Living in the present tense

Wake up and realise that the early part of the day is now reduced to whatever LCD (lowest common denominator) on the list of my health problems is shouting loudest. Today with the rainy weather, it’s my joints and my back, other days the digestion, the  emotional bleakness, the seeming inability to get going at all. It’s hard to remember that the LCD is not me in any real sense and will pass once I’m up and about. Or if not pass, just be a background hum to the day.

The power of the LCD is that it keeps you firmly in the aches and pains of the present, the day ahead stretches unpleasantly. And I realise that living this way mirrors the way Mum is with her dementia, completely in the present. So lunch finished five minutes before might as well be in the pre-history of the dinosaurs, the afternoon activities as unimaginable as 3016. I find it hard to remember that just like yesterday, the LCD will pass and I will segue into what resembles a more normal day. Unlike Mum, the future is only too clear – so I must make the very best of the present, which is hard when the LCD is shouting in my ear.

So today I set off for lunch with one of my oldest and wisest friends. We were meeting in his club (that’s just the way we lefties roll these days) so I had to wear something reasonably smart. Tried on various work jackets but I’ve shrunk so look like I’m wearing a blazer three sizes too big on my first day at secondary school. Don’t really need to do smart nowadays but I find an acceptable compromise.

In the lift to the restaurant, there’s a marvellous notice informing men that given the tropical heat the strict dress code has been relaxed to Planter’s Orders – no jacket and tie but a long-sleeved shirt which may be neatly rolled to below the elbow.

We spend a happy three hours catching up on news, flitting from serious to gossip to hilarity, the way old friends can. His concern for me is touching but never sentimental.

Then I call in to the London Library to dip into my intellectual gene pool. Spend a happy couple of hours in the reading room and then wandering the stacks. Finished the afternoon at Marks and Spencer; I ask one of the assistants if he could pick up a box of eggs which is too low for me to reach. He smiles and then leads me to the front of a very long queue.  It seems the stick has its advantages.

It turns out that today, life in the present tense wasn’t so bad. Note to self for tomorrow morning.


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