Again last night I was awake before four in the morning in absolute bloody agony. Back in the Eighties, I was blown up in Northern Ireland and was back on duty inside six weeks. I was stabbed in the Lundas (very painful, no seriously, it is a place in North East Angola) and although not completely mobile, I was back on duty in only four days.
I just got a nip on the toe while going across my garden to switch off a bloody generator and I have been off my feet for six weeks. Now this was really starting to piss me off. I was so pissed off, in fact, I was nearly ready to do a Ranulph Fiennes and saw my own digit off in the shed. Every time it seemed to be getting better, it would suddenly swell up in a different place and ooze goo all over the place. Marcia banned me from her bed unless the offending digit was bound tightly in a bandage encased in a pillow case and a plastic bag from the shop. The trouble was, it was exploding. At least if felt that way. Binding it only made it worse.
So today I was delighted when my old mate turned up for a visit. He is now a local police chief dealing, ironically, with illegal immigrants, Since I have only really been legal for half the twenty years I have been here, we both have an excuse to share a drink and a laugh. The thing is, we were in the bush together. In the bush we had to look after ourselves, there was no health service.
|He looks tired but he's had a hard day in the cellar|
He had a look at my foot. 'It's a snake bite,' he said, 'you need to cut it'.
'There's some razor blades in the shop, do you mind?' I asked him.
Off he trotted while I heated up a bowl of water and threw loads of salt in it to soak the foot.
'Have you any Agua Oxigenada (Hydrogen Peroxide) or Alcohol?' he asked me when he got back. I gave him a bottle of whisky.
I sterilised his surgical tools, laid them out on the floor. took a slug of the whisky (well, it is a shame to waste it), lit a cigarette and let him get on with it.
|You know, every time I take a photograph of the floor I get pissed off.|
I mean, what they hell did they sand it with... Rocks?
Yes it was painful but technically I still outrank him so I could not betray even the merest flicker of discomfort. So he had another slash saying the first cut wasn't the deepest, proving that Cat Stevens doesn't know shit and that rank may have its privileges but if you bang on about it, it doesn't half piss people off.
God, the relief! It was instantaneous! God the mess, that was instantaneous too! I plunged my foot into the bowl and let nature take its course. Over a gallon of hot, salty water turned to soup in front of my eyes.
|Bleeding from all its new orifices.|
Blue toes, all the rage in Angola
But for the first time in weeks, I am free of this incessant pain. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to get my boot on again.