An enormous sense of relief today after a night out with my book club chums – my flesh-and-blood book club, not my virtual one, though it would be brilliant to organise a get-together with my cybereading friends.
We were talking about a newspaper report saying doctors often refuse treatment when they have a serious illness – they know all too well how gruelling the treatments can be. I admitted that I’d asked TL to turn off my life support system pronto if I was ever in a coma. Mr X always used to say he’d keep me plugged in forever, which was sweet in a way but completely against my wishes. Nowadays, of course, he’d be more likely to put me into intensive care than anything else … but that’s another story.
‘What if there was any chance that you might come round?’ said a friend. ‘Come round to what?’ I asked. And here is the real crux of my desire not to be languishing in a hospital bed for month after month. I doubt I would look like some poor suffering waif in a film, pale, interesting and clutching a bouquet of lilies as I dreamed serenely. For one thing, I bet the nurses don’t cleanse, tone and moisturise for you. So at the very least, I’d wake up to a whole bunch, not of lovely flowers, but of new wrinkles. Plus spots, blackheads, unruly eyebrows …. it just doesn’t bear thinking about. I shuddered. Then two of the book group sheepishly admitted they’d been having coffee during the week, when one had lunged across the table at the other with some tweezers, and plucked out an immense chin hair. ‘I’m growing a ladybeard,’ wailed one, while the other nodded in stunned confirmation. ‘It was long. Really long.’
Would you really want to risk waking up to that? A full-grown, or worse, straggly and random, ladybeard, sprouted while you were away with the fairies? Definitely not.
So we agreed on a very solemn pact indeed. If any of the book group should go into a coma, the other members will pop round to tweeze. That way, we can all have a happy awakening. If you like, I’ll put you on our essential maintenance list too.