"Instructions in life...."
Steve since working in IT has inherited the object of Bupa, so when he's ill they put him into a five star hospital (since they can't afford to be without him...) which as he is now a paying customer and the customer is always right, as it says over the door in gold letters ` Service is our destiny....' anyway saying so as they are asked for stupid things is a serious problem for the nurses and the doctors, each being nicer and younger than the next and always incapable of saying no.
True they can't say yes to the woman in the next room who wants to smoke whilst she is expiring of chemotherophy, but they say yes naturally when Steve wandering who is around the halls bored asks if he can take a daisy to his room to cheer up the dismal and shady room ?
So he puts the flower up on the high table and rings the bell and asks for a glass of water so it won't die and so it will stand up like daisies are supposed to. They bring a vase and put it into an upright position. But Steve points out that the table is a bit flimsy because its loaded with bottles, zines, cigerettes and get well cards, so could they put it at the bottom of the bed where he might enjoy the daisy without threatening to crick his neck ?
The nurse immediately brings what was asked for and Steve thanks her cheerily pointing out that he has lots of friends and a couple of comfortable chairs might be a good idea, after all they would set off the little table very nicely thereby creating an atmosphere conducive for conversation.
The chairs arrive and he tells them that he is very obliged towards his friends who have spent so much time with him so a table with a white tablecloth and some cut glass drinking glasses and a coffee machine since he can't drink would be nice, perhaps some dessert wine ? Chopin vodka not to mention a thermos jug of ice....
The girls dispersed to collect this, during which Steve points out that the glasses and bottles leave no space for the telephone on the table and couldn't they extend the phone cable to the bedside cabinet ? and besides it is reducing the aesthetic of the daisy. The solution is simple. at the room needs is a bigger table, perhaps a desk to put the desktop computer and modem on with the daisy balenced on top of the monitor. Yes that's it just the right height.
Surpassed by events the nurses leave exhausted by their collection of furniture, computers and daisies.
As soon as the shift changes Steve gets up and throughs the daisy in the waste bin plugs in the computer and surfs out of the cursed hospital to collect his email and send a message to jenny in Australia. He'd never liked daisy's anyway - ugly flowers.
Steve de Vos - London February 1997
Steve, talks to some salesmen
Steve - mortality
Steve, Hospital Visits
Introduction to the Hypertext Novel
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