, and how it may be cured. She went to him, and he checked one level which was abnormally low, and said he would want to see how it was in a week. The next week she could hardly walk, and the level was a quarter what it ought to be. She could see him protecting his back: her control makes the anger more frightening.
She drove herself to casualty, and was there six hours among the drunks and the suicide attempts, and then she saw a doctor, and as soon as she saw him she realised he was a Healer, and everything would be alright. Mmm. Some doctors are healers, some are scientists with no empathy at all.
I got irritated with her ascribing it to aging. If an ill is “because I am getting older”, then it can only get worse. If an ill is something going wrong, then it may be fixed.
Ted had cheese puns. What cheese gets a bear down from a tree? Come on, bear!!!
We went to the rose garden and smelled the roses. Some smelled of not much, but one or two were heavenly, and for a glorious moment knocked everything else out of my mind.