I had a minor operation today. A big chunk of my leg is sitting in some laboratory in Edinburgh.
(I apologise for being utterly vile)
While waiting for the op I took a stroll around the building, past the wards and clinics. The stench of hospital was strong and heavy in my nostrils and the artificial light began to burn my weary eyes.
I regularly attend this hospital, and know the area of the third floor like the back of my hand. All, except the GUM clinic. I ended up in this delightful little treatment centre by turning right when I normally turn left at the end of the corridor.
Posters screaming ‘Be safe; wear a condom,’ and ‘Don't be silly, protect your willy,' and ‘Chlamydia; the silent disease,’ and ‘if you really love her, wear a cover,’ and ‘Bag that mole then go for her hole’. Ok perhaps I imagined that last one, but you get the picture.
The waiting room, an L shaped space with orange and yellow walls that looked as though it was last decorated in the ‘70’s, was full of spotty teenagers and older men. To my surprise there was not one single couple there. To my left there was a small group of girls, chatting quietly and looking nervous, to my right, men sat alone, staring morbidly into space.
I turned back on my heels to get out. Bumping into something standing in the doorway, I looked up to see a policeman.
I gulped. Policemen scare me. They make me nervous. They make me feel guilty, even though I’ve never committed an illegal act in my life. Well not really (taking a Mars Bar from the corner shop when I was 12 doesn’t count, does it?).
This particular cop was extremely tall and well built with spiky silver hair and a rather large gut that sat out over his black trousers. I could see his nipples through his white shirt.
On his arm, however, there appeared to be a chain attached to another man. A prisoner. A prisoner on a day trip.
The prisoner was a shorter, somewhat weedy looking guy. His brown hair flounced out at the ends, his cheeks were rather rosy, his nose was covered in veins. The veins stretched out across his cheeks, like whiskers, making him look like a cat. And he did indeed look like a harmless pussycat. But there was absolutely no doubt that this man attached to the cop’s arm was a prisoner.
I stood back and allowed the two dark figures to enter the sexual health clinic and I wandered back through the corridors thinking that it must be true what they say about not bending over to pick up the soap in the prison showers.