Thursday, 7 September 2006

The Gods Themselves

Last night we received a letter from "my" specialist doctor. It included all the paperwork we had to fill before checking in to the Freemasons hospital in South Melbourne at 6:00am on Monday morning in order to re-live the pain of September Eleven.
The reason d'etre for this letter's existence is purely to act as one big disclaimer for the hospital. Ass covering, in short: it's all me signing disclaimer notices. If, for example, they just happen to rip my still beating heart during the operation and sacrifice it to the goddess Kali-Ma, I will not be able to complain or utter even the slightest whisper against them because I signed all these stupid forms to say that I know they are so pure of heart.

Let's get back for a second to this Freemasons thing. It seems like you cannot find a normal hospital for normal people in Melbourne. They're all either "royal hospitals" (and you know where you can stick all your royal stuff in), religious based one (there's a long list of saints with hospitals named after them) - and you know where you can stick religion (although, to be honest, if religions focused on running hospitals and actually helping people I doubt I would have had much against them), or secret society ones that no one knows what they stand for hospitals (case in point: the Freemasons).
Anyway, as my hospital is the Freemasons, the forms I had to fill had some Freemasons related stuff all over. For example, under "Title", they had "Mr, Ms, Mrs" as you'd expect, but they also had "Master". Now, last night I have spent more than a few minutes pondering whether I should present myself as a "Master" for the purposes of my upcoming surgery. Not that I have any delusions of being the master of my domain or anything, it would have mostly been a tribute to Tolkien. However, after careful pondering I decided to give it a miss; you see, I don't think "Master Reuveni" sounds good. It's the consecutive R's that make it sound bad; I'll stick to Mr MR.

Anyway, we filled the forms up last night, and today - since the Freemasons is just a short walk from the office - I walked there to give them the forms in person instead of posting them or faxing them (faxing is so Middle Ages nowadays; why do people accept faxes and not emails?).
The trip to the hospital was strange.
As I left my office, someone was already waiting for the elevator, so I didn't have to wait for one to come. And then during the trip down from the 27th floor we didn't have any stops what-so-ever; that's very rare. The combination of not waiting and going straight down is something you pray for every time you leave the office in the evening, but it just never happens. Then traffic lights on the way just turned green as I was arriving. Must have been my lucky day.
It was a typical case of a Melbourne weather day. The ten minute walk to the hospital was under dark clouds and this very slight drizzle of rain - the type where it's raining but only just and you can't be bothered with an umbrella but you don't really get wet but it's still actually raining. I crossed the Fitzroy Gardens on my way and it was just beautiful: the trees did not have many leaves on them yet, but there were loads of rainbow parrots flying and messing about, and they're just so beautifully amazing and cheerful I can just look at them for hours. Then I got to the hospital and gave them the paperwork, and when I got back out to the street just a couple of minutes later was when I noticed the "typical Melbourne" phenomenon: It was nice, sunny, warm and bright; all signs of the previous angry weather were far away in the distance.
I'm sure there was a rainbow somewhere, hidden between the tall buildings - it was as if the gods themselves were looking at me and reminding me of the alliance between god and Noah that was signed with a rainbow. At the time, Noah took the rainbow as a sign that god was with him and all he had to do was go forth and multiply; was I to follow suit?
It was almost enough to make a believer out of me. You know, the wishful thinking that everything would be alright because some superior dude likes me for one reason or another can drive even the most rational amongst us crazy for a while.
Ok, so I am joking, and the thought never really crossed my mind other than in that typical sarcastic way. It's just that we people are so gullible: we will seek and we shall find connections between things just because we want them to be there.

When I filled the Freemasons hospital's form I answered the question "What is your religion (optional)" with "ATHEIST" in big and bold capital letters. Let there be no doubt about it! I even declined the usage of "pastoral services" on offer at the hospital.
You know what I think of religion. You know that I mock it. And if, for a second there a part of me wanted to think that maybe there was an ulterior reason for me being so lucky today and for the sun to shine on me when I left the hospital, the analytic part of me quickly knew better.
You see, the gods had nothing to do with me having a lucky day. The real reason for my good fortunes was much more immediate: I was wearing my favorite lucky Arsenal boxer shorts.

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