KOOL-AID: a visit to the doctors

Another instalment of Almost Drank the Kool-Aid…

Yesterday Landlord came to me with a request. Would I drive him to the doctors today? He doesn’t trust the current state of his condition to drive into town. His meds need to be increased. Doctor about to go on leave so cannot make home visit.

Three problems with his request.

1. Have not driven in about eight years.

2. No longer have licence.

3. At this point, probably not best idea for me to be out in public.

However. Landlord asking for my assistance. Suspect was his way of making up for dinner night. So had to agree. He could, of course, sense my reticence.

‘You won’t have to get out the car.’ Was relieved.

‘When was the last time you’ve driven?’

He could tell from my, well… expression. It had been a while.

‘We’ll take it slow, then.’ But then Landlord asked the question I hoped he wouldn’t. Actually. Was more of a statement. I didn’t have a licence anymore.

Could not hide it. Landlord smiled. Think he liked the idea of breaking the law. Is just that wouldn’t be him breaking it.

He arrived out the front of the gatehouse at precisely 9am. Did not have to worry about waking up in time because have not slept. Has been two days now. Let the games begin, yes, but does not mean I wish to be caught unawares. Told myself it wouldn’t matter any way — whether I was sleeping or not, the outcome would still be the same. Probably worse if not sleeping. Would be too exhausted to run. A problem for another day.

Car is one of those Land Rover/Range Rover types. What is the difference between those two? Are they the same car, or different? Of the same make? Is this why they still have rover in the name? Please. Somebody help me with this .

Is type of vehicle they all have around here. On drive to town, saw loads of them. Is country vehicle. A pre-requisite to country living? Are country folk given a discount on vehicles? Is there some kind of law? Have home in country, must buy Rover vehicle.

Impossible to get into. Terribly un-lady like. Lots of hiking and twisting. Thankful wardrobe is void of skirts and dresses.

Landlord took free moments to show me workings of vehicle. Lots of close contact required. Leaning over me to show mechanisms to lift chair, adjust starring wheel, etc. Arms resting across legs etc. Cripes. Made me foul very uncomfortable.

We set off. Into town. Got park outside of surgery. Gestured to Landlord if he wanted me to go with. A shake of the head.

Was left in the car to take in view of town square. Corn Market, village stores, folks having tea behind cottage box windows. All very delightful. Watched the scene as if it was a movie. A half hour scene of normal life. Wondered if would ever be like those people. Without fear. Shopping without consequence. Enjoying the world. Not fearing it because of who it might contain.

Noticed was being watched. Initial jump of fear, but then noticed man’s uniform. Was policeman. But why was looking at me?

Odd questions that run through your head. Has to be reason you’re being looked at. None of it ever good. Is either because you are too fat, too ugly, have shit hair.

Oddly, what I should have been concerned with was face that was being watched by policeman as sat behind wheel of vehicle without a licence.

An attractive policeman. Well. All policemen attractive in their way. Let’s just say this one of above-average attractiveness.

(Why are policemen attractive? The uniform? What about uniform specifically? Because cannot be colour. Church officials wear same blue and never found any of them attractive. Is it the fact they are policemen and for some reason we find them appeasing? Freud would have field day with subject. Do we — massive generalisation of female specifies — find policemen attractive because subconsciously we know they are here to protect us? Is there still that primal thing all feminists would bawk at, that in the end, we all just want to be taken care of?)

This policeman had thinning red hair. Some of you would find this unattractive. Both the thinning aspect, and the colour. In Australia we call redheads rangas. Is also the nickname given to orang-utans. Sound it out and you’ll understand why. Or maybe is because orang-utans have red hair, too. Yes, we’re probably being a little mean. But is all done in good fun. And this is how spirited we are about it all: no word of a lie, at one of the zoos in Australia they have what is called ‘Ranga’ days. And on that day— yes, yes, is very true — those with red hair get into the zoo for free. Is brilliant.

Have always been a fan of red heads. I like the freckles. The entire-body coverage. Policeman too far away to tell if had all-over freckles, but could see he had one of those perfect triangular noses. And a strong jaw. An older man. Same age as Landlord, maybe? That hazy 40s/50s bracket which is too hard to tell.

His expression was, I don’t know, curious? No frowning or anything. Just observant. But then it changed. Watched the anger spread over his face. Wasn’t looking at me anymore, but beyond me.

I then heard the car door open and turned attention to Landlord. He had prescriptions that needed to be filled. A dilemma for both of us.

Landlord already anxious due to being in public. He was sweaty and pale and shaking, not from his condition, but from behind beyond the walls of his sanctuary. I, of course, did not want to be in public; but for an entirely different reason.

Landlord sensed this. ‘Is fine. The chemist provides delivery service. Just won’t be able to get them until tomorrow. Maybe the day after.’

Was clear medication was required immediately. Would have to suck it up.

Placed hand on Landlord’s arm, conveying I would go. Is amazing how much can be said without words.

Landlord nodded, relief on his face. Told me chemist was on other side of square but if we drove there we could park out front. So we did.

Chemist knew Landlord’s name. Curious as to why someone was picking up scripts instead of delivery, yet in traditional British style it was not discussed.

Relief was palpable in the car as we drove home. We had both been in public with no harm coming to us.

How silly we were to think we’d go away with it. Was maybe a minute from small village near home when flashing blue lights filled the revision mirror. Fuuuccckkkk!

On hedgerow-lined road, there was nowhere safe to stop.

‘It’s fine, just slow so he knows your intent and pull over in the first over-taking bay,’ Landlord directed softly.

Should mention at this point that Land Rover/Range Rover vehicles may be prerequisite of country living but practically useless on country roads. Are so wide! Most of drive to town done with eyes closed, panicked at thought of hitting vehicle. Having to pull over a difficult exercise. Even if Landlord wanted to get out, he couldn’t.

While being pulled over by police traumatising due to non-licence status, is a story for another day. This has already been novel-length and conscious of boring the hell out of all of you with my long-winded tales. Promise to fill you in. While exciting, rest assured, I have not been incarcerated.

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