Mumbling morphine Marge fights malignant cancer cell Mafia
I woke at eight, in a panic. Seven is the hour when I must arm myself with morphine to fight the mega cell mafia attacking my right shoulder, threatening acute pain.
After a few weeks on morphine my thoughts go back to the time I said I would never take it because I didn’t want hallucinations. Now I think ‘What is a few hallucinations between friends?’ and I am adjusting to a surreal, eccentric way of life.
I take my magic tablets and wander out in the cold to see James Turrell’s art installation at Gagosian Gallery. Nothing to do with cancer; just an art piece; how wrong.
In the middle of the gallery Turrell had built a space ship which was to be experienced like an MRI scan. There was a technician, dressed in a white coat and with serious glasses. She checked in each candidate for the machine, and just like a real technician she asked were they pregnant, epileptic, subject to migraines – the usual. I told her I was on morphine and receiving radiotherapy. Since her everyday job was gallery assistant and she was dressed in costume she probably saw before her just an old lady who was entering into the action and having her on. She gave me the release to sign and in I went.
I lay on a bed and was rolled inside this bubble, all alone, to see a changing light show of gorgeous color and strange sounds that had been taken from the machines and transformed into a modern composition. It was very sixties and psychedelic.
After a few minutes, aided by the morphine, I had no idea whether the color was emitted by the machine or was coming from my own surreal head. Then just as I was thinking of pushing the eject button I saw an old woman with gray hair and black glasses reaching into the machine and ushering me out. NOW that was a pure hallucination. Immediately after I came out I told the serious group of art critics, writers and gallerygoers what I had seen. I can’t imagine what they made of it, but it’s not so unusual for me, on a day under morphine.
It only gets stranger.
I am twitching around trying to sleep when the fire alarm in the building went off and Martin, my friend, came blazing in to my bedroom sure that I was burning down the bedroom with my WMD, in other words my iPad, Mac, iPhone and several electric pads, all plugged into a floor outlet where I am sure to spill hot tea.
Not me this time. This time it was the dental office on the ground floor. A cheap floor light fitting had caught fire. The smell of plastic percolated through the building. The tenants appeared in 1-degree weather dressed in bathrobes to wait in a seriously expensive part of London, W1, for the firemen, ambulance and police cars which were to arrive after about 30 minutes. It was the perfect ending to a surreal day and I didn’t hallucinate the burning plastic light fixtures that caused the blaze or the good-looking firemen.
It will be an Xmas unlike all others. Or will it? I’ll still be separating fact from fiction in a surreal world.