In time

Among the advantages of major cardiac surgery — in addition to the marvellous paranoid-but-amusing dreams you get, and time off work — is a more fatalistic and accommodating view of the squalor and wretchedness of one’s community (mostly outside the hospital). It is just as urgent as it seemed before, and likely going to Hell — but urgent for whom? And going to Hell on what schedule? One feels strangely aloof from the multiple crises, just as one is strangely attracted to the most transient surviving beauties.