The Fairways and the Laundry Fairy

woodySometimes life throws a curved ball. Days do not always going according to plan. Sometimes life and fate intervene. They jump on the subway, ride it for a few stops and then jump off.  Things have changed.   It is the hand we were dealt and it’s called life.

The Swindle and the Golf Police were not happy.  Both had different reasons.

“I think you should get a refund on your subs” said Sid.

“Why don’t you try a different doctor” said Big Rich.

“This one is good” I said. “He plays golf and understands about the dimpled ball”.

“Have you tried googling his mortality stats?” said Ruggy.

Gus was not happy about the Doctor.

“How can you go to someone who supports Man U? “ he said.

“Come back soon” said the Sheriff.  “We will miss the Silent Assassin on those fairways”. We traded smiles.

Outside the trees were still bending to an easterly wind and the heather a smudgy mauve amongst the wind blown rough.  In the clubhouse, specials were being served, beer was being supped and piles of seasoned logs were stacked ready for winter fires. Golfers still played in short sleeves and the greens were fast.  Someone was practising  in the net, set up for a slice.  It was still warm enough to sit on the patio, read the paper and watch the golfers head off down the second fairway.  I said my farewells and put the golfing gear away.

The Golf Police worried about shirts, suppers and spread sheets.

“I’ll do a you a list” I said. I scribbled a note and left it in the kitchen.

Dear Family,

The fridge is in the corner.  Sometimes it needs to be replenished. The machines know their functions.  Just load dishes in one and clothes in the other.  The thing in the utility room is called an ironing board. The laundry needs help on its journey from the basket.  I have drawn a map of the kitchen.

Good luck.

The Boss  xx

The appointment was kept with the White Coat.  I knew he would have his clunky pen and would scribble indecipherable notes.  His shirt would be immaculately ironed and there would be a new tie. Conservative. Silk. Expensive.  I tried to find something which had been ironed. Quickly.  Something blue for luck and made the appointment. With half an hour to spare.  I had read somewhere that ‘punctuality is the politeness of kings’. I never knew where that left me, but I was seldom late.

He wrote his notes and we made another date.  For the theatre. Not for Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet with their balcony scene.  This was bright lights of a different kind. Blue gowns, nurses, needles and a Man who said ‘sweet dreams’. The nurses did their pre checks.  Weight. Pulse. Questions.

“Please don’t write down that weight” I said to the nurse.  It had too many sixes in it and was the sign of the devil.  I clutched my lucky blue pebble, washed by the ocean and she made the six look like a five.

I made it through the theatre scene, despite the Man with the Knife supporting the Reds and the Dream Man wearing the Chelsea blue.   The ward was quiet and the nurses walked with their soft foot fall.  They did their obs and worked their busy shift.

“Best you have something to eat” said the nurse, “before you go home”.

She brought the menu and it was tempting and enticing.  I went for the brie and grape sandwich. On brown with a side salad.

“Do you have someone to look after you? said the nurse, as I headed home.

“Yes” I said. “I will be fine”.

I smiled.  I could hear the lyrics of a song ‘Don’t leave me this way’ but I knew that sometimes you don’t always have choices in life.

“Take care” she said.  “Rest and heal”.

And so I left the consultants with their cufflinks and clunky pens.  I left the nurses with their soft leather shoes and smiles.  Their caring ways and big hearts. I left the theatre with its bright lights and scalpels. The hospital with its long quiet corridors, paper work and routine. And I went home.

I read, slept and healed.

The Golf Police stepped into the kitchen and took on the battle of the machines.

The laundry basket did its best imitation of Mount Etna on a bad day. Towels. Shirts. Sheets.

“God, where has all this come from?” he said.

He found the soap powder but never found ‘fast wash’ or the Laundry Fairy.

“Where do I put all this wet stuff? he said.

Outside the line was empty. The peg basket hung by the door. The clothes horse wondered where all the clothes had gone and the tumble drier waited to heat and turn.

He knew how to load the dishwasher but crumbs and dust were under his radar.

He went shopping.

Blueberries. Strawberries. Cheese. Beans. Bread.

He donned the Chef’s cap and stayed away from the recipe books. He never googled apple crumble or lasagne.

We had beans on toast. And toast on beans. The toast was delicately carbonised. The beans micro waved to death.

“Eat up” he said.  “Or you won’t get better”.

I thought of the nurses and their well ordered world.  I thought of their Chef with his grape and brie sandwiches. On brown with a side salad.

“You’re not leaving that food” he said.

At night I dreamed of salads dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sea bass and fresh pasta.  I dreamt of fairways, birdies and putts.

I woke to toast. Slight burnt.

“Maybe you should have stayed in hospital” he said.  “You could have had your meals there”.

I watched the dust dance around the room, caught in the sunlight.  I knew there would be laundry baskets reaching their tipping point with unironed clothes.  And I knew in the fridge there would be mould growing quietly in a corner.  But I didn’t know about the breakfast tomorrow.  I didn’t know about the lake of yoghurt and the sugar puffs. And I didn’t know that if you put sugar puffs down the loo, they float.  Tomorrow was another day.

“Rest and Heal” the nurse had said.

I turned over and went back to sleep.