Maggie’s Twilight Zone Messages
As a former model, my only simultaneously fictional and non-fictional friend Maggie Armitage has always known how to pose for a photo. I have no bad shots of her. Hair-raising, terrifying, yes; bad, no. This was taken just before chemo turned my hair white and made most of it fall out. Maggie is wearing a surrealist brooch designed by Salvador Dali, who was probably also responsible for her thought processes. She has since shrunk even further since this was taken, and could now be carried off by a labradoodle.
Maggie wrote me a note on Monday. It said, ‘Thank you so much for lunch yesterday. I wasn’t actually sick.’ Which I suppose is a compliment of some kind. Here are some of the other comments she has texted me over the past couple of weeks. I shall spare you her multiple spellings of ‘diarreargh‘.
‘I really want this ducking day over. Again you help and I just love to hear your voice. You are very funny. There was this really enormous slug at the front gate I wish they could talk.’
‘It was lovely to see Maurice he has Covid. My washing machine man came to help me with my fridge. He has unblocked it. I asked him if he wanted an apprentice. Anyway you have done this procedure. I will be do it rung grateful to the NHS. Most of my love.’
‘I refused to go to Victor (Lowndes) funeral as far too many ex-bunnys size you up and down. I was looking at pictures from the after-drinks party (this was a wake – ed) and I was the thinnest person there. And I had just eaten two sausages. Amber says she has got a job in Cairo. I really do not want her to go there as it is like a repeat of Kazakhstan. I am shaving my legs and applying fake tan while reading Hedder Gabler.’
‘I must not get maudlin what a funny word why Maud. I am reading Tom Wakefield’s The Variety Artists and it satisfies me. I have just seen a white mouse. I feel sorry for it. I find Virginia W incredibly pedantic so she goes back on the shelf. Made a West Indian chicken curry but nearly choked to death on the chillies. Tom Wakefield once told me that I was not chronological so 80 is the new 50.’
‘This is ridiculous I should be attacking my hundreds of mundane jobs and I am reading your book and underlining new sentences I will be looking more carefully at lampposts. (I’ve just realised which track her mind has skipped onto. We were talking about the huge summer moon and she went outside to see it more clearly. She spent the next ten minutes staring at a street lamp.)
‘Ray Davies from The Kinks had a crush on me. I was married but he was lovely. He is 77 now so that makes him a younger man. Amber signed up for microdermabrasion on her eyebrows. They cost £80 and she now looks like Groucho Marx. My hernia would not allow me to eat organic pasta. The dog was sick on the lawn but ate it all up again.’
‘Seven years ago I left my body to the British Medical Board for Research as I want to be useful. Poppy says nobody wants cadavers with Covid. She wants to be cremated in a woodland walk. If the anatomists will not take my cadaver we could have a bonfire in the back garden and help a fruit tree grow.
‘I got hair dye on all bathroom surfaces then slipped over but I am too vain for grab-rails. Hair is not what I expected. I am reading about coconut production. Dealt with a very hot Indian receptionist yesterday when handing in my faecal sample. Apparently I did not close the lid properly. I always thought when men talked about the prostate it meant lying on the ground.’
As I once wrote about Maggie, she’s like a Victorian Christmas tree, very sparkly but liable to burn the house down if left unattended. I’m going for a lie-down now.