Trip to the charite in Berlin, part 8

And so May turned to June, and June turned to July. The 8-week point came and went, 9 weeks … Finally it was decided that on the Monday of week 10 my wife would phone them (she’s better at “dealing with people”), but as it turned out, on Saturday evening of week 9, a large brown envelope arrived from the Charite.

I went out onto my balcony, got comfortable in my chair, poured myself a sherry and sat looking into the garden as the evening sun shone through the leaves of two large maple trees. After a few minutes I was disturbed by a voice behind me saying, “Well, what does it say?” I replied that I hadn’t opened it yet, and that there was no point getting excited because it would probably just confirm my diagnosis and that there wasn’t much to be done.

“But everybody’s waiting!”

This comment took me completely by surprise, as I had no idea that anybody was waiting, so I asked who “everybody” was. Turns out that everybody includes my family, my wife’s family, our friends, my wife’s friends, and judging by the hand-waving, the two maple trees as well.

Seeing as I had spent the whole summer in my living room hardly seeing anyone and the outside world and everyone in it had virtually disappeared for me, I had assumed that as far as the outside world was concerned I had just disappeared from it, and that it was carrying on regardless. But no, it appears that people had been asking about me all the time.

Not wanting to keep the world waiting, I opened the envelope …

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