Protos Loop Hole - afree to read story
the car park – part six -Protos Loop hole

Protos Loop Hole – part six

continued from part five..

“…I had walked past the secretary’s office door in a daze. I found myself walking with Bobbie in tow asking what they were going to do to me. I never answered Bobbie because I didn’t know. But what was clear to me had realised itself in the total clarity, that I really had little chance of survival. Behind me I heard steps and a someone calling our my name. “Mr Taylor, stop, you need your file.” The secretary caught up with Bobbie and I, who for some reason had been walking twice as fast as we would normally. “Here.” She said, then paused for a second to catch her breath… “

“…Take your file and go back to the main building through the main swing doors. Turn left up a long corridor, then turn right just past x-ray, towards the Maternity ward. And then through the doors marked ‘plastic surgery ward’ and then turn right again. Go in to the waiting room and ring the bell.” She said and promptly turned and walked away from us. I looked at Bobbie and he looked back at me. ´“Did you catch any of that?” I asked him. “ No. Wasn’t listening.” He said with blank eyes. “Bollocks. I’m going for a smoke.” I said tucking the brown folder under my arm. Bobbie sprang to life and we both marched quickly back to the car where we had stashed our cigarettes. We stood smoking for a while in silence, both in our own thoughts. “Suppose we go to the ward now? I mean, after our ciggy that is.” Bobbie said. I just looked at him and took another drag and talked to the car park. “Plastic Surgery ward? What the hell am I going there for?” I couldn’t understand the directions given, let alone if I’d got the title of the ward right. “Bet I’ll hit all that traffic around Dorminister Town.” Bobbie said sucking hard on his cigarette. ”I’ll ring Barry and tell him I’ll meet him down the pub about three-ish”. Robbie reasoned time control with himself but I wasn’t listening. Maybe he was just trying to divert my attention from the drama that had just unfolded. He was rambling away to himself about some road being busy on a Monday and some junction having a ‘bastard of a round-a-bout’ at midday. I was still trying to unravel the directions to the ward whilst hurrying to finish the cigarette so I could start another one. It was like Bobbie and I we were having conversations with two other invisible people. Each making a statement that bore no relation to each other.

I mean, what did the Doctor in Portsdown actually tell me?” I said aloud trying to put everything said to me to date in some logical order. “Something about that I may need a rebuild.” But I couldn’t remember exactly. “I’m supposed to have cancer, not come here for a nose job, aren’t I?” I said to Bobbie.

Bobbie, had been listerning all along apparently. “Maybe they just don’t have another space available. You know what the system is like, put my Mother in a corridor before she died.” I was sure Bobbie was exaggerating but said nothing, besides he may well have had a point. It was common practice to move patients around from ward to ward. Why not new patients? I decided to stop driving myself crazy and lit another cancer stick as my brother often described my habit.

Ready then?” Bobbie picked up the pace of his smoking and threw his half smoked fag into a convenient rainwater drain. To my dismay and surprise Bobbie had remembered every word of the directions the secretary had given me and was leading the way like an experienced hospital pathfinder. “Sure you haven’t been to this place before Bob?” I asked him. “Maybe, in another life.” He said it with an air of confidence. We reached the end of yet another corridor and entered into a new space.

protos loop hole. part six- free on line
Victorian Hospital in the 2oth century

It was classic Gothic. Dark and foreboding, with the almost stomach wrenching institutional odor of bleach which seemed to make it worse than it probably was. The walls were covered with ceramic tiles, typical art nouveau style, quite nice if it wasn’t for the fact that some genius had covered over them in brown gloss paint. I decided that I had far more important things on my mind than continuing to critique the entire institution and its lack of colour sense. It would achieve nothing anyway. Bobbie walked straight into the room where he found a bell and rang it. Nothing happened apart from an echo. And so we waited. “Got a TV in here that’s good isn’t it” Bobbie said pointing to a large and rather dated looking television. “Probably doesn’t work.” I replied cynically. He couldn’t help but tinker with it. Whilst he was pressing buttons and checking the power source, I had sunk lower into my mind. This place did not inspire me with confidence at all. Perhaps I should walk away and go back with Bob. I mean I don’t feel ill, not one bit. What if they are wrong? What if I haven’t got cancer at all? What if I in denial? What exactly are they going to do with me in the operating room?

I sat down to think about it. Bobbie gave up on the old television and began reading cards that were pinned to the walls with tacks. “This one says, ‘thanks for everything you did to try to help my Father Sidney Dalton. Great caring, a million thanks again, warm regards, John Dalton.’ There’s load of cards from people, must do a good job here.” He tried to cheer me up. “Sounds like they all died Bob,” I suggested and forced a faint cynical smile “Do you want me to stay or should I get going?”

Bobbie started to ramble to himself again. “No. I’ll wait till you have seen the nurses, I wonder where everyone is?” He stuck his head out from round the door that we had entered into. “Can’t see no-one, typical”. He moaned and rang the bell again and again. In the meantime I had decided to stay put, knowing that if I walked away my brother and my wife would go crazy at me. And I couldn’t live with their worry, let alone my own. Better to stay and face up to whatever it was that lay before me, at least I’d know one way or the other if I was to live or die, at worst I may get a time forecast for my demise. Finally I gave in to Bobbie and told him; “Bobbie, you get going mate, you’re doing no good here, better get back to the firm,” said in a very quiet and gentle manner. “You sure mate? I mean I’ll stay if you want but maybe it is best if I do go.” He smiled and followed it up with, “probably just driving you mental anyway? And then he laughed. “I’ll tell your Brother you made it here alright shall I?” With that rhetorical question unanswered, he walked over to me and gave me an affectionate hug, which brought a tear to my eye. He was right of course, he had been and was driving me a little more insane than I already was.

Perhaps his staying gave me false hope of escape. Bobbie had stood firmly by me these last few months and we had become like real brothers. I was sad to see him leave. I began busying myself gathering pamphlets about cancer facts and support charities for cancer sufferers when I suddenly heard footsteps coming from near the wooden desk, just a little past the waiting room. I ventured outside the door. “Hello” I said to a lady in a cotton chintz blue dress. “Mister. Tranner:” She asked “Taylor” I corrected her. She had a funny dialect, one which, I knew, was going to present difficulty. “You should have been here half an hour ago.” Is what I think she said, but I struggled to translate her words into something understandable. The minutes of silence during the translation must have seemed if I was being rude to her. “Sorry, we, I mean I was directed to the wrong department and then somehow I just got lost”. I wasn’t about to tell her that I’d gone for a smoke.

The lie held up. She tutted and then asked for my brown folder. She was an odd type. She had a sort of permanent grin as though she had had a imperfect face-lift. Must be so, I thought she’s in the right place, which in turn brought an equal sized grin to my face. There we were facing each other, both grinning and neither really understanding clearly what the other was saying.

Nice day!” I attempted to bring the exchange to some form of normality. “Thought you done a bunk.” I think she said whilst smiling at me all the time, which was starting to unsettle me even more than I was already. “Lots of you men do a bunk by the time you get here”. She murmured whilst continually smiling at me. “Really” I responded with a look of false surprise. Then it sunk in what she had said – I repeated it aloud.- ”Most men do a bunk by the time they reach here?” – She nodded as confirmation of an absolute truth.

….Why? What could be worse than death? The voice in my head asked me, but I couldn’t nor wanted to answer, because whatever it was…I was next in line.

to be continued…

©Denis Taylor Artist and Writer

Editor of painters tubes magazine

Curator for TAG- painters Tubes gallery

Photographs acknowledgements: 1)Robert Neilson / The Guest Hospital, Tipton, West Midland

2)Corridors: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=480084

 

to catch up with the story please click the links:    Part One    Part Two    Part three    Part Four

Seminal paintings by Denis taylor Artist
“reality shock” #3 ©Denis2010

end of part four…I lit-up another cigarette and looked around the apartment possibly for the last time,  I turned and made a swift exit down the steep stairs to the car, where Bobbie was already warming up the engine. I put my small overnight case on the back seat and got in the passenger seat and fastened the seat belt. The journey into the unknown, was about to begin…

PROTOS PART FIVE

The journey was filled with the predictable expletive deletives, “Fucking idiot.” – “What a pillock.” “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” And so on. Normal chit-chat for drivers on overpopulated motorways. It always amuses me that the driver swearing at others on motorways truly believes that the drivers, to which these obscenities are directed at, can actually hear them. Bobbie was convinced that the other occupants of the road were deliberately slowing our progress.  I readily agreed and was grateful to them, although I kept that to myself….”

It seemed little time had passed before we pulled into the hospital drive and parked the car after negotiating the labyrinth of Doctors and Hospital Staff Only signs. “Its bad you know” an old blues song started to play in my head over and over. I went and told her, she asked me why?” The song went on “its’ bad you know!” I told myself to stop-it, as the song was not making things any better. Then I tried to reason with myself to calm down. Bobbie jumped from the car and ran around to the boot to remove my small black bag that I had packed earlier. “Where do we go now?” He looked confused. “To hell and hopefully back.” I said sarcastically.  He looked around the car park and spotted directional posts. “Reception and Admissions, lets follow the signs,” Robbie point to the signs that were perched three metres up a lamppost. The hospital building loomed menacingly into a grey sky. It was a Victorian structure of red brick with a badly designed ‘lean-to’ front entrance topped off with see-through plastic roof material. The roof highlighted a critical view of an institutional building in decline -That old blues song resonated around my brain once again. The song kept on playing as I walked up to the reception window. I was just starting to gain some perverse comfort from the lyrics when the song faded with the icy stare of the nurse behind the desk. I tried desperately to remain dignified. Should I run?

I wanted to; ‘steady’ ‘steady.’ I said to myself over and over. I tried to think of another song but nothing happened. “Do you have your papers Mister Traylar” “That’s Taylor” I said correcting the nurse and handed her the papers Stuart had given me. “You’ll need to complete this, and this and this.” She said pointing to boxes on an A4 sheet.  Despite the incorrect spelling of my name, the nurse indicated gaps in my details form the Sex clinic. Birthplace and date, mobile telephone number and email address, personal information, which I had thought unnecessary to give at the claphouse. The enforced form filling dehumanised the situation, which in some odd way I liked. Obligingly I filled in the blanks. Opposite me, in wire trays on long white shelves, I could see hundreds of brown paper folders bulging with white letter headed paper and doctors notes on each folder front.

They were probably explaining conditions of patients in the usual unreadable doctors shorthand. She handed me one of the envelopes. Written in hieroglyphics on the front was what I believed said, ‘Malignant carcinoma pre-examination’, at least I guessed it did, or something very similar in Latin. It may as well have said ‘this one is for the knackers yard,’ for all I knew. But I had boosted my ego with a self convincing translation. “Please take a seat and I’ll deal with you shortly.” The nurse spoke in the sort of tone that can only come from a person that says the same thing over and over again. So much so that it sounds if the person saying it, is quite pissed off at you.

By this time I was so tense that I was convinced everything and everybody was against me. The system had got me and there was no escape. ‘You’re here to be kept alive.’ I thought I heard someone say to me.

(note to the reader… from me inside the circle: the voice was Protos, but I didn’t know he existed, at that at that time, I put it down to psychosis through stress).

Where do we go now?” Bobbie said impatiently. “To the ward?” He looked around for more signs. “I have to be examined first and even then I might not have to stay. Sit tight for a minute or two.” I said a wee bit annoyed, and continued staring at the magazine I had picked up. He was twitching about in his chair and obviously wanted to ‘get back on the road’. “I fucking hate hospitals.” He snarled. “Me too.” I replied coldly with the hint of a smile, which I hoped would reassure him that I had more reason to ‘hate hospitals’ than him. “The foods always crap”. He added but I ignored him, grunting my agreement along with a nod of my head. “Mister. Taylor” – My heart jumped as I heard my name called.

Take your file with you.” She touched the brown folder with her index finger.  Now go out through the door to the out patients department”. Outpatients? I thought, maybe they have changed their mind and don’t need to keep me in-here after all. I felt a glimmer of hope. Was it all a mistake? Perhaps I’ll just have ‘chemotherapy’ and not an operation, or maybe something like it. I would settle for that, at least I could have gone home. See, Bobbie,” I said forcibly. “Good job you waited, I might be coming back with you”.

He looked at me with doubt in his eyes. “Could still get back to Portsdown for ‘two-ish’ if I set off soon.” He said. We walked towards the out patients department. I pushed the heavy plastic swing doors and was greeted with a familiar dusky smell of detergent. The floors were still wet from a recent mopping and the linoleum flooring laid loosely on it looked almost attractive with its high gloss finish. The dry sections however, betrayed the true colour, which was best described as depressing beige brown with a vomit green flick, matched only by the equally depressive green walls. My god, I’ve stepped into an interior designer’s chamber of horrors. I thought, still trying to distract myself from the morbid reality facing me. I handed in my brown folder to the lady on the desk. She looked at it with the look of someone who had been given an exam paper.

After pondering on it for a minute or so she walked into a side office. I started to think more on the decor. Why is it that most public institutions paint everything in browns, greens and shades of beige or cream? The paint on the wall and the flooring looked comparatively new. Why on earth didn’t they spend a little more money and contract a professional interior designer to do the job?

What a waste of money” I grumbled my thoughts out loud to Bobbie, having first expounded in precise detail of how colour is a vital power source that could exalt or depress a soul and how perfect colour balance can achieve more for an individual’s spirit than several hours of therapy with a psychiatrist. He looked around and agreed in meaningless sound bites – like ‘That’s right.’ And

‘I know what you mean.’ He seemed more concerned about getting out of the place as much as I was. I could sense his sudden realisation that taking someone to hospital actually meant a number of hours waiting and not the quick drop off that he perhaps he had hoped for. “Lack of organisation” Robbie said. Quickly followed by “Fucking unbelievable.” Then he paused for a moment. “How much money do we pay for this?” He couldn’t control himself or his impatience any longer. and resoted to pointless statements – “Fucking health system, fucking politicians”. I interjected and reminded him that perhaps his outburst and verbal abuse of the system, in particular, wasn’t really doing me any favours or him any good.  Calm down Bobbie, I’m sure they will admit me soon if they have to” I said to him.

That’s an odd phrase I thought. ‘Admit.’ People normally use that word to mean ‘accept responsibilty, or as valid or true’ but I suppose it can also be used in every day life as ‘allow entrance’. That’s what they are doing now, they are seeing if they will allow me into the hospital. When I’m allowed in, then I am their responsibility. Also, it means that I allow them to ‘admit me’. Which must mean I give them consent to deal with me as they deem fit.

This train of thought started to bother me slightly as the nurse with my brown folder walked from the office and broke our frustrations and fears. “Come this way Mr. Taylor” I looked at Robbie “I’ll wait here.” He said timidly.

She led me into another room where yet another nurse took control of my brown folder. “Please sit here,” She said. A very tall and slim man walked past me. The nurse handed him the file and then he turned his attention to me. He looked at me over his spectacles and beckoned me to follow him into yet another room.

Please lie on the table and remove your trousers.” He said quietly. Here we go again I thought to myself. ‘I hope he doesn’t have one of those cotton buds to stick into my dick’. I thought as I took off my pants. He approached me.

I am Mr Dragonwitz.” He said. “I will examine you first, before I can make a decision on the action that must be taken.” He spoke in a soft tone, but very clear and very direct, sounding a little like Sherlock Holmes. He called for his assistant to enter, whilst he scrubbed his long slender fingers in the washbowl situated in a corner of the room. He began his examination while the assistant noted every word he said. He clasped my knob end with his index finger and thumb, bending it one way and then the other. He spoke out loud, saying things that which could have been Hungarian for all I knew. I understood nothing but the assistant stared at my dick so intensely as he scribbled away on a notepad that I knew, whatever the big guy was saying, was something not good.

The examination took only a minute or two and then he asked me to dress and wait in the corridor just outside the room. I could hear them discussing dates and how to fit me in his schedule.  He spoke almost angrily. “No, that’s not good, move Mr so and so here and put Mr so and so there.” And finally said to his assistant. “Yes that’s fine, now ask him to come into my office.” Bobbie popped his head around the corner. “You all right mate, are they keeping you in or what?”  I shook my head and mouthed at him to ‘Wait’. The assistant came from the room and escorted me into Mr Dragonwitz consulting room. Well, Mister Taylor. You have a very active and critcal malignant tumour that’s needs removing.

My advise to you is, that you agree to being admitted and that we schedule you for an operation.” He looked at me for a reaction. “Ok,” I said nonchalantly. “How about the back end of week twenty?” He looked at me in disbelief as week twenty was a month away.

If you wish, but even if we operate now, as in tomorrow, I can only give you at best a twenty against an eighty chance of survival.” I went blank and felt the blood run from my face. “You mean, I will die” The specialist gave his clearly truthful opinion. “If the main tumour is not removed immediately, the secondaries will, or may already have, advanced to a stage of independence existence, and from that position, there will be no coming back.” He said.

 

All I can remeber sayin at this stage was saying was “Ok I agree, where do I sign?”  He looked at me. “My secretary will advise you what to do next.” He said everything without emotion as I sat motionless – frozen perhaps by the shock of reality. Ok, you can leave now” He said which sounded like an order. And one that I should obey. Oh, right, err thanks, right then, I’ll leave, through this door is it?” I had become a bumbling idiot. I walked out from the office and into the corridor in a daze. Bobbie jumped up when he saw me. “So, are you staying or what?” He asked. I looked at him as cold sweat ran down my face.

Oh yes Bobbie, I’m staying – to have the operation – tomorrow –

that is only – if I want to stand the remotest chance of staying alive.”

…to be continued

to catchup with the story please click the links:    Part One    Part Two    Part three

Denis Taylor Writer and artistlast statement in part three    “...I lit another cigarette and began a slow walk back into the town, my life had just been put under threat of non existence, everything was on hold, and there nothing I could do, nothing at all. Monday could be confirmation of the beginning of the end of me.”

PROTOS LOOPHOLE – PART FOUR

After the phone call to my wife and a few moments of not knowing where the hell I was, I came around to my senses. I found myself walking in the opposite directionto where I was to meet Baz, (my brother) and his friend, Robert who we called him Bobbie. “I’ve lost my mind” I said to the Sun, that by now, was beating down on my head with an overpowering stark and blinding light, as if it was showing me the only path that was to lead to my next destination. Non-existence. I changed that thought quickly and headed for the absolute reality of the Pub.

Before long I found myself pushing the heavy glass and wooden doors into the vault section of the pub. I knew both Baz and Bobbie would be in there. Bobbie had seen me coming through the pub door window and was already at the bar ordering me a pint as I entered the bar.

I sat down and held my head in my hand for a moment. Slowly I raised myself up and exhaled long and hard, like a man who had just run a 26K marathon. “You all right arkid” Baz asked me. He always addressed me with the title, ‘arkid’ it was a sort of a special Mancunian (Northern English) greeting from a brother to a brother. “Don’t know Baz, I’ve got a serious problem”. I said to him. Bobbie brought my drink placed it on the table and began to roll one of his special cigarettes, Barry looked at me but remained quiet. “How did you get on with the Accountant?” Bobbie asked. I looked at him and took a mouthful of beer which I gulped down. “Didn’t see him Bobbie, I went to the clap house for a check up”. Baz stopped drinking from his pint glass and sniggered. “Oh yea, got a dose have you, it’s not a problem, couple of injections up the arse and you’ll be fine” He said laughing.

I’ve got cancer.” I replied in a cold unfeeling way. “Who told you that? Baz questioned the statement, he looked at me in disbelief and became indignant at the thought of someone giving me seriously false information. “They can’t tell you that at the clap house, they don’t do cancer.” He said with a smirk.  “Oh, I think I’ve got it alright, been there since early this morning.” Neither Baz nor Bobbie spoke for five minutes. I took another large gulp of beer as Bobbie broke the silence. “How do you mean, you think, you’ve got Cancer ?” I replied factually. “I’ve got to see a specialist on Monday morning at half ten, one of the Doctors at the ‘clap house’ made the appointment, here you go, look at the papers.” I handed Baz the papers that Stuart had given me as proof. He read them one by one, handing them over to Bobbie as he finished each of them in turn. “Fuck me arkid, is this for real or are you winding us both up.” My brother said. I assured him that it was as real and I wasn’t laughing.

Maybe they have got it wrong” Bobbie chipped in. “Well, I’ll know on Monday.” I replied hanging onto to Bobbie’s hope, whilst Baz read page after page of the information given to me again. “Says here you should take additional clothing and stuff.” Baz said with a frown. “What are we going to do about the business?” Bobbie asked with real concern. “Just have to carry on without me, until we know more….for now I‘m going to get pissed” I said finishing off my beer in one gulp. “Me too.” Said Baz. “In that case I may as well join you,” added Bobbie with a wide grin.

The Protos Loophole

I lay in my bed with my eyes wide open. Saturday and Sunday had come and gone in an instant and Monday had arrived. It was four thirty in the morning. I was waiting for six-o-clock. Next-door Bobbie lay slumbering. His alarms would start to ignite in about an hour and a half. I’d had weeks of hearing them, never really needed alarms myself, always woke before I needed to. But Bobbie, well, he could sleep for England and win a gold medal. Soon that familiar voice would piece my eardrum – “Good Morning it’s Radio bla bla”  An overly happy DJ’s playing annoying repetitive rap songs first thing in the morning had been irritating me since Bobbie offered his spare room to me (while I set up the Company). That was before friday, now, nothing seemed to matter very much at all.

I really didn’t want this particular morning to arrive. And yet, here it was. Spots of rain pitted my bedroom window. I resolved to allow my insomnia to win and went for a pee on the loo. I then dragged myself to the kitchen, where I put on the kettle and liberated a tea bag from its stainless steel home. The time to go to hospital would be here sooner rather than later. Only a month ago I was excited about building a new art and design company and full of the joy of life.  I convinced my wife that this was my last chance to secure our families financial future. And Bobbie and Baz had sunk every penny they had into the venture, I had personally guaranteed a large overdraft with the Bank, which we were already using on a daily basis, giving them my personal guarantee. And now here I was about to go to a place where nothing was certain, everything was alien and where I would probably undergo surgery, which in its self, guaranteed nothing, let alone continued continued existence. My life and my world was on the edge of disaster.

I made yet another cup of tea and thought about giving up smoking and tried not to think about money. What was the point of worrying? I argued with myself and had another cigarette as Bobbie charged out from his bedroom. “We have to be on the road, need to get going before traffic jams us up.” He said whilst fastening his shoelaces. I asked him if he wanted a cup of tea. “No thanks, we’ll get breakfast on the way, must get back to organize the firm.” His eagerness to ‘get-on-the-road’ annoyed me although I remained emotionless. His keenness to get back and ‘organize the firm’ was, after all, understandable. My absence provided an opportunity for him to play a more leading role in the business. And I trusted him totally to do his best. But, ‘getting-going’ had more trepidation for me and not him. Did it really matter if we were late? After all the operation wouldn’t be scheduled for that day, would it? And only then if I needed had to have one. I would probably be just hanging around the hospital. “We should leave now.” Bobbie said firmly. My delaying tactic had failed. He carried my bag down the three flights of stairs at an unprecedented speed.

I lit-up another cigarette and looked around the apartment possibly for the last time,  I turned and made a swift exit down the steep stairs to the car, where Bobbie was already warming up the engine. I put my small overnight case on the back seat and got in the passenger seat and fastened the seat belt. The journey into the unknown, was about to begin…

…Today my destiny was about to be decided for me.

to be continued…

To catch up with the story here are the internal links for Part One  and Part Two

Denis Taylor Writer and artistPROTOS LOOP HOLE – PART THREE

continued from part two…

…By now I began to feel a little uneasy about the whole process and wished I had escaped earlier. “Pull back your foreskin for me” He said. I obliged. “Oooo, what’s that” he cooed, pointing to the red patch just under the top of my bell end. “Don’t know? That’s why I’m here!” I answered him with naïve honesty. He continued with the swabbing, gently pushing the plastic stick topped with a cotton bud into my piss hole. He then handed me a glass of water. Beads of sweat were by now running down my forehead and also down the middle of my back. “Now go behind that screen, take this plastic cup with you please, you may feel it sting a little bit as you pass water.” Stuart warned me with a smile. “Just going to have a word with the Doctor, back in a mo..”

I stood up and went behind the screen that concealed a urinal. I put my dick into the plastic cup, sort of hovering over the urinal and waited. I whistled to help encourage the act. I looked around for close circuit cameras, convinced this was all a wind up. I felt ridiculous stood there wearing a business jacket, a shirt and a tie with no trousers or underpants. It all seemed very silly.  Stuart came back with Dr Copland. I offered the cup of piss, which  Stuart took and placed n a shelf. Dr Copland asked me to lie down  whilst she took a look at me . I don’t know what Stuart had said the her whilst I was peeing into my cup, but she seemed curious, if not actually a wee bit concerned.

“Stuart, go and see if you can get Doctor Gupta on her mobile, right away please.” He hurried away. “I would like a colleague of mine to have a quick look at this, hopefully she will be still in the town, which will save you coming back. Is that ok with you?” She asked, my brain said. ‘Fuck that, I want out of here’ but my mouth said. “Ok, no problem.” Dr Copland covered me with a clean paper sheet and asked if I could ‘hang on’ until they could organize it. I thought, hang on to what, organise who? But again, I said Ok. I lay there wondering what was so bloody interesting about my knob end and began to run my sexual history through my memory banks trying to find an indicator of any known diseased individuals that I may have contracted something nasty from. What if its one of those sexual diseases with a long name, the ones I had read about in the corridor? What if it was Aids? I decided ignorance was the best protection against worry and employed it by staring into space and entering my special ‘nothing box’ I kept in my head for emergencies. Stuart came back to the examination room and casually walked up to the examination bed where I lay totally oblivious to what was going on.

Are you ok?” He asked. “I don’t know what time is it.” I replied as a way of avoiding an answer. I was anxious about how much longer I would be kept waiting and what was this attention about anyway? Why couldn’t I just have the penicillin jab and leave? Stuart piped up. “It’s coming up to one forty five but don’t worry about that Doctor Gupta is on her way, she will be here in fifteen minutes”. He must have sensed my need to leave the place. “I love art, not that modern stuff.” He said. I looked at him confused. “You know, you asked me before, about art!” Stuart tried to engage me in conversation. “Oh yea, which painter did you say you liked?” I asked him. He looked at me and thought for a second. “The romantic type, you know, those who paint beautiful sunsets, spiritual ones. It may be old fashioned to professionals like you, but I can loose myself in paintings like that.” He looked for a reaction. I made some glib remark along the ‘whatever turns you on is good art.’ a typical cop out response from a seasoned artist. What I was really interested in was to get out from the clinic and sink several pints of beer to alleviate the feelings of increasing dread with a huge dose of panic boiling up in my brain. He chatted on, skipping from subject to subject including music and drama and how the summer in Portsdown was great and full of interesting people. I listened but his words just bounced off me. “I think I can hear her coming up the stairs now.” Stuart said and he ran to the door.

Doctor Gupta walked in with a purpose in her stride. She introduced herself and asked if she may look at my dick. Bet she says that to all her customers, I thought while at the same time nodding my approval and she pulled back the sheet. She was very gentle, but said little. She looked extremely close at my knob end and at the same time exchanged words with Doctor Copland. Saying things like, ‘Noe-plastic skin abstractions’ and other medical terms which meant bugger all to me. “I’d like to take a little sample, if that’s ok.” She asked. Once again my brain screamed out, “Fuck off” but my mouth, said “Ok.” Stuart then asked me to lie back whilst Doctor Gupta prepared to cut a piece of living flesh from my penis. Stuart positioned himself between me what was about to occur. He held my trembling hand gently as she sliced what she wanted. Much to my relief I felt nothing and the whole operation took only seconds. “I will just examine this whilst Stuart dresses you.” She said. ‘Good’ that’s means I can go, I thought. But dressing in this case meant surgical dressing. He wrapped a bandage of some sort around my knob and secured it with tape.

Ok, now put this pad between you and your underpants and pull your trousers on. Doctor Gupta may want to talk to you.” He said efficiently. I was more concerned about how much blood there was on the bandage and how long would it take to heal up. And I also wondered how much bloody longer I would have to wait to get out from this torture chamber. I put on my clothes and then sat on the end of the table, waiting. Before long Doctor Gupta came in the examination room and asked if we could have a little ‘chat’ in the office. ”Of course” I said. By now I’d agree to anything as long as it speeded up my exit. We sat down and she began by asking me if I had a car? And if could I leave my employment – at short notice?” – Totally confused as to where these questions were heading, I quickly replied,  “Sure, no problem , I’m my own boss.”

The Protos Loop Hole - part three

Good” she said. “Well I have to tell you that we are almost sure that you have a malignant cancerous tumor.” I looked at her in disbelief. “Not aids then?” – For one flirting second I felt relieved until I had absorbed the full meaning of the words tumor and cancer. “No, not Aids” She paused and then repeated that dreaded word. “Cancer”. Silence prevailed for a second or two before she followed up the word, possibly Malignant.

Now it may well mean you will need an operation and probably pretty quick.” She emphasized the word ‘quick’ then continued solemnly. “I know of a surgeon who specializes in male cancers, in fact I attended a seminar he held, only three weeks ago in London.” She said with a sort of pride that perplexed me. “I’ll phone him now and ask if he can see you urgently.” I looked at her and the word malignant stayed in my head and very little else. “Malignant” I repeated the word out loud and looked at her again with a huge question mark over my head. “He’s very good, had lots of success, the leader in his field, in fact you could say he is one in a million.” Dr Gupta said perhaps help reduce the look of terror written all over my face. By now my mind had gone numb. I kept repeating the words ‘malignant cancer’ in my mind. That means ‘serious’ I said to myself again and again, not really wanting to admit the gravity of the words I had been given by the Doctor, and yet needing to come to terms with them non-theless.

I think she picked up the phone and spoke to someone? But I’d gone into a daze. I could see her mouth moving but could hear nothing until she said with excited pride “Excellent, so that’s ten thirty Monday morning, thank you”. Doctor Gupta turned to face me. “Ok, now I have managed to get you to be examined by Mister Dragonwitz on Monday at ten thirty. Stuart will give you details of our report and how to get to his clinic at the hospital”. She paused and looked at my blank emotionless face. “Its likely you will be admitted right away, so I would advise you to take a change of clothing and so on.” She said trying to bring me back onto planet Earth. Although I was functioning on the outside and nodding in acknowledgement of the logical advise,  but in truth I had gone into a total melt down.

Stuart dutifully prepared the notes I needed. Doctor Gupta and Doctor Copland wished me good luck. I shook their hands and walked down the stairs. ‘Luck?’ I need luck? I thought. Stuart walked with me assuring me that “Everything would work out fine” He was, “sure of it”. He unlocked the door and I stepped out into the sunshine. Fumbling nervously in my pocket I extracted my telephone and cigarettes, from my rain pocket, lit a cigarette and and rang my wife at home in Sweden.

Hello sweet heart” She said in her wonderful Anglo Swedish dialect. “I’ve got cancer,” I said in a matter of sort way. The phone went into an deadly silence. “C a n c e r” I repeated it slowly. “Did you hear me?” I continued to talk in a matter of fact sort of way to try and prevent her from distress. “I’ve got to go and a see some bloke who specializes in dicks like mine on Monday, so I’ll be able to tell you more then, but I’ll sort it, no worries.” I lied, what could I do? I couldn’t tell her what could be the worst case scenario, death.

“I love you” she said as I clicked the phone off. I lit another cigarette and began a slow walk back into the town, my life had just been put under threat of non existence, everything was on hold, and there nothing I could do, nothing at all. Monday could be confirmation of the beginning of the end of me.

…to be continued

click here for part OneDenis Taylor Writer and artist“I clearly recall that it was on a wet and windy Friday morning when I found myself going somewhere that any red blooded male does not want to go…”

part 2 – The Short Walk and The Long Wait.

…I had to visit that building, one that no one really wants to be seen going into. The sign outside was clear for everyone to see and even though it was an insignificant building it was strategically connected to a large modern hospital. It was known by the guys in town as the Clap house, more correctly  it was called  the Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic. I’d promised my wife to get the ‘thing’ on my dick finally sorted out. “It’s just a discolouration”,  I’d say and dismiss her worry. Besides we had been spending a lot of time outside of my country of birth,  so my excuses had the further substance of not wanting to be looked at by foreigners.  And I wasn’t ill. I felt perfectly ok and functioned fine.  I’d landed back in the old country to open a new Company in a small coastal tourist town with my brother and his friend, who both lived there. The plan was to get the business up and running quick.  However, it wasn’t very long before my wife began nagging me that I should have that ‘thing’ checked out. I was far too busy to waste time visiting doctors about something so trivial.                  

After several phone calls over a month or three I finally got around to having that ‘thing’  looked at. And even then I used the easiest and quickest method, hence my visit to the Clap house. It was the only place where you could drop in without the need of a Doctors appointment.  I was convinced the problem was something to do with my past life and amounted to little more than a course of penicillin injections.

part two of the story - the protos loop hole by Denis Taylor Artist and writerMy choice of day was calculated purposely to remain unhindered while heading in the clinics general direction. The main street would be quiet with the locals busy preparing their premises for the onslaught of tourists on Friday. So I wouldn’t be stopped for those annoying polite conversations, which usually began with, “Hi, and where are you going?”  The weathermen had promised torrential rain for that particular Friday.  It was the perfect weather for an undercover visit to the Clap house.  My accountant was  located not far from the place, so I used him as a cover for my visit.  The less that anyone knew about my knob rash – the better. I walked briskly and with purpose through the main street fighting the driving rain. The walk was short and having reached the vicinity of the clinic  I attained a direct line adjacent the entrance and stealthily walked up the path, entering rapidly by its large old wooden door and closing it quickly behind me.   ‘Made it’ I said to myself.

“Can I help you?” A voice came from the bottom of a very long corridor.  I couldn’t see anyone, I walked up to a small counter.  There, behind the small open window, was a rather fierce  looking oldish woman sat at a desk with an even older looking computer screen in front of her. “Err yes, can I see someone about being looked at please.”  I said clumsily. She seemed to know what  I meant and handed me a pre-printed sheet of paper. “Fill in this form and give it back to me when you’ve completed it.  Take a seat in the waiting room.” She instructed me and pointed to the sign by the door.  “Oh, brilliant, thanks”  I said but actually thought how badly equipped the clinic was.

The form was simple enough and needed only basic information. I handed it back to the lady at the small counter.  The waiting room was totally empty.  The words ‘thank God for that’ ran through my mind as I picked up an old magazine.

The clock on the wall said nine fifteen and I hoped whatever test  I had to take would soon be over, after all, its first come first served, wasn’t it? My brain searched for some reassurance that I would be out within the hour. I became bored with the old magazines. Luckily there was lots of medical posters to occupy myself with. They explained that sexual transmitted diseases were common and on the increase. Knowing that  made me feel better somehow. There was even packs of free condoms scattered about in presentation bowls.  To my horror other people started arriving and filling the vacant seats in the waiting room. I buried my head back in the old magazines and tried not to look at the other visitors.

They were all women. I felt awkward and guilty of being a harbinger of disease. A man dressed in a white uniform entered the room. He looked around and whispered “Laura?” A young woman stood up, “Follow me.”  He said gently. They walked out of the room and up a flight of stairs.  I over heard them saying something about ‘still awaiting for the specialist to arrive’.

Again and again the man in white came into the waiting room and whispered out a name, but mine wasn’t among them. I began to think about leaving and maybe coming back another day. The clock said it was past eleven and the rain had stopped. I expected to be long gone by now.  I looked around the waiting room, I was the only one left unattended. I stood up, stretched then arched my back and yawned.  I’d read every one of the boring magazines and began to wander up and down the corridor getting closer and closer to the door, the one that I had so deftly entered hours earlier.

My hand hovered above the handle. Perhaps I could nip outside for a quick smoke?  I thought. “No” I said out loud, what if I were seen?  I was trapped. Perhaps  I could make a run for it, I thought to myself? “David.” My name was finally announced.  The man in white was looking for me in the waiting room. I hurried back and met him half way down the corridor. “Running off?”  He asked with a smile. “Thought about it,”  I answered with an even broader smile. “Follow me, we’ll have you sorted out in no time”  He said confidently then turned and walked up the stairs swinging his bottom like a model on a catwalk.   

I wondered what ordeal awaited me at the top of the stairs?  At the top he pointed to  a row of three tall back chairs. “Just take a pew a minute.”   He asked and I sat down purposefully on the chair, having first grabbed a handful of brochures from a leaflet dispenser that was screwed to the wall. They were sorted into subject titles with illustrations and explanations underneath each one. Gonorrhoea, Vaginal Warts, Herpes, Simplex and other sexually transmitted diseases with names  I’d never heard of.

As I read each symptom I wondered which one I had? One of the young women, who had been downstairs in the waiting room, came from a door opposite the row of chairs. She perched reluctantly next to me and forced a wry smile, one that came across as a mixture of embarrassment and accusation.  Another sturdy looking woman came from yet another door to the left of the chairs and approached both of us.                                         

“Come with me Judith”  She said firmly. The young girl followed her quickly and diligently.  For no reason that  I could think of, I felt as guilty as hell. I remained rooted in the tall back wooden chair clutching the leaflets trying to avoid looking at the large vivid graphic illustrations pinned to the corridor walls.  I could hear the ‘man in white’ chatting to someone on his mobile. He was describing a night out on the town the previous weekend. He kept referring to a man who he was in love with and how they planned to move-in together.                     

It always amuses me how people speak on their mobiles as if no one else can hear them. He carried on with intimate personal secrets. Obviously, the ‘man in white’ was gay. Not that I was bothered in the least, well I thought I wasn’t.  He popped his head out from one of the rooms. “Can I check your details?”  He spelt checked my name, then  asked if  I had a partner or not, whilst assuring me that the details were for internal use only and that  I wasn’t to worry about confidentiality. I was, but replied  “Oh, that’s ok, no problem.” He closed the folder and put it under his arm and leaned against the wall looking down at me. “So, what do you do for a job” He asked.  I decided to tell him only what was necessary, obscuring any details of the new business. “I’m an artist”  I said proudly.     

“Really, how fascinating, I love art,” He quipped but before he could follow up with  ‘What kind of artist are you’ I circumvented the enquiry by asking him a question.  “Who’s your favorite artist?”  It was a tactic  I used often and to good effect. The well-built woman came from the side door abruptly before the ‘man in white’ could tell me his choice. She took the folder from him whilst he was in mid sentence and opened it, looked at my details, then looked at me.   “I’m Doctor Copland” She extended her hand and I shook it firmly.   “Come with me.”  She said. ‘Here we go’ I thought. ‘Won’t be long now and I’ll be out of here’. I followed her into a small office expecting     a quick examination and then a shot of antibiotics in my rear end.                                                 

To my surprise she began by asking me questions, all of which  seemed a little too personal for my liking. “How many women had I had sex with over the last five years?” and “in what countries?” And “had I ever been with a prostitute? ” And so it went on. She ticked several boxes on the sheet then asked me to follow her through a side door and into another room. The ‘man in white’ was there too  “Get on the table and take off you trousers and underwear, I will be back in a moment, Stuart will look after you”. The Doctor commanded.

The ‘man in white’ asked me if I needed help to undress. “Err, no thanks, I think I can manage” I said with a nervous wobble in my voice.  I took off my under pants coyly and carefully climbed onto the table. The ‘man in white’ was preparing something on the workbench. He turned towards me. “Right, I just have to swab the top of your penis with this cotton bud, it won’t hurt, I promise….”

Click here for part three…

Denis Taylor Writer and artist

 the Protos Loophole

part one – an introduction

“You get used to being alone. In fact it seems I’ve been that way for the best part of my life. That is the life that I think I live inside this round space, one that I now call home. Hundreds of years of watching humanity watching me. I’m usually locked away, but once in a while they take me outside just to remind themselves of an alternate value of life. Out of that dark cupboard to shine in the light and allow my surface to reflect the substance of what I am now. Pigments mixed with oil & brushed onto this flat surface with magical and mysterious belief, it’s what holds me together. They value me as an object of the past. As a reflection of how they used to be. An artefact of an existence that humanity occupied in myth and legend. They don’t know that I am actually quite alive, and in every sense of the word. Most of them never understood me or the message I tried to give them, and they still don’t. They walk around thinking they are the total perfection of the evolution of a creature that lives on this tiny piece of blue rock in an infinite space, a space that they can’t even conceive of or begin to understand as a pure continuence. They are still ever so self congratulatory on their superiority, that is to everything else in the universe. And they can only think in beginings and ends, and an the ends to a means.

By the 22nd century humanity moved on from seriously looking at anything else other than themselves. Myths and legends like me are an oddity, something to see every now and then. I once existed as a human being, much like you. I know the frailty of vanity and the over valuation of self. It is the ego that is mankind’s greatest friend and devoted enemy. A singularity that holds mankind back from unifying with the cosmos in life, destined to discover the beautiful reality of the cosmos, but only in death. It’s a confusion of reality that has gone on for millennium.

The serious downward spiral started when philosophical thinkers went to the edge in the search of an absolute truth, but they dropped into the abyss of their own intellectual dogma. All of them in a search to find the very beginning of time itself. When the answer lay staring them full in the face. They probed and picked at the universe with their technology until they forgot what they were looking for.

The mission that I had accepted, way back when, was simple. To allow humanity a glimpse of their own truth from this round space. One that I have now occupied for centuries. Maybe, one day truth will once again find favour with humanity. Until then I am redundant and so I amuse myself by reliving how it was I ended up here. Over and over to myself – until it seems as if it was only yesterday. Although it was hundreds years ago or so when I first began to change who I was, or rather have the change forced upon me, from what I was.”

“I clearly recall that it was on a wet and windy Friday morning when I found myself going somewhere that any red blooded male does not want to go…” 

click here for part two

 

writing and images are copright of Denis Taylor -©DenisTaylor2006-2020 all rights reserved no reproduction is allowed with the express premission of the creator – ©creators global rights all inclusive2019.