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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Writer's Journal (exercise): Life as a Series of Pinpricks

Or so it seems now, after only a few days of adhering to a strict regime of jabbing him at certain times of day. Luckily it’s easier than I thought it would be. I freaked out at the idea of having to stick needles in him, but the diabetic educator met me at the hospital to instruct me and was very reassuring; then the nurses invited me to attend for a couple of mornings before he was allowed home, to practise under their supervision. Everyone says I’m doing brilliantly. But I was panicky at first, when I had to do it all on my own. Then I settled into the rhythm of it. ‘You should have been a nurse,’ the nurses told me. ‘

You’re such a good nurse,’ he himself says. The last thing I ever wanted to be! The second-last choice was teaching. And look, I’ve been teaching in various ways for many years now. When I was at school, girls could be teachers, nurses or secretaries. I was clear I didn’t want to be any. I’ve been a secretary too — did all my second husband’s secretarial work, and have been Secretary to various organisatons, from the Poets Union of Victoria to the Pottsville Beach Neighborhood Centre.

All I ever really wanted to be when I grew up was a poet. Well, that’s all right then: I managed that too.

'Life as a series of pinpricks' could also refer to minor irritations. The minor irritations are always with us, but the pinpricking isn’t so bad in practice.

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