The Curve and the Eight Ball

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I like being ahead of the curve

As long as I know

Which way the curve

Is heading.

So I hedge my bets

curving off in all directions

like sky rockets fired from soft drink bottles

hoping to hit my mark

but it’s hard:

no one knows where I’m going

or what I’m on about

least of all myself.

I consult the family fortune teller

but it’s outside his area of expertise

so I carry on regardless.

It’s exhausting trying to stay

Ahead of the curve

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But it’s better than being

Behind the 8 ball.

A Half-Van Gogh

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“I am getting a half -Van Gogh,” I say over the phone.

“A half -Van Gogh? What is that?”

“You know how Van Gogh lopped off his left ear after a fit of madness, or so it’s claimed?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I’m getting half my left ear, the lobe lopped off.”

Silence.

“Why? Why would you do that?”

“It’s cancerous.”

“Oh dear.”

“You said you would love me even if I had half my face missing.”

“I know but …”

“Hello. Hello…”

Ring tone.

 

Stuck in the Moment

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Once I was stuck in the moment.

It was like being stuck in a lift.

I was going nowhere.

Not even up and down.

There was no way out.

No alarm button to press.

No keypad.

I tried not to panic.

Tried smoking a cig.

Humming a tune

Studying a fly on the wall

Studying me

Reciting my nine times tables

And then suddenly SNAP

I was out of it.

I don’t know how long I was in it.

It did have its moments

I must admit.

But you wondered if you’d ever

Get out and join

The flow of life again.

Running Jump

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What seems to be the trouble , he asks .

I cough and splutter all over the place .

He gets the message .

Sits down to write the certificate .

There , he says , handing the form to me . This should do the trick .

I peruse it quickly .

There’s something missing, I say, why I had time off .

That’s right . If you had Alzheimers or a social disease would you want

people to know ?

Certainly not .

My point exactly .

But I thought you had to put something down .

No , he says . And if they ask , tell them to take a running jump . Better still , tell them to phone me and I’ll tell them to take a running jump . Only in stronger terms .

He stands up . Shakes my hand .

 

The next day at work I hand in the certificate .

He’s right .

They see the blank space but no one says a word .

I push it a bit further .

On the official form , the one you fill out yourself , where it says Illness I put down ‘See Certificate’ .

It feels good . It really does .

I’ve found a new way to treat with the world .

Waiting to be Called

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Please Wait to be Called,

The sign said

So I did.

I waited and waited

At the head of the queue

outside the pearly gates

And when, growing impatient,

I stepped forward,

St. Peter held up his hand:

“There seems to be some problem,”

He said.

“You’ll have to wait a little longer,”

I stamped my feet a little

When a light flashed overhead

& a door opened behind

& I was whooshed back

To the operating theatre where the surgeons

Had revived me

One step from paradise.

The Stare

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“What are you staring at?”

“You,”

“Me? Why?”

“We are watching you unravelling.”

“There’s a word for that, a German word like watching people in road accidents”.

“Please don’t get distracted. Continue unravelling.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“We’ve been watching you. You won’t be able to prevent it.”

They were right. I was like one of those wall-mounted paper towel dispensers.

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Once the roll starts unravelling there’s no stopping it and I wasn’t done yet. There was still a metre or more of me to go.

 

Greater Expectations

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Someone once said to me, Expect the Unexpected.

It seemed daring at the time so I took it on board.

The only problem was because I expected the Unexpected all the time I wasn’t really surprised when it happened.

It was expected, right?

Life was losing its surprise factor.

I felt heavy as a watermelon.

My counsellor suggested — wait for it — Expect only the Expected.

So I do,

When the Unexpected happens I light up like a lantern

twinkle like a star.

It wasn’t expected, right?