Friday, May 21, 2010

21. The children of the Netherlands

Lately I’ve been wondering how I'm going to pay the rent next month.
Wondering idly. A low level wondering.
I’ve kept the wonder idle because a friend once told me that money worries can cause back pain.

Turns out, I couldn’t trick my lower back. Most of my back hasn’t had a clue about the money worries, but the lower part, it started right up — it started up in an angry, loud way like somebody playing the bagpipes down there. There’s not enough space in my lower back for the bagpipes.

I tried to say, no, no, don’t worry! I’ll find a way to pay the rent! Remember last year when we were so worried, and the children of the Netherlands saved us? They’d been buying my books, and they sent me an unexpected royalty cheque, and it saved the day! I love them so much, those children of the Netherlands.

But the lower back was unimpressed and kept on worrying.

Yesterday, the funniest thing. I found out I’m getting a tax refund!—and that’s going to save the day.

I am happy, and feel some affection, but I find I do not love them, the people of the tax office.

Anyhow, but here's the strange thing. Even with that money worry solved, my lower back has kept on with its frenzy.

‘And it keeps you awake at night?’ said my mother on the phone.
‘When Charlie lets me sleep,’ I said, ‘yes, it keeps me awake.’
‘That doesn’t sound right,’ she said. ‘It’s probably your kidneys!’

So we were back at the doctor’s today.

The doctor checked Charlie’s ears for free. ‘Are your ears better?’ she asked him, as an aside. ‘No,’ he said. So she looked. ‘Almost better,’ she said.

Then she made me stand and bend in different directions. Sometimes it really hurt! She kept apologising for that, but I didn’t think she should. I thought she should be proud. It was like she knew how to play it, my lower back pain.

‘Well, it’s certainly not your kidneys!’ she said, sitting back down at her desk.

Then she said it was because we stood up.

‘We used to go about on all fours,’ she explained, ‘but we went and decided to stand up. We shouldn’t have. But we did.’

So that’s why I have that lower back pain.

I got a lolly snake, because I was the patient, but I was allowed to give it to somebody else, the doctor said. That was her way of telling me to give it to Charlie.


*

Listen, I’ve got a split lip. It just now happened. Charlie flying across the bed to throw himself into my arms – some kind of a miscalculation. His forehead is all right. We talked about that a bit. I offered to kiss it better and was glad he didn’t accept because my lip was hurting in a sparky kind of way, like someone had lined up some tiny little fireworks there. I read him a story, and we chatted, and Charlie made absolutely no mention of anything odd about my face. Then I went downstairs and saw myself in the mirror. My lip is all kind of torn and bloody! It looks great. But I’m participating in a panel on creative writing tomorrow, and I don’t want to look great!

What do you do, do you put ice on it or what?

And why did Charlie not mention it? Politeness, I guess. You should see my lip! He may have been embarrassed for me.

7 Comments:

Blogger Elleira said...

Not sure what to do with the lip issue, I'm afraid.

But your mum is hilarious! And so it your doctor :)

Hope your lip's feeling/looking better for tomorrow!

xxA

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Ouch! I'd go with ice and lipbalm tonight and lipstick tomorrow :)

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Amy Nutmeg said...

oh that made me laugh and laugh, but i am not very helpful with these things, I'm sorry. I hope you find a solution. Where is this creative writing panel?

My mum made me go to the doctor today too because my hands were shaking. While I was there I asked him if I was going bald. He said that the tremor was nothing to worry about and that it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Amy Nutmeg said...

I'm sorry, that was probably really unhelpful when all you asked for was advice on how to fix a split lip!

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want a doctor that throws in bits of evolutionary history.

Everyone should be the children of the Netherlands when it comes to your books. Every child should have one of your books in their hands. Tell your marketing people to get on that.

Much love to you and the lip-breaker,
OLB ox

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Sarah J said...

I agree with your doctor.
We shouldn't have stood up right.
I have a back pain today too but that's my fault for having a bad posture says my mother.

As for your lips;
Usually what I do is that I put LOTS and LOTS of Vaseline or lip balm before bed. When I say 'lots' I mean to the point it looks like you dipped your lips into plate of olive oil.
I find it helps especially during cold winter nights.

:) x

11:20 PM  
Blogger Jaclyn Moriarty said...

THANK YOU for all your advice about the split lip. The writing panel was at Darling Harbour, and my lip did not look too bad. I don't think. But it did hurt to smile. And Amy, it IS helpful to hear that it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day! That is good for everyone to know. Jx

10:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home