coconuts

Alexandra is furious.
‘But who are you?’
‘The Rapid Response Team.’
Rapid Response Team? Do you know Kasha?’
‘Kasha? No. Who’s she?’
‘Kasha was here this morning. She took me out, in the wheelchair.’
Alexandra scowls at me.
‘And what did you say you want?’
‘I’ve come to do a health screen. Your blood pressure and whatnot.’
‘Whatnot? Yes – I don’t doubt whatnot. That’s what they all want. And who sent you?’
‘The doctor.’
‘The doctor? But she was only here a minute ago.’
‘That’s probably when she decided to send for us.’
‘Well why didn’t she tell me about it? She could at least have rung.’
‘I’m sorry it’s all so unexpected. Would you like me to come back another time?’
‘No, no. You do what you have to do. And be quick about it.’
She lets go of the door, grabs hold of the kitchen trolley and pushes it ahead of her, rolling heavily at the hips, like a farmer ploughing a muddy field by hand.
‘Do you have any pain today, Alexandra?’
‘You, maybe. Don’t you ring before you visit people?’
‘Sometimes. When I can. It’s been pretty busy.’
Busy! That’s no excuse.’
‘I know. I’m sorry. I’ll make sure everyone knows to call first.’
‘I might have been out. Kasha was here. She took me for a walk. In the wheelchair.’
‘Well I must say it was a lovely day for it.’
Lovely day.’
She acknowledges the comment with a snort and carries on moving forward.
The room is wonderfully bright, crammed with interesting paintings, books, ceramics. Propped up on one of the bookshelves we pass are two black & white photographs, one of a young woman climbing monkey-style up a palm tree, the other of a young man, at the foot of the same palm, with a ladder.
‘That’s nothing,’ says Alexandra. ‘I was climbing when I was three. I’d be up the top in no time, throwing down coconuts.’

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