Lately, starting around late September i have began to see and listen to the inside of my body. Imagine the kidneys pumping piss, my heart beating, pushing the blood and my brain resembling cottage cheese in a bloody gravy. Like brain masala served in Mumbai but mine alive. My lungs inhaling smoke, black and sticky like peas. Eye balls like elementary science dissection’s. Food moving through my system highlighted by Barry’s beetroot. And then there is breath. In and out and around and out. In and out and around and out.In and out and around and out. In and out and around and out. In and out and around and out. In and out and around and out.In and out and around and out.In and out and around and out.Thoughts of organs and their vital role in this.
“How are you today kidneys?”, ” Sorry, not time to talk, were busy!” They are the sweatshop of me, and my poor lungs. Greatful to be alive knowing everything is pulling together and working correctly. Even with the abuse. A good team, Pinky the fleshy machine.
The parasites living in my intestine are still there, still guests and still living from my body. Still inducing the diarrhea, the vomiting and the swelling of my abdomen. Controlling if i am hungry or not, tired or not, sick or not, in the bathroom or not. Tiny organisms controlling parts of my being, for sure a percentage. Diagnosis was given almost two weeks ago, antibiotics issued but i feel this tremendous guilt to take the medication for a number of reasons.
Whenever i have had unexpected guests around for dinner i have always been accommodating. I would put down and extra plate and serve smaller portions to make sure there was enough food to go around, especially when people are hungry. I like to feel like i am a good host and i like to treat my guests well. There has never been a time where i have said, ” leave my house or i will kill you ”
Being a strict vegetarian/vegan i feel all life has the right to live, hence why i don’t eat animals or animal products. I despise animal cruelty and the worlds passion for chomping on flesh. It’s just un-ethical and potentially disastrous to the planet, especially with the great choice we have in the west. I also have a great respect for Jainism. A religion that believes in non-violence and a strict vegetarian diet. Violence resulting in harmful karma, a set back if one is to achieve nirvana.
“Have you started your medication” i hear. No i have not as i am still contemplating what is right and what is wrong. My little India friends still alive in my tummy and i must make a choice when they will die…..Its all a bit much. What to do??
I am not seriously ill. Yes i have waves of sickness and sometimes smell like death, hungry early morning, vomit early evening but are these reasons to kill my little buddies, my mini, fleshy illegal immigrants, the final trace of India left inside of me. Creatures that are stopping me from overindulging, turning me off alcohol, keeping me well under nine stone and really, doing very little harm. To abort or not to abort. That is the question.
A view of freshly cut flowers an inch in-front of the sash window beyond the screen, early morning. May drizzle surrounding the exterior of the most beautiful of houses. Rain feeling novel as a reflect my current England, an England that looks elevated, like a Darjeeling rain cloud post monsoon. How far above sea level am i? Over one week since i returned from my self-induced exile from reality.Water running down pains suiting the elevated melancholy.Melancholic.
Over a week since loved ones met me at the station in Whitney Houston masks, glitter throwing, music pumping hug providing hilarity. Over a week since i spent a night in Accident and Emergency. A week of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally being diagnosed with PVL- positive Staphylococcus Aureus and Giardia Lamblia – once again a host, infested, little beasts, all washed down with a bottle of blue WKD. No more maggots crawling from inside my knee.
Over a week since the circus came to town, tight ropeists and Dwarfs appearing in local shops between acts. I wonder how popular it has been due to a young boy being missing in the river. The circus not being the answer for a town in mourning. Lanterns glided off into the black distance with hope. Three days later his body was found.
Gliding around the streets in ski socks and vintage sandals, trotting on the ancient cobbles from house to house, from friend to friend. Short sharp bursts of creativity, open fires and complex salad preparations. Sitting by the misty river, the grand cathedral looming behind me. I am relived that people aren’t speaking backwards and special Agent Cooper isn’t here. Days in general feel a little Twin Peaks.
The veranda looks older than previously, like we all do apart from his beautiful wife, radiating youth and beauty, working away in the kitchen in oranges and yellows. Slight silent tinkles of aluminum suggesting that the meal isn’t far from ready. High on the wall an image of grandpa amongst the gods, remembered and revered daily by the powdery red dot in the lower center of his forehead. The first-born now walking and talking, shy but allured by my gift of a multitude of sweets and a small percussion instrument – polished coconut filled with rice on a stick. She looks like and adores her father, quite rightly so. The newest born being bathed then made up with talcum powder, holy ash and charcoal , screaming in discomfort of a white face so close to hers – our first meeting.
Then there on the right hand side of the porch, on a concrete slab my host, my brothers mother lies. “Namaste”, i say, ” A ram” but she is far from OK. She just looks deep into my eyes to the heart of my soul and beyond. Her face swollen like a cat and her body thin as old dead sticks, draped in green. No longer sitting, no longer eating, lying there dying of tuberculosis, no older than fifty-five. A women once so beautiful, so open and so feisty; a lady so elegant, so charming so kind and my friend of eleven years. Face cat-like, arms twig like on a concrete slab, covered in green, dying.
Yet the children with their new lives fill the air with smiles, with new-born fresh energy, so unaware of the concept of death. From shy to talking, to playing with mobile phones and cameras, bemused at seeing themselves on-screen, surrounded by love and fruit trees.
The most amazing meal arrives, the perfect same as always. Beetroot curry, dahl, rice, roti, papad and pickle. Waiting and tasting the glorious feast in silence, my vista being a dying lady, a friend, a happy memory in pain, being turned into the last days of her life. Smiling children as i try to taste the beets without breaking down in tears; i think the first time i have cried and eaten simultaneously. It breaks my heart. A death-bed and a dining room all in the same six feet by twelve feet space. Reality at its most real, taste at its best but sadness at its deepest. Privileged to be there but devastated to think that that is the last time she will be. Namaste i say gently as she sleeps. Goodbye to the children, goodbye to his beautiful wife and goodbye to a lady i will always remember with so much elegance, so much charm and so much love.
She died early the next morning and was burnt soon after.