A Calm Rage


My next appointment is at Mount Vernon Hospital, in Northwood, for PET and CT scans. They will illustrate body tissues and show the cancer in more definition. These scans are key to determining a survival rate as they can show the stage of cancer. I eat nothing for at least the recommended six hours before the appointment time, but am allowed to drink a little water.

I drive alone to Mount Vernon Hospital for the scans. When I’m nearly there, typical for the area, a car behind flashes its lights and bangs its horn as it closes up and tailgates me. The driver unsuccessfully tries to overtake on a corner. I look down and see I’m travelling just under thirty miles per hour in a thirty zone. I stay calm.

As I turn left into the road running along the back of the hospital, the driver swings out to overtake on the wrong side of the road at the same time. I slam on the brakes and my car skids to a halt diagonally in the road. The car behind somehow manages to avoid hitting me and we remain motionless for around a minute while I stare daggers in the mirror, making the driver behind appear uncomfortable. Eventually, I drive away and make sure I go a steady twenty miles an hour all the way to the entrance of the hospital while the driver behind keeps his distance. I pull into the hospital and he accelerates off. Parking the car, I crank on the hand brake and sit for a moment. This is an important day and I will not tolerate a dickhead in a hurry.

After a few slow breaths, I get out and walk across the car park to the reception of Mount Vernon Hospital. My first operation at Bishop’s Wood Hospital was in the next building along. I remember looking at the cancer unit then and thinking, those poor bastards in there. Now, here I am, taking my place as a poor bastard.

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