Until a couple of minutes ago, I was lying on the sofa having woken up from my post work nap. It must have been around two hours that I was asleep. I was still sweaty from my bike ride home and I was contemplating working out what I wasn’t feeling when my daughter came into the room. She commented that she didn’t have a piano lesson today and that was a good thing because she hadn’t been practising the pieces she should have been. I could have objected to the noise but in some ways it was quite nice that she wanted to play whilst I was still in the room. Instead I rearranged the sofa cushions and lay down.

The dog was all ready to jump up on me having worked out what was going on; I tapped my stomach and he immediately jumped up and settled down on. I must have listened to the practice for a while for I reminder a couple of scales going fine then some two handed minor scale not going right what seemed like repeated. My daughter moved onto to playing pieces and I was impressed by the complexity of the first one – chords, arpeggios, melody and bass lines all going on at the same time and moving between both hands. The music flowed and I went to sleep.

I am awake but I think I am only slowly drifting back to consciousness. The house is incredibly quiet with only the clock on the piano playing. Occasionally a car drives past, people going home from work I suppose since they nearly all seem to be going up the hill away from town. My thoughts once again turn to my friend. We heard last night that the diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer and been changed to terminal colon cancer. My wife has forwarded the email our friend wrote to her updating us on the disease. In ten days since initial diagnosis, the tumour in her colon has doubled in size and is blocking her intestines and colon; she can no longer eat.

The mathematician in me realises that this is an exponential growth curve and I think about how quickly an abdomen would fill up if the tumour started out two centimetres big. It is academic because I am guessing the growth is much bigger than that already; how much longer will she be alive? I think about her husband who carries the same first name as me. If the situation seems to be moving all too fast for me, how can he possibly get his head around it? They have known each other since childhood; it must be devastating. I think about emailing him but what do I write?

I know I can be honest and say I don’t know what to say but I would like to offer more support than that. I feel the lack of car we are experiencing at the moment, they live nearly fifty miles away, doable by public transport but time consuming. I am also wary of giving advice whilst trying to be helpful; I’ve been slapped down twice in the last couple of days for doing that. I think about telling my clan on Xbox, they are mainly Dads and would get the awfulness of the situation – there would be a good group of Americans some praying, all thinking about my friends; would that be a comfort?

I am awake enough now to look at the clock on the piano. It shows six o’clock and I think it is time to start writing. I get up and try not to step on the dog who is now lying along the base of the sofa. I pad out to the kitchen accompanied by my four legged friend, grab a couple of chocolate chip digestives from the larder cupboard and look at my mobile phone. The phone had completely run out of charge on my way home due to Pokemon hunting (more accurately Pokestop visiting). I had put it on charge just before I lay down and it now shows it is 77% full.

I briefly think about how we measure time – two hours, 77% charge, a dog’s life, a friend’s lifetime; all so different. I munch on one biscuit, put the other in a wooden bowl in easy access of my left hand, open my laptop and write.

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