Friday, November 14, 2008

Before Poirot...

... which I think I will sit and watch with a glass of wine in hand and a dog on lap, having just finished the last of the baked aubergine and mozzarella I prepared in advance as the kind of thing in which I like to indulge in Tom's absence. The nice thing is I forget about wine until I get home then remember I can have it.
~
I think probably all things considered he's not too bad, wobbly and tired and sore and needing to get fluids sorted out, but really quite recognisably himself. We were very pleased to see each other today, he didn't really remember seeing me last night but knew I'd been because I'd left a card.
~
I'm taking care, lighting the fire when I get in, making myself hot water bottles, making sure I drink tea. The weather's turned dirty and wet and I'm glad of two new tyres on the front wheels. Molly's getting a good walk with Porridge tomorrow morning to make up for so much waiting it out in the car.
~
Before they go out-of-date I'm inclined to copy out the scribblings of Wednesday night, creative tension between real-time journalling and... whatever the other thing is. I love those three dots...

~~~
The soup was quite acceptable with the salt I'd begged from the hospital restaurant, and he ate quite happily the noodles he wouldn't have touched at home. He sat on the edge of the bed, and I hung over the rail at the end, watching him.
~
"Prisoner's last meal," he said ruefully, then with a quick sidelong smile held out a piece of the roast pork on his fork to me. He was right, it was very good.
~
In front of the foyer, in the sudden November chill, a young man paced and slouched, smoking, while a dark-haired, bright eyed girl, not wearing her red hooded coat, swung round and round one of the shiny metal posts. He ground out his cigarette and spoke to her, and they headed back into the building. I wondered about their story, what brought them there, the intimacy and distance of hospitals, and remembered the widowed father of two young men I once knew telling how the younger of them, as a small boy at school, was told to draw what he had done at the weekend. He had drawn a hospital bed, with his mother in it, sick with the brain tumour that eventually took her life. The father had recounted this on the evening his elder son had been diagnosed with the same condition, which, I learned some years later, after I had moved on, finally took his life too, when he was younger than I am now.
~
Directly ahead, a full moon hung in a nearly clear sky. The Manichaeans said they knew the souls of the dead filed up to the moon, a kind of halfway house to transcendence. A pure, flat disc of cool white light, looking down on our messy, fleshy, flawed solidity of matter, I could see the appeal, solace even, of this belief. Until I looked into the face of the Man in the Moon, and saw in it, not a smiling, wish-fulfilled benevolence, but an aghast, open-mouthed, paralysed dismay.
~
And yet the moonlight was a beauty and a comfort to me on my journey home; there was not merely the road in the darkness, an unwinding ribbon in my headlights, but the land shape I knew, given form and substance in silvered blue monochrome, I felt less of a small pinprick in the darkness.
~
As I came down from the ridge into Quessoy, the bakers' was still open, lit up cheery and yellow; if I'd wanted, I could have pulled up, bought a baguette or a Paris-Brest, I saw them there behind the glass. Rounding the ramparts below the ramparts in Moncontour, Christian Turbin, the garagist, square and solid in grey and red oily overalls, leaned wearily in the open doorway of his garage, pressing the button to bring down its metal shutters for the night, a good half hour after he should have been closed.
~
The moon saw me in, I fed myself and checked Tom's 'don't forget' list.
~
Love and the moon, good food, people and things to rely on. Matter. Much to be thankful for.
~~~
Thanks again for kindness and constancy. I really will be round soon.

23 comments:

Lesley said...

I'm glad to hear that Tom is himself, if sore, and that you are looking after yourself. The image of the road as un unwinding ribbon is a lovely one.

Tall Girl said...

Oh you... X

marja-leena said...

Good news. Love to you both.

herhimnbryn said...

Grand news.
A glass of wine and a dog on one's lap is good comfort.

Zhoen said...

Seeing someone in hospital is a disorienting experience. So vulnerable, so changed, so drugged...

Courage. And what Herhimnbryn said.

Zephyr said...

Ah yes. I echo the thoughts already expressed here...so glad you are warm, and with a dog on your lap...and that Tom's really OK.

Kim said...

Wow. You sure have a way of making words turn into vivid images in my head...it's like I can not only see, but feel what you are describing.

So glad to hear Tom is doing well given his circumstances...and you as well :) Take care...

Sheila said...

That moon is such a good companion. I will be praying for you guys each time I see her (la luna, that is.)

leslee said...

Lovely. Yes, take care...

Plutarch said...

Recovering and regaining strength is a good process though sometimes painful. Worse pehaps for those who can do no more than watch. You capture the essence of it, which must in itself be a help.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Your title gave me a bit of a chill!

When I was having a really hard time at work once (you know the kind - when it takes over your every waking moment) - the only way I could get through Sunday evenings was by watchig Poirot on the TV. And now when I hear the theme music for that - it takes me right back to those horrible horrible times.

I'm glad Tom is doing OK and that you are managing without him. Do they say when he might come home? Soon, I hope.

I always feel proud every time I light my fire!

Rosie said...

noodles will no doubt be featuring on the menu from now on...

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

The dog in fact crashed out on her beanbag beside the computer, and din't even notice I'd moved to the telly. She seems to find the days of living in the car quite tiring, don't know why.

It was of course something of a shock to see Tom all tubed and semi-conscious, however much I tried to prepare myself, but it felt better when he was more himself again, though still weak and wobbly. He fell eagerly on the sudoku in the Radio Times when I offered it, but rather lacked the application to see it through. Today he was much the same, up and down, better each time he woke from a doze, then tiring. When a new shift of nurses came on, who seemed a bit more upbeat and competent, he immediately felt happier, and they got him sitting up in the chair. He's also eating a bit of nrmal food now, and had a visit from J and D which he was quite bright about.

I feel OK, the days are long and unusual, and I'm weary but not distressed.

We both agreed that the French practice of serving noodles as an accompaniment to roast meat is a strange one; I doubt I will be able to introduce them as a permanent fixture; conversions are not that easy to come by.

There's something about those Agatha Christie detectives that is wonderfully comforting. A young girl I knew whose dysfunctional parents were splitting up adored Miss Marple. I could completely understand; the invulnerable, unfoolable, cosy old lady who could solve the most terrible evil messes was a most reassuring figure. They must have made a lot of those David Suchet Poirots, as they are reshowing them endlessly on ITV3 and we always seem to be able to find one we haven't yet seen. Last night's was almost Jacobeanly macabre, about a man stabbed through the eye through a hole in a Spanish chest he was hiding in in order to spy on his putatively unfaithful wife. Still managed to be cosy and unthreatening...

The fire was a bit smokey, it had been just right the night before. Perhaps the wind was in the wrong quarter!

Lucy said...

Oh yes, he's supposed to be out on Tuesday, all being well, but no promises.

Dave King said...

The good news shows in your writing, it is full of warmth and loveliness. I could carry it with me, just to dip into it. He was speaking of painting, but it highlights the truth of Baudlaire's remark that the subject doesn't matter, it's the form. Good on both of you!

meggie said...

HHHhhugs XX To you, & your beloved
Tom. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

Lady Prism said...

You wrote this with so much love. i felt that through your words. So beautiful...so beautiful...

my love to you...and Tom...

Tori said...

Thinking of you both.
(You'll get used to this use of noodles. It adds to the whole comfort of the roast, too.)

christopher said...

Hospital Halls

The hospital halls,
Wandering, meeting nurses
No longer strangers
Now I've come here so often.
I know the way there
Like I know the way to you
And to you is why,
The only reason I would.

Cafeteria:
I know what to eat.
Only because I have to.
Back to you after.
Year after year, me,
And you gone now, you've gone home.

Dick said...

It has, of course, all been said above, but I'm saying it again...

christopher said...

Lucy, thank you for visiting again. Your Tom in hospital brought back that period with my Annie, who has indeed passed on.

That is of course what Hospital Halls is about. I wish you well.

Lucy said...

Thanks all, again.

A bit of a tough day today, Sunday. Uncomfortable and not recovering as quick as he should, and the staff adequate but rather thin on the ground and non-committal about it, so Tom unhappy and frustrated. Hwvr, they obviously were taking note as the surgeon came round, unscheduled, was helpful and reassuring but said no going home on Tuesday after all, until some things have been resolved.

Just got to be got through...

herhimnbryn said...

Still thinking of you....both.
Music helps. Has Tom got some he can listen too?