In the pre-dawn hour, as the dark becomes less sure of itself, I get up to go to the hospital. It’s cold, and I have to fast before this surgery, so I take my Lexapro pill with a sip of water right away. I was diagnosed with cholesteatoma before the pandemic locked the world in its grip, and went on to the public waiting list. The ENT specialist told me it was a routine surgery, a cutting away of abnormal growth behind the ear canal; decades ago, people died from this, their own skin growing into their brains. There was some risk of deafness, or damage to a nerve that could paralyse half of my face, but he had never slipped yet.
I’m the kind of man who assumes such odds exist to spite me, so I was not reassured. My fiance, Hannah, drove us to St Vincent’s at 6am, and the roads were busy, maybe because the restrictions were set to ease the next day and people couldn’t wait, or maybe because capitalism is a death cult that will brook no surcease, people gotta eat or work to pay the landlords,
Bloke living in first world country, with first world medicines, first world medical care, driving a first world car on first world roads, complains about what made the first world.
And, of course, having to pay – somehow – for your food and housing is pure capitalism rather than the human condition, innit?