Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just a prank

Nearly the whole time we were waiting to see the doctor in Casualty, two girls, who were waiting for the results of spinal x-rays after a car accident, kept moving around the room, retelling the details of the accident in a myriad of telephone calls too complex to follow as a homeless woman groaned her soliloquy on a chair in the corridor and a one-eyed elderly woman with arthritic hands sat through the emptying of two bags of fluid into what might have been her daughter -- until soon, all that stuff about the car accident, we were hearing, was just a prank, and the friends they were talking to should call back their mothers and just say the earlier calls were full of lies. They were to say, we all heard, that the girls had fallen out of a tree or walked into a car or a wall or something because otherwise their mothers would go ballistic. Even when their doctor arrived and asked them to accompany her into a room, they stayed on the phone, negotiating the exact wording of the calls to the mothers that their friends had to make as soon as they could.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The mysteries of life

She told us that, in fact, the Grand Lodge for the Rosicrucian Order of Australia, Asia and New Zealand was just around the corner from where we were sitting, in one of those business parks that are nothing like parks and are bereft of all business. For all she knew, the Grand Lodge was palatial inside. It didn't look like much from the front: just the usual concrete walls, dust-choked plants and angled parking spaces that bake in the sun. Very occasionally the Grand Masters, as she thinks they are called, come into the cafe but they rarely buy anything more than a camomile tea. Her boss has been curious about them since his father left his mother and moved back to Rende in Calabria, where he hadn't lived for close on fifty years. Her boss had said that if it wasn't for the fact that all the Rosicrucians he'd met talked unbearably slowly, he might have signed up for their series of weekly monographs that promise to help you unfold the mysteries of life.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


You notice that your hand, which is either blistered or swollen from a cut, is hurting but, since you are unable to determine whether your hand has been blistered or cut, the last of the event which must have caused it -- and which might at least have called from you an in-drawn breath -- now escapes with no audible sound.