I was off for a fortnight.

For the first week I slept for most of the day, lulled by the diminishing effects of the morphine.

I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, Neil Young’s On the Beach and Tonight’s the Night.

I was alive but not alive.

As the morphine wore off, the pain kicked in, followed by a succession of painkillers, followed by a dull itching ache.

In time I recovered, the back healed, the hole disappeared and I was back in the so-called real world.

The mask of illness had been removed and it was time for the mask of good health – so called, to take its place and make me acceptable once more to my fellow man.

The world had continued without me as it would without anyone who had stopped living for a fortnight. 



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