Friday, 12 September 2008


In theatre I spot a cupboard with the word "Pain" handwritten onto a sticker on the front. What's that, I ask. We keep the pain in there, replies the blue-gowned technician. You don't want any do you? By now I'm full of local anasthetic so I don't care. I had Travis Elborough's "The Long Player" with me in the waiting room. A slab of a book that tracks the tracks from the post-war start of the 12 inch album to it's recent death among the downloaders. Hugely engaging, witty and more informative than I'd imagined would be possible from an author who looks about nineteen, to judge by his jacket photo. If I had it with me now would I read on as I wait? There's a tv over my shoulder on which I could watch the tubes and the scouring pad and the little internal lamp gushing upwards and onwards into my system, if I wanted to. I don't. I stare hard at the pain cupboard instead. Wiggle my toes.

The procedure is actually all over in a few minutes. Result: Clear. Nothing. No return. No regrowth. No certificate. No shouting. Prostate larger than normal, just a bit, nothing to concern you, happens to those your age. Does it?

50% of those my age it says when I look on the net later.

In the waiting room reunited with Travis I sip my tiny cup of tea and think about peeing.

What was in the pain cupboard? Who knows.

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