In the meantime, I’ve got the distinct the feeling that I am here alone, AllByMyself. Haplessly tapping away on my phone. Hey, that’s nice. Someone is texting me.
Someone: “How are you?”
AllByMyself: Oh well, I’m fine… I guess.
Someone: “How did you first notice….?”
AllByMyself: I’m not sure, really. Didn’t even think anything was wrong, at least, nothing serious.A
I am about to give a full-blown account of the how, why and when…but Someone is cutting me short.
Someone: “Aaah I know someone with Parkinson’s, of course he’s dead nos, although he didn’t die from Parkinson’s mind. At least, not directly. The complications were what did it in the en, you know, the lungs and so on, not being able to get out of bed, unable to swallow, difficulty eating…boy did he suffer. But hey, for all you know things might progress more slowly in your case, wouldn’t that be a blessing?”
Ah I know someone with glasses like that!
AllByMyself: (Blessing?) Well, actually I’ve got to go. Hang on a minute…did you say you are wearing glasses? Since when? How did you first notice that you couldn’t see a thing? Oh dear…I knew someone with glasses like that. Of course he’s as blind as a bat now. But hey, for all you know you might be more fortunate. Jam jars aren’t pretty, but who cares? It’s the inside that counts!
I don’t say that, of course. Instead I vaguely mumble “thanks for calling and yes let’s meet up sometime” and leave it at that.
AllByMyself I carry on. Not exactly brimming with courage, but I can’t sit on that stone forever.
Old man carrying a tray of basil
I look up. Now there’s a surprise….I am not here AllByMyself after all. There’s an old man crossing the street. I’m not particularly over the moon at seeing such an old man, because I’ve only just turned 46. And this guy’s pushing 80. If not 90.
How odd. He is carrying a tray of basil. He must be on his way to a kitchen. But what kitchen? Where? Does he live here? Perhaps he owns a restaurant, or maybe one of his family does? Does he really live in this no-man’s land? Who needs his basil?
I’m quite partial to basil, with its fragrant green leaves. Pasta without basis is unthinkable. And pasta is the perfect dish for sharing with friends. Even now that I am losing my sense of smell because of this weird neurological disorder, I can still smell basil. I love basil.
The old man is definitely going somewhere with his tray herbs. Did he, like me, once sit on this cold stone with a desperate diagnosis under his belt?
Look at him now. Calmly ambling along the cobbled street, with his tray of basil, clearly on his way to please someone with those delicious herbs.
It’s slowly starting to dawn on me, that even on the wrong side of this gate, you can still have a purpose. Like the old man. Which also means…that I am not alone.