Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Body Language Beacons

I’m sat with the missus in one of the oncology unit waiting rooms of a Leeds Teaching Hospital. A four weekly jaunt we undertake so the ‘trouble and strife’ can undergo her monthly treatment.

As the moment there’s only the two of us residing in the ‘linger lounge’. A couple of seats to my left my wife Karen has her head buried in a book called Maybe This Time; meanwhile I randomly offload the inane observations you’re currently reading via the medium of literary narration. Writing currently the only avenue of existential pleasure that Karen, karma and cardiologists haven’t blockaded with a bloody big ‘No Entry’ sign.

I shouldn’t complain, though, some people don’t have anything that brings them joy. Individuals like my aunt Christine whose pleasurable elements of life are catching rare tropical diseases and collecting belly button fluff. Idiosyncratic pastimes, the former a challenging hobby when you live in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire; the latter a ridiculously long winded approach to stuffing cushions.

I’ve no idea what Maybe This Time’s storyline entails, but from being adept at reading my wife’s body language I can tell she’s captivated with her latest read. This conclusion made as when Karen is captivated by a book she habitually pats the top of her chest as she scours it’s leafs; an action she’s undertaking as I write.

Other behavioural tics she exhibits, giving clues to her emotional state when reading are:-

  1. If engrossed with a tale she sucks her teeth;

    2. When enchanted with the tome, my spouse sporadically rolls her eyes in an anti-clockwise direction;

   3. Should Mrs S simultaneously pat the top of her chest, suck her teeth and roll her eyes anti-clockwise its a beacon she’s experiencing literary utopia;

   4. If my spouse isn’t enjoying her book she’ll throw it in the nearest bin!!

While penning the paragraph above, my betrothed was called into a treatment room by one of the oncology nurses. Consequently, I’m now sitting in isolation waiting room in situ, my only human contact the occasional exchanging of a smile with passing hospital staff.

I’m unsure why I added the word human in the previous sentence. After all, animals aren’t even allowed in hospitals, with the notable exception of guide dogs or parrot interpreters….. Incidentally, parrot interpreters are avians that orally translate for non-English speaking patients. Not humans who act as interpreters for parakeets!

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As an aside, my 30th self-published book should arrive from the printers on Friday. Hopefully, when Karen reads it she’ll either pat the top of her chest, suck her teeth or roll her eyes anti-clockwise….. Or all three…… One thing for sure, though, if I see her heading towards the pedal bin with my literary work I’ll not be happy.

I’ve very proud of my latest literary baby. A creation incorporating further post-cardiac arrest updates, daily journals and tales of my Gateshead childhood.

Personally, I think it’s the best I’ve written. In fact I found reading the draft so captivating it led to the same vigorous patting of chest undertaken by Karen in a similar scenario. Thinking I was carrying out DIY CPR, my missus assumed I was having another heart attack. Thankfully, though, I cottoned on to this misunderstanding before she called 999 requesting attendance of an ambulance!

Anyhow, Karen has just returned to the waiting room post-oncology treatment so I’m going to bring this monologue to a conclusion…… Oh hold on a minute, she maybe not enjoying Maybe This Time as much as I thought as she just thrown it in the waiting room bin!

Categories: Blogs, family, fiction, health/medical

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