Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I woke about 2am.
The CPAP machine that keeps me breathing as I sleep had gone wrong again. It felt was if it had been pumping at too much pressure: there was soreness around the base of my eyes (where the air, under pressure, had escaped my face mask) and a feeling of oppression in my chest.
Couldn't sleep.
But I rewrote THE TREE OF LIFE as the sky slowly lightened in a beautiful dawn.
Later I phoned the Sleep Clinic and arranged to go out to the new Royal Infirmary to get a new machine.
I was a bit early, and to fill in time obeyed an impulse to go to the back of the building, where the car park is.
It's not a beautiful car park: but I remember soon after my heart operation being allowed out the ward for a walk, and slowly, painfully dragging myself out the back door into the weak sunshine.
It seemed unutterably lovely.
On the way back, I'd bumped into my consultant cardiologist: and he'd said how good it was to see me out of bed again, and walking, and looking better.
It was the kind of thing, he said, that made his job worthwhile.
I wanted to revisit that spot today; and then, strangely enough, as I was walking into the sleep clinic, I bumped into the same man again.
He was on his way to the coronary care ward opposite.
He's a good kind caring man, and I like him.
He also likes my plays. he mentioned the last one he'd seen (EVERY ONE) though he couldn't remember the title, and couldn't even remember a thing about it.
He was embarrassed about this, and I teased him. I hope it came across as affectionate.
Thinking about the work I'd been doing in the early hours of the morning, it all made me smile.
There I was, imagining I'd been doing good work to make the play interesting and provocative; but there he was, a dedicated man, overworked and I guess pretty exhausted.
And what he looked for in the theatre was perhaps more the chance to sleep...

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