The waiting room was not warm enough so I kept my coat on. A friendly man has served me a tea in a plastic cup. The tea was close to disgusting. Warm drinks machines never produce drinkable tea. These machines can be found in places where you’d rather not be: train stations when it’s late and cold, reception rooms of larger companies where you wait for your job interviews, waiting rooms in hospitals… I guess the nature of those places contributes greatly to the lousy taste of the tea too.
I drunk my tea, checked the magazines (glossies from August 2010), glanced at the visitors (three men) and lost myself in my iPhone. Every once in a while I glanced at the large glass wall dividing the waiting room and the large space where it all was actually happening. This glass wall is a good idea, because you don’t stay in awful uncertainty while waiting. You can just watch them do what has to be done.
All of a sudden one of the men from the other side of the glass wall walked in and asked me to come along. I am not good at instant panicking, but I did realise there must be a problem. “Look – this is the problem.” He scratched her to illustrate the problem, but somehow I felt like it was my skin he was scratching. “You can have it treated properly. Or you can have us apply a temporary treatment, but that won’t solve the problem and we will not be able to give you any guarantees.” “How long will she have if I don’t have it treated?” “How long do you need?” “One year.” “She might just make it.”
She looked very vulnerable, undressed, cold. I felt sorry for her. One year is a very realistic term, maybe even slightly too optimistic. We both know it. But saying it out loud made it come very close. Something turned inside me. “Apply a temporary treatment.” I went back to the waiting room, avoiding to look at her.
I dared to look again when she was wrapped in some kind of bondage. I made a picture and resisted the temptation to come over and pat her. In about an hour they removed the bondages, cleaned her and we could meet outside. She looked gorgeous! I was overloaded by a mix of emotions: love, joy, guilt, excitement, pain – I never thought I was able to feel all of that! We left the place.
“You look fantastic!” I told her. “And now we will drive fast in the fast lane annoying all those big fast cars. And I will certainly take you some place far next year. We will travel thousands of kilometres together. And you know what? How about a thorough vacuum clean on Thursday?”
My baby Opel Corsa has a new windshield!
Brooke Fraser - Something In The Water