“Just a private joke about my neighbours, don’t mind me” replied Patsy. The poor auld fecker he said to himself as the look of bewilderment on the surgeon’s face revealed the mystery. It was his eyes, one was going one way and the other was going the other, that must be a shocking hard thing to live with, he mused, there wouldn’t be many women would stand within a mile of the likes of that kind of disability, well not in a loving kind of way anyway.
“Okay well it is in fact our job to mind you. Don’t worry you are in the best hospital in Ireland. Your operation is scheduled for first thing in the morning, after it is finished you will be brought back to the neuro ward. You will have to stay a number of days for observation”
“That’s great” Patsy was in fact delighted to finally been treated for his crushed vertebrae, he had lost all power in his left hand and the right one was starting to malfunction as well.
“We will leave you with the nurse and I will see you in the morning, good night Patrick”. The surgeon said to him looking at him with the one eye and nodding to his merry crew to get out, with the other. Sweet dreams and don’t let the bed bugs bite Patsy finished in his head.
“Thanks Doctor, good night to you too.” He said realising he was also looking in two directions at the same time. Jaysus he said to himself aren’t I a shocking gob-shite, I forgot I have the same ailment myself. I better not tell anyone I forgot about it. But it’s easy to forget something when it’s the one thing which you can never see yourself. It’s the same as a woman having a big arse, they can only see a quarter of it at any one time themselves and don’t realise it’s only the tip of the iceberg. A level of sadness descended on him, as the truth, of what he had been thinking about the surgeon’s life, hit him as applying to himself too. His life had been pretty lonely but he had managed to block the speech impediment and the eyes out of his mind in the interests of sanity. It was only at times like this, he realised why women who had returned his smile usually then turned their eyes away.
“Are you okay?” A male voice interrupted his silence, instantly sending the mad thoughts back behind his sanity barrier, into the deep place where they lay forgotten, until the next time.
He hadn’t noticed them all filing out of the make-do tent, until Patsy and the nurse were left alone. He had never felt such disappointment in all of his life. He stared at the evening shadow and listened to the not quite deep enough voice of the male nurse. It was bad enough having to put life on hold to go into the hospital, but to not at least get a female nurse to root at you, well now it was just on the wrong side of injustice. He wasn’t fussy, any cut of a female would do, it wasn’t like he would be sharing the bed with her and he wasn’t some cut of a pervert but any man could do with the comforting nature of a woman, when you were about to have some foreign lad pull your neck apart and start beating into your bones with a hammer and a chisel. All he wanted to do was listen to her voice, feel the heat of her close to him and languish in the sweet musk of her perfume. Then maybe of a chance, perhaps a man might be fortunate enough to even get a glance, at the hint of a boob pressed beneath the linen of her white uniform. But sweet mercy he had instead ended up stuck been interrogated and probed at by a nurse with a flat chest and more hairs than a fecking orang-utan. Perhaps the unusual son of that auld Biddy, with the loud voice, would be interested in his big red head and bog Irish accent but Patsy Reilly was far from impressed.
“My name is John, I am your nurse who will be taking care of you tonight” the man who should have been a woman, said with a smile that needed a shave.
“Nice to meet you John” Patsy replied as the Irish desire to be polite overpowered his disappointment. You had to make do with whatever meal the devil served you up of a day, no matter who unpalatable or disappointing it happened to be.
(C) Francie McGivney 04.06.15