Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

A (BOTTLE-) BRUSH MOMENT

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on August 15, 2010

Waking up at dawn on a cold Sunday morning, I made a cup of coffee and

went downstairs with Flanders, the cat. Even though it is early morning, the

crazily coloured parrots have already started to feed amongst the bottle-brush

flowers. It is impossible not to smile while watching their antics.

When I don’t have to go to work, the early morning is a special time for me, my

favourite time of the day, as I watch the world awake around me.

I arrive at the hospital. A relative is dying of cancer, is in the palliative care

ward at the moment, and supposed to be moved to a hospice in a week. I

don’t think she will live long enough to leave the ward.  As I make my way inside

I see a road rage incident in the hospital car park: blaring horns, shouts, and obscene gestures.

There is something deeply disturbing in the nature of the upright ape; perhaps it is there in all of us, and just

manifests more readily in some. Whatever it is, it is ugly.

The cancer has apparently spread throughout her body, which is now weak and wasted, and she struggles to just

sit up in bed. Pain-relieving drugs are not a pill that is swallowed; they are dispensed intravenously. She

completes a postal vote for the federal election next weekend. Her shaking hand drops the pen many times, and she

pauses often and closes her eyes for a few seconds each time. She comments slowly that neither party seems

honest. With effort, she has fulfilled her civic obligation. We chat about stuff for an hour, and she makes me

promise to come back and see her again. Soon. And I will. It is difficult to do so during the week, as I work. On the

train to work one day last week, two women were talking in front of me, and one was talking about her ‘career in

accounts payable’. Sounds like it is important, sounds like it has meaning or purpose. It doesn’t.

The vast majority of people just have jobs — it pays the bills. When you call it a career, I guess it makes the ‘work

your whole life then die’ notion somewhat more palatable. Oh, it doesn’t??  Funny that.

I’m back at home now, sitting among the bottle-brush flowers with Flanders the cat. The parrots have gone, and I

remember the delight as a child watching Basil Brush on television.

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