“we’re a medical family”

*written on the spot tonight, inspired by annoyance*

 

“we’re a medical family”

so we talk about arthritis,

we talk about antibiotics, diarrhea, cystitis

about urinary tract infections and back pain,

we talk about diabetes, blood pressure and weight gain.

 

about sinus infections and tonsils and acne,

warts, constipation, rashes and weak knees,

broken limbs and bumps and melanoma,

fissures and tumors and haematoma.

 

polyps and flu and blurry vision,

colonoscopy, precautions and kidney aneurysm,

a common cold or headache, nausea, thrombosis,

nothing to hide in our diagnosis.

 

until we are lazy and never get out of bed,

because for some silly reason we can’t get out of our head.

 

until we’re forgetting our granddaughter’s name,

because our neurons are tangling inside our brain.

 

until we are thinning in front of the mirror,

but no slim reflection could make us touch dinner.

 

until the compulsions have become excessive,

and we know there’s no need but the thought is obsessive.

 

so here’s to creams and butters and lotions,

to capsules and powders and pills and potions.

 

so go to the cabinet for symptoms and signs,

but you’ll get over it if it’s just in your mind.

unpopular opinion: making space for the stranger

I wrote this while sitting in a restaurant in Pitt Street. I was happily eating my dinner alone, when a young man asked if he could join me (I was alone because I wanted to be, not because I wanted company.) He sat with me for about half an hour and spoke fondly of himself the entire time. I felt like he was there to hear himself bounce off another person – to look at his reflection in me. This is what I thought when he left:

I don’t really think we draw other people to us, I think they entice themselves to us. They construct a curiosity which allows them to make space for us, the stranger, which simultaneously allows them to derive gratification from having someone else interested in them. Interaction appears primarily as an opportunity to confirm our own likability, and often comes from an inherent need relevant to personal circumstances.

They talk, but who are they talking for? They talk about themselves and their lives but they have heard the story before. Do they like hearing the story? Does it sound better every time they recount it? Do they like the positive responses to their carefully cultivated and routinely repeated story?