monk meds

Peggy is where she always is – sitting in her riser-recliner, legs up, reading the paper. Her head is tipped back so she can see down the glasses perched on the tip of her nose. She’s frowning, too, breathing through her mouth in an effort of concentration. When I come into the lounge the only acknowledgement she gives is a tetchy little shake of the paper.
‘Hiya Pegs! Whatcha reading?’
‘What d’you think I’m reading?’
‘Looks interesting.’
I glance over her shoulder, which annoys her even more.
A feature spread. A dominatrix threatening to expose her clients, or something like that.
‘How are you feeling today, Pegs?’
She sighs and lowers the newspaper.
‘Not good. Why are you here?’
‘I’ve come to do your blood pressure and whatnot.’
‘You did it yesterday.’
‘I know. But they want it doing over a few days to see how it is.’
She holds the paper up again, gives it another shake.
‘And your heart, too,’ I say, putting my bag on the floor and finding a seat.
‘What about my heart?’
‘It’s been very slow lately. The kind of super slow heartbeat you’d see on an Olympic athlete.’
I can’t help glancing down at her legs, raw and oedematous. ‘How are your pins, today?’
She squashes the newspaper down on her lap and snatches the glasses from her nose.
‘I’ve had it up to here, all you people traipsing through the house day and night asking me questions, prodding and poking about. That nurse yesterday was here about an hour. How much longer is this going on for?’
‘I’m sorry you’re feeling harassed, Peggy.’
‘Harassed? That’s not the word I’d use.’
‘You don’t have to have anything you don’t want.’
‘Well I don’t.’
‘Maybe that’s a conversation you should have with your GP.’
‘Him? What does he know?’
‘Anyway. Do you mind if I have a quick feel of your wrist to see how your pulse is today?’
She holds out her hand and I count the beats. The old clock on the mantelpiece races ahead.
‘Forty-eight,’ I say, releasing my hold. ‘It’s regular, Peggy, but pretty slow.’
‘So I’m not dead yet, then?’
‘No. Not yet.’
I start writing out a new column on the obs chart whilst Peggy looks down at me disapprovingly.
‘What pills do you take for your blood pressure?’ I ask her. ‘Do you mind if I have a look?’
‘You don’t have to have a look,’ she says. ‘I know perfectly well what I take.’
‘Okay. Great. What is it then?’
‘That white thing. You know. The fiddly little one.’
‘I wonder what that is? Can you remember what it’s called?’
‘Is this another one of your tests?’
‘I can go and get it.’
‘No. It’ll come to me in a minute.’
‘It’s no bother.’
‘I can see it now. I take it once a day. In the morning.’
‘What’s it called?’
She rapidly sucks her cheeks in and out and stares straight ahead, like an indignant frog dressed in a floral housecoat and slippers.
‘Rasputin,’ she says at last. ‘Now sling your hook’

2 thoughts on “monk meds

  1. Now sling your hook.Great phrase.

    I do hope you replied with lover of the Russian Queen.

    Great character from history reduced to a naff disco hit.

    At least the other Russians of history got name checked by The Stranglers.


  2. Russian history through pop: Ra Ra Rasputin Lover of the Russian Queen / there was a cat that really was gone.
    Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky / he got an ice pick that made his ears burn
    All you need to know, basically.


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