Monday, May 26, 2008

of Chroma and an early morning blood test.

I left the house at 7.30am feeling very clever, thinking I'd go get my blood test at the top of the morning, 'coz who on earth would want to get a blood test at 8 in the morning, the place would be empty.
An hour later I was still in the waiting room. Dear Reader(s), those of you who know me will perhaps find this chuckle-worthy; my hands went numb the minute I walked in there. For the whole time. I practically couldn't keep my book open. My toes started tingling as I had to walk into the actual blood-letting area, and honestly, I wondered if they'd have to wheel me out in a bloody wheelchair.

There was a woman sitting next to me with a cell phone that rang three times in the course of my wait. The ring volume was on "deafen me motherfucker" high, and yet every time she answered it, she put her hand to her mouth in a near-whisper, and gave a running update to the person on the other end.
(1) "no, no, we're still waiting." (2) "no, he hasn't gone in yet" (3) "yes, he's gone in now. Should be soon"

Fucking cell phones. It's like we're all dying out and technology is holding its finger to our pulse to record the last throes.

There was a man with a huge orange container that looked like a reserve oil tank from a car trunk, that he kept trying to give to the secretary, who was mortified, and she kept explaining that he would have to hang onto it 'til... I couldn't figure out what was going on, until i realized it was urine. It must have been 2 litres of urine, in a bright orange plastic carton, wrapped in a plastic bag.

There was a sign behind the counter "H(ear) E(mpathy) A(pologize) T(ry to resolve)." which is ironic, since hospitals are about the coldest place on earth. Everytime i get a blood test (over the years, i mean, it is not a habit) i tell them i'm really bad with needles. Then the nurse rolls up my sleeve, gets a look at my tattoos, and gives me a malicious grin like she's caught me in a dirty lie, and just jabs the needle in.
This time, thankfully, they rolled up the other arm, saw no ink, and were sympathetic. Although I had to sit across from someone else getting blood taken. I've never stared so hard at the color-coded plastic caps of row upon row of sample tubes in my life.

I brought Derek Jarman's Chroma with me for company. Perhaps that's a bit bleak but My God, what an amazing book.Chroma is this (Heart-Aching) treatise Jarman wrote while he was in the hospital dying of AIDS, and progressively losing his vision as a result of the preventative medication etc. It is a running panegyric of colour, starting with white, ending with black, and eulogizing all the colours in between, that are gradually fading out of his sight-lines over the course of the book. I still can't read it without crying. I have never been able to get into Jarman's films that much; I find them just a bit too abstract. But this book is so tactile; i can practically taste it every time i read it.

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