Doctor Dennis looked at me curiously, though not at my eyes. His vision was up above, settled on the missing clump of hair I had taken out the centre of my fringe. After a moment he scrolled down, my beard, the grubby white round neck t-shirt I was wearing under a light jacket. I was shaking. Not tremendously, more a constant subtle jig. I've started doing that. Concentrating on that movement stops me being able to think.

“Mr Spencer, you're over a week late. That I even see you today without an appointment is due only to... Well, your apparent unease. It's important you come here on scheduled appointments and not whenever your tablets happens to run out. That's not how it works... especially not when dealing with the kind of medication you're being prescribed. Also, and I cannot stress this point enough, it is very important that you scrupulously follow my advised dosing practice. It doesn't do to double dose on Monday and under dose on tuesday. Worse than hindering the path to your eventual wellbeing it's downright dangerous. These are not smarties Mr Spencer. Now, what is going on?”

“I was asleep.”

“Asleep? For a whole week?”

“I wasn't well. Some kind of a bug. I don't know. It's the season for that isn't it? Bugs.” I pulled my hand down through my stubble which was actually a beard. My face dragged with it and never retook its shape. I felt drained, haggard.

Doctor Dennis looked at me clicking the button of his pen. He held his stare just long enough so that anything I was struggling to hold together would fall out in the discomfort of his gaze. I felt my right eye trickling water and then my left and then the doctor looked like he was standing beyond a waterfall. I didn't move. I didn't try to hide my shame nor stem one single tear. I just stared forward letting my pain roll out.

Doctor Dennis made a movement. The phone was to his ear. He was looking at me as he waited for whoever he was calling to pick up. “Ruth, tell the nurse to come in here please... and bring her heart.”

Then he stood up, came around from behind his desk and squeezed my shoulder as he passed me by on the way out.

It made me think of a revolving door. The Doctor was gone and in what seemed to be the same cycle of movement a pair of black, flat, pointy shoes now came into view. I watched them move, gently squashing down across the light brown carpet.

“Tristram Spencer,” she said, “I'm Nurse Nutting, and I care.”


  1. This nurse is going to help you... This nurse will be your saviour... This nurse is good..you are going to be fine xx...or in a nutty bin xx

  2. Ruth, I hope so. I need saving. Mrs Winthrope says she can save me, but the consequences of that would be a life even more miserable than it is now. "Salvation has a price" she say. That "A seat in Heaven isn't free." but "I've got some spare tickets for sale."

    I don't know what any of it means. I wish I was dead. X

  3. "Nurse Nutting' - I love her already. xx

  4. Indeed, your Salvation is just three heel clicks away.

    Accept The Lord as your One True Saviour and you will be whisked away to Abigail Island faster than you can say Fred Phelps Hates Fairies.

    You will have your own room and will get to meet Thick Blue Glasses - a one boy Mental Resuscitation Unit.

    Spend just five minutes in his company and all thoughts of inadequacy will be sucked out of you.

    No one is less competent at Being Human than T.B.G.

    And yes, Salvation has a price:

    We may call on you from time to time for some little...errands.

    And you will require to be 'cleansed' by confessing all your sins on camera. (OK we got this from the Scientologists - boy those guys are good!).

    But could things be any worse than they are now?

  5. @ helena: Hiya, excuse me for never sending you the update i promised but it was just at that moment that my electricity went AWOL... woke up one morning and she was gone and had taken all her lightbulbs. Same ol' story. X

    Abigail: That island of yours reminds me of some place, but not paradise... I don't think. Errands? That sounds sexually worrying. But in answer to your question: Could things be any worse? No, absolutely not. X

  6. "Mr. Spencer, I'm Nurse Nutting and I care."

    She. Is. Ratchet. I assure you.

  7. Simon, The nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

    This nurse will make just a very fleeting appearance. It will be her only mention I think. If she's a sadist or humanist we'll never know.

    Your use of full-stops reminds me of John. A very traumatic piece of punctuation. :(


  8. Tristram,

    I can assure you salvation will come in the last place you look, and never from pretty promises or books.

  9. Lee Deville!!! A friend in amongst all the shit of life! X Ih, I know you're right I'm just scared where that 'last place I will look' will be. X


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