Tales from the Sauna…

A has demanded a ‘funnier’ post, after my triple whammy on Grief. As A demands very little of me at the moment, I feel I must oblige.

Although, saying that, he did demand I stop eating at the weekend – this was while wrestling his portion of lunch out of my vice-like grip.

To explain, I have about a 4 very hungry days during Chemo Week 2. I mean like, REALLY hungry days; 2 huge bowls of pasta hungry. I’ve never known the like, and I can EAT. Basically, A. Wanted to be able to leave food around the flat without fear it would be snaffled; by the time he was sitting down to eat, I would be on seconds or thirds.

It’s under control again now. Phew.

Anyway, his demand for ‘funny’ has prompted a new series on little blog. Vignettes, if you will.

This first one goes way back to when I was newly (ha! autocorrect preferred ‘nearly’ – me too, autocorrect, me too) diagnosed.

I like to swim and pre all this, I liked to sauna too. I like them, not so much because I enjoy sweating in a small box but because people talk in saunas. They talk freely and I am nosey.

At my pool, people talk high brow, and business, and family, and love.

The BBC people talk in their BBC way. I have noticed, NorthFace would make a killing if they produced swim wear.

The Uni Students talk like mostly about “Cassandra’s major party” and how difficult Sociology is.

The yummy mummy’s, they talk about school fees, teachers and holidays in Cornwall.

Then there is a weird sub-section of posh hippy, who talk a lot about kale and powdered stuff. All posh hippies have painted toe nails.

Everyone talks about outdoor swimming and biking. Everyone, really nicely, feels lucky to be there. Nobody talks to people they don’t know.

pollygosh_feet2Apart from Sunday nights. For a while I was a member of the Sunday club. I felt super elite. This weird mix of familiar faces piled in on a Sunday. It was standing room only and everyone chatted.

I liked it best because the Bee Man would be there. He has a massive beard, is about 80; he swims a few lengths, sits in the sauna for 10 minutes and then vanishes. He keeps Bees apparently and knows everyone. I like the Bee Man.

This particular evening, I’d known I had cancer for a 5.5 days. I was still in the “getting my head around it”, novelty phase.

One of the older BBC men got the ball rolling “everyone had a nice weekend?” It had been a super sunny spring weekend. People murmured consent. Apart from an older Yummy Mummy who bravely said “No”.

Turns out she had had her wing mirror smashed clean off. “It was in a very narrow street in Clifton, but I think it was deliberate.” Apparently it was a huge hassle and really spoiled her day; meant to be spent with daughter and a friend, at a party. People murmured their condolences – we murmur a lot in sauna, something to do with low-level lighting.

There was a lull in things, possibly we were thinking of other first world problems, until Old BBC piped up “Well my dog died”.

That floored everyone.

People started awkwardly asking questions but BBC man laughed and said it wasn’t true. He was trying to provoke a debate, about what actually was a bad day. I think he was trying to make a point and being a little mean to older yummy mummy.

Then people started to talk about bad days. And there I was, sitting there smiling to myself. I had the biggest Ace in my back pocket. I had a C bomb. I could blow this corner of Clifton straight out the clear blue sky. I was angry enough to do it too.

I waited, listening. Everyone’s bad days were pretty lame. Well, lame, when you’ve just been told you have breast cancer at 34. I wanted maximum exposure. The more I waited, the more pissed off I was, at everyone’s little problems. The more pissed off I became. The more I wanted drama. I wanted awkward silence. I wanted everyone in Sunday Sauna club to feel bad.

So I opened my mouth, took a deep breath and closed it again. I stood up and walked out towards the cold bucket. As the icy water rained down, as I literally rained on my own C bomb parade, I realised I might be becoming a grown up.

I’m not a saint. Later today I have every intention of using the C-card in my battle against a high street shop…..

I’m now wondering if this is funny enough for A. I hope so, because I sure do love the chap.