Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I floated through the week on codeine. Codeine and sofa cushions. With a no-go zone of blood and mystery in the middle of my face - the… distancing perspective of narcotics was not entirely unwelcome.
And the flowers helped. Lots of flowers.

Mr Tabubil sent me roses. Late in the evening on the day of the surgery, around eight, the florist called. She was trying to deliver them to my sister's flat, and had gotten lost.
I gave her Dr Tabubil's number and went back to staring out-of-focus at a paperback book. Dr Tabubil didn't call back, so eventually I called her.
            "What flowers?"
I explained.
            "But I never got a call." She said. "Maybe she left them downstairs in the lobby? Oh wait.  The lobby door is locked. Maybe she left them outside the building? Ohhh… I'm going to get off the phone RIGHT NOW and go find them. I'll call you back!"
Only she didn't call back. I waited, and waited, lying in my bed, sinking in and out of clouds and thinking "Feckless florist!" and, eventually - "Right. That's it. I'm calling the woman BACK." (Ooooh. We get extra tough and nasty when we're on morphine!)

And in bustled Mum, her arms full of red roses and chocolates.
            "I can't stay." she laughed.  "Dr Tabubil is double-parked downstairs. We were half way here in the car with them when you called!"

I called Mr Tabubil to say thank you. He was astonished.
            "I didn't order flowers for Valentine's Day! They were supposed to be delivered tomorrow afternoon, when you were back at your sister's place and off the hard stuff!"
            "I don't care." I said dreamily.  "They're LOVELY.  A dozen red roses-"
            "ROSES?" Mr Tabubil yelped. "I didn't order roses!  Roses don't last long enough! I ordered a lovely floral bouquet filled with flowers that'd last at least a full WEEK!"
He sighed heavily. "I hate to even THINK" he said "but what does the card say? IS there a card?"
            "A card?" I said. "Yes, right here among the roses." I unfolded the bit of paper and squinted at the writing.
            "Lots of Tabubilgirl. Love Mr Tabubil."
There was a pause on the line.
            "You sure that's not just the morphine talking?"
            "Look on the bright side." I giggled. "She made a late night run with roses - waaay after business hours- to get those flowers to me on Valentines Day. I think it's sweet!"

The next morning, Mr Tabubil called the florist.
            "Did you have a particularly busy Valentines Day yesterday?" He asked.
            "HUGE." The florist sighed enormously. "Why do you ask?"
            "Well" Mr Tabubil said "You sent the wrong flowers to my wife, delivered them on the wrong day, wrote the card incorrectly and this morning - you billed me twice."

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