Ruining Bethlehem and Mince Pies

Enough time has passed for me to look dispassionately at the date, December 23rd—the day I found myself in the office of my family doctor—a life changing day.

To back-up a bit, he’s a man I’d had a pleasant professional relationship with for years. Even so, I didn’t think he’d be calling me in the wish me the compliments of the season. I’d had a blood test days before. I’d been purposefully called—no  ‘if your passing just drop in.’ And let’s be realistic, no busy doctor calls you in two days before Christmas to chat casually about the excellent state of your health. Some sword belonging to Damocles hovered.

Who knows, maybe it was test-result nerves that made me greet the doctor with a mini-book report. The bestseller I’d been reading as he came into the room, had among other things, debunked the myth Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem. Instead, the author argued, the main event took place in Nazareth. Hence the title, ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’  I yammered before he got properly seated.

He nodded. “So, no stable. No star. No, ‘no room at the inn’? No little drummer boy?”

I didn’t notice the enthusiasm-dip in his voice, another side effect of the nerves I suspect. I prattled on. “Nope,’”I said. And with no hint of seasonal diplomacy, I gave him the title of the book so he could put it on his Christmas wish list.

The moment arrived, further evasion became futile. We were after all working on his dime. He looked solemnly at the computer screen and moved onto the test results. In a word, my glucose management was ‘crapola’—not his word. This came as tragic news, since I had, freshly baked at home, enough mince pies to send an entire city block into a coma. I could almost taste the deliciousness. I felt a sharp pain cross my forehead as their sugary promise faded.

Then there was the prescription, and the referral to diabetic school. At the door, we looked at each other, knowing life had for ever changed.

“Sorry about the mince pies,” he said.

“That’s okay. Sorry about Bethlehem.”

We managed a laugh but only just. We had entered his tiny consulting room, neither of us suspecting Christmas would be forever altered.

Parumpapumpum!

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NWW Photo Prompt ~ Dancing With Vertigo

Welcome to the inaugural NWW Photo Prompt!

The New West Writers Photo Prompt is a twice-monthly challenge for writers of all genres. It’s easy to participate — and we encourage everyone to do so. Just spend a moment with the image below and write whatever comes to mind. A couple of lines, or a couple thousand words. Prose, non-fiction, poetry, even a six word story, if you like.

Dancing with Vertigo
Dancing With Vertigo

There are no winners (we’re all writers sharing our words) and no rules. Well, one — be respectful with your words.

You can announce your post with a link in a comment below, or if you link to this page from your post, we’ll publish the trackback link in the comment section of this page. Add an “nww photo prompt” tag to your post and we’ll also provide a link to your response in the next challenge. This post outlines these few simple steps.

To get you going, one of our writing group’s members will have the first go at the prompt. Base your post on theirs or go a completely different way.

Dancing With Vertigo
by Betty Sinclair

 
 
A click sounds deep in my skull
I am the pivotal point of a carousel – trapped

The room is lit by a candelabra. The teacher has a surprising German accent for one teaching Argentine Tango. “Walk backwards like you’re descending a spar. Lean in.”

Blurred things fly off the edge
Speed unmanaged – unmanageable

Claus, or as we should call him, Claudio yells so that his voice is heard over the bandoneon, “Control, no ballroom-head, shoulders down, head haughty.”

Bricks fly past
Whooshing in the ears – roaring

“Feel the rhythm. No looking at your feet. Listen to the music.”

I grab at a shiny object, what was it
No memory – panic

“Form a triangle with your partner. Basura – throw away her foot with yours – rubbish.”

Back against the wall – solid.
Slowing, slowing, slowing – nausea

We lean against the wall, stretching our stiff necks. Changing out of our soft shoes into street boots, we laugh. Nervous and embarrassed, because adults don’t usually give a stranger consent to shout at them. “Practice, learn to walk with control,” says Claudio not quite ready to release us.. “Bien hecho. Until next week.”

 
 
Happy writing!