Well, Yoga was like jam: yesterday & tomorrow but not today. What a run around I created for myself. At my previous yoga class, the powers that be deemed my single-bed foam mattress dangerous because I might slip, cause an accident. Don’t forget Insurance and litigation are very, very expensive.
So, today, before yoga, I promised myself I would be properly ‘kitted out’ to use British army-speak. C’s Rubber and Foam right by Alfred Street was on my way to yoga. Naturally a quick duck in. Price:$24.50. For a thin piece of foam? What? Are they mad? Crazy margin gatherers.I declined their offer, headed to Big W in Earlville, found reasonable parking and sallied forth with great gusto. Suddenly, breakfast’s coffee and juice demanded urgent evacuation. A cleaner walked me to the shopping centre’s main toilets, ‘apart from the ones by the food court’, she helpfully added. With my one lame leg and gammy knee, I felt legally able to use the ‘disabled’ facility, with its semi-automatic door. At wheelchair height, I pressed the black button. Open sesame. On the inside, the close button didn’t perform its magic, the door was not locked, unbeknownst to me until after I sat on the seat. In my anxiety not to be interrupted, in flagrante, I finished as quickly as I could and left.
I went straight back to Big W, to their sporting section. My eyes beheld what I could not—could not—believe: $5 each; and not only in pink. Aiming for the check-out, I clutched two green ones, black-backed, non-slip. I got the cream. I grinned without disappearing unlike the Cheshire Cat.
Back to the car at a dash. Talk therapy is wonderful:
Charge the phone, always keep the phone charged. But wait, where is my mobile phone? Don’t panic. In an emergency, always stand still, at first, that is. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. And then trace back to everywhere you’ve been.
It proved fruitless. After asking a hapless-looking stall keeper for the centre’s lost and found department, I was directed by her to approach security—right next to her. Lucky me.
There, a lone male security officer, not the police, minded the counter. He tried to look nonchalant, uncommitted and blank. Ah, he said, he couldn’t help because he was only holding the fort for the ‘real’ person. I waited, quietly and equably, for her return. I was glad I did.
The whole affair was over in seconds: A mobile? An iPhone? Where did you leave it? And when? What colour is it? Very quickly, I said, flesh coloured in a clear case. She put her hand into a pigeon hole under the counter, produced my lost and now found phone. My relief was immense. She relayed to me that the morning cleaner found it in the disabled toilet.
When he, the cleaner, arrived at the security post, I proffered him ‘a thank you’ and ‘gratitude’ money. He demurred, added that they weren’t allowed to accept cash for giving help. So I asked his name: Adam Griffiths, originally Welsh but now—now, like all of us—Australian.
I called centre management to nominate him for ‘employee of the month’. Still dissatisfied with myself I made sure to get his name, home address and phone number. Then he blurted out: ‘If you really want to do something for me, you can bring me old or broken computers and tablets. I fix them to giveaway to people who can’t afford them. … You only have Apple Macs? They’re no good to me.’
By this time, the hour for yoga had rushed past. Too late, too late for a very important date. Still I took the road back to the Cairns & District Seniors Centre at 271 Gatton Street. Even by the dimmed lights, I gazed on 11 yogis, all on their mats and backs, kicking legs, waving arms, and wiggling fingers.
It’s at the back of my mind: a famous author wrote about a cockroach which fell in love. Or maybe it was a dung beetle, an insect or a bug. I’m getting it; it’s re-surfacing. The name. The name. Come on, come on. I can’t let it slip. Relief when it came was like having a long, slow leak from an over distended bladder: Samsa who “scuttles, waves multiple legs about, and has some kind of an exoskeleton.”