Friday, March 16, 2007

Afro Girl

Making the normally short journey from my apartment to the doctor’s surgery this morning turned into a rather traumatic ordeal. The wind was fiercely strong today in Edinburgh, and I kid you not but had I not grabbed onto that handily placed lamp post, white knuckles gripping for dear life, I would have been propelled furiously across the road into the oncoming traffic.

I can just imagine the news paper headlines now...

“Girl wafted to her death by gust of wind”

“Pigs really can fly!”

I felt like the cow in Twister.

The slightly embarrassing thing was that even once I managed to walk against the wind without the aid of something sturdy to keep me from being flung to my death, my hair flaps about like it has never flapped about before, dancing across my eyes like the flames of a fire, making it difficult to see where I'm going. Cursing as my hair slaps against my face like a whip, sticking to my lip gloss, causing me to choke as it finds its way into my mouth.

I'm already ten minutes late for my appointment when I eventually drag my wind beaten body into the doctor’s surgery, gasping to find my breath. I’m invited into the doctor’s office and I crunch down on something hard with my teeth. Grit. I wonder what else I’ve swallowed on my journey; flies, fragments of dog poo, spiders, mud, other people’s cough and sneeze germs…oh hell. All of a sudden I really feel ill.

“How are you?” The doctor asks me.

“Fine thanks!” I reply in an upbeat voice.

That’s my British politeness. I’m at the doctors. Of course I’m not fine. But it’s something I always say…I could be at death’s door and I’d still reply to anyone “Oh gee I’m fine, wonderful thanks!”

The doc tells me my puffy swollen eye is due to infection on my cheek bone. I leave feeling a little bemused at how an infection could have travelled from my cheek to my eye but am grateful I’m back in Scotland when my doctor gives me only a small and necessary list of prescriptions rather than in France where I would leave with a prescription of 10 items including a nasal spray and suppositories.

And back outside to the wind (which has not calmed down whatsoever, might I add), where I walk a mile or two to reach my bus stop in order to travel to the hospital, strangely named ‘Little France’. Arriving early, I head to the toilets which smell of hospital disinfectant and stare into the mirror.

I look behind me to check there isn’t actually a hideous monster which I have caught sight of in the mirror instead of my own image. Sadly, no, it is my face I see. My hair is like a huge blonde afro, I look like a lion. Although the streaks of mascara smeared down my cheeks make me look more like a panda.

Note to self: Must buy waterproof mascara.

Also: Must carry a brush in my bag at all times. And check mirror more frequently.

I lucratively scrub the pools of black from my face but to no avail do I manage to successfully drag my fingers through my tangled rat tail hair.

Next up; a thrilling experience which entailed spending one hour breathing into a tube with a nose peg squeezing my nostrils together which I am sure makes me look very attractive indeed. Not humiliating whatsoever.

I was a touch disturbed when I was locked in what only can be described as a shower; a small box akin to an upright coffin (with glass walls in an effort to make it feel less claustrophobic…) huffing and puffing, breathing in and out, holding my breath, blowing out quickly, sucking in quickly to a male nurse's commands. Surreal. A bit like my dreams when I have eaten cheese just before bedtime.

Another day in my exhilarating life.

And now it’s time to try and drag a comb through my hair and weep.