today is a mirror too

by pasdelabas

Walking through the Sheffield I pass a man who is often busking in the town centre.

He plays sometimes a guitar, today, I think, some sort of small stringed instrument,

perhaps, or was it a small keyboard. He plays them like I might play them at times,

just making noise using the machine on his lap. He sings over the top of the sound he

makes improvising, or so it seems. A box on the ground to collect money. I gave him a

pound and heard him singing:

Today is a mirror too.

Today is a mirror too.

Today is a mirror too.

Today is a mirror too.

That sums up how I feel today but.

But.

I spoke with a friend, Mark Lallemand, and heard of his weekly visits to care for his

father who has advanced Parkinsons and very painful cancer. His father screams with

pain and was in in working life a well respected oncological surgeon. Depressing I

say but Mark tells me that there is more to it than that – the closeness he gains with

his father, they have never cried together, other noble feelings. We avoid pain in the

society and it is a last taboo. I had asked about how he felt about ending suffering like

that? He believed we needed to accept pain rather than kill it – literally – he was not in

favour of euthanasia fearing it could lead to abuse. However another friend came up

asking if the pain was under control? Clearly it was an issue and not a joy. Ending it

through pain therapy was fine but there was nobility in suffering if there was really

no choice.

This didn’t happen today however. That is not the mirror then.

I sleep each night with the sense that the next day will bring clarity but the morning

brings – not only – haze. That was today.

I spent the day – on and off – exchanging irritations with the one I love – bouncing

around not getting hurt.

I helped complete forms with a Roma family. They talked about food and then one

of the adults, the Grandfather, gave some coins to his daughter who lives with them.

She returned from the corner shop some minutes later with a bag of potatoes and the

Grandmother proceeded to grate them into a bowl in the sitting room while I aksed

about expenditure, outgoings, benefits, income, gas, electricity, food budgeting. They

have been sent a form to help them apply for assistance with an outstanding water bill

– but – this particular branch of the family have no other ‘priority’ debts and they need

two debts to have the chance of success. Hard to explain this is as they thought the

form was from a debt collector. That’s today.

Alot of smoking. Not by me today but the family and thus alot of coughing. I find that

my friend Dz has an appointment with a consultant plastic surgeon. He has two fingers

on his left hand that are dead – the can only bend at the lower knuckle and the rest

are soft with no muscle. Much flesh and tendon was lost in an accident with a window

4 years ago in Slovakia. Can it be fixed he wonders? Could I get disability? Ask the

surgeon I say. That’s today.

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