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    #1

    The Tumour, part four

    Please would you take a look at the fourth part of my short story, "The Tumour" and correct my mistakes.

    My hopes were rekindled when a heard a doctor on the radio talking about a surgical procedure which involved cutting of some of the nerves that lead from the rest of the body to the brain. The operation was simple, although there were some secondary effects that could make the illness worse. There were also cases of a few deaths, causes for which were difficult to pin down. Nevertheless, I was ready to take any risk, even the risk of death. I immediately called my GP and told him I wanted a referral to the neurosurgical department. I waited for weeks until I met a surgeon, an Iranian man in his fifties, with a quiet, friendly demeanour. When he heard that I was coming from Bosnia, his face beamed.
    “So you have fled the war?
    “Yes, doctor. If I had stayed, I would have been certainly killed.”
    “Now when I see you, I remember how I fled Iran during the war with Iraq. If I had
    stayed, I would never have come out of the war alive. Do you have family here?”

    I told him I was alone, and he shook his head. “To be lonely in this country is not
    good. Loneliness kills people; it makes them both mentally and physically sick.”
    I explained to him how I had suffered, and that I even thought of taking my own life. I was prepared to take any risk to get rid of this plight. He held the tips of his fingers together in front of him and nodded in silence. In the end he said, “So, boy you want to go and dance. I’d be more than pleased to help you to live a normal life.”

    It was a blazing and suffocating June day. On my way to the hospital, I came across people on their way to the beach: families loaded with picnic baskets, cool boxes, blankets and towels, children carrying inflatable animals, beach balls and diving flippers, men with their potbellies and tattoos on their arms and shoulders, and women in skimpy bathing suits covering their breast implants. The hospital was on a hill, and as I plodded upwards, I felt sweat pouring all over my body. I envied all those people who now enjoyed this beautiful summer day while I was suffering. My only hope was that in a few days, when I came out of the hospital and walk down the same pavement, I was going to be a new man, and start living a new life.
    A young and attractive nurse welcomed me to the ward. She sat opposite me on the table, and when she learnt over a sheet of paper, I saw her cleavage. She gazed at me with her large blue eyes and asked me if I had a relative or a friend who the doctors could contact in case something went wrong. My answer was “No”. She was surprised. She repeated her question once more, probably believing I had not understood her well, but my answer was the same. She, then, fixed her eyes on the form in front of her, determined at any price to fill in the empty square reserved for “family.” “You must have someone, a friend, or some person you know well?” Her persistent questioning opened a wound in me. I did not want to think about my loneliness, although I was aware of it whenever I came outside and saw people enjoying each other’s company. Now and then, I read in the papers about old men and women who lay dead in their homes for months, eaten by maggots and other insects. I wished I would end in different circumstances, drowned in the sea and eaten by fish, or in the woods eaten by animals.

    The nurse was visibly disappointed. Her pert breasts were heaving with her deep breathing. The empty square was not pre-programmed in her mind, nor in the computer. In this conformist and well-ordered society, you should behave as a cog in the wheel or risk being an outsider. Unlike the majority of the Swedes, I had already lived under the Communist dictatorship and did not want to comply with another one, even if this Swedish version was benign. The nurse finally gave up and let me go.
    The ward was large and airy. There was a lounge with a large TV, comfortable sofas and armchairs. The walls were lined with books and paintings, a cupboard filled with all kinds of games. The dining room had an exit onto the terrace, from which you could see almost the whole town.

    My roommate was an older but vital and garrulous man. His name was Alf. He suffered from a brain tumour and awaited the operation that would decide his fate. The doctors had given him about a 50% chance of survival. I took a liking to him from the very first moment. His grey eyes were sad, with the sagging bags under them, but in the next moment they twinkled merrily and a smile cracked across his face. He was an opposite of the old men I had met before who complained over everything and everybody. Alf was bubbling with life. He was eager to talk with me. He was a widow and lived in a little town in the north. After his wife had died a few years before, he spent most of his time fishing in the lake, skiing, and visiting his numerous women friends. He explained to me his modus operandi with women. He would bring his host a package of coffee and some biscuits as a gift, and in return, the woman would treat him with a meal and drinks. During the years, he had learnt where he could eat the best soups, pies, fish, meat or pastries. His eyes gleamed as he was describing all the delicious food he had eaten in dozens of different homes. When I told him that I was alone, he jumped up from his bed, hit his palms together and said, “Boy, you must come and visit me. You can’t waste your life in this damn town. I’m going to find a woman for you within minutes. We’re going to have a great fun.”
    To be continued

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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      • American English
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    #2

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    My hopes were rekindled when I heard a doctor on the radio talking about a surgical procedure which involved the cutting of some of the nerves that lead from the rest of the body to the brain. The operation was simple, although there were some secondary effects that could make the illness worse. There were also cases of a few deaths, causes for which were difficult to pin down. Nevertheless, I was ready to take any risk, even the risk of death. I immediately called my GP and told him I wanted a referral to the neurosurgical department. I waited for weeks until I met a surgeon, an Iranian man in his fifties, with a quiet, friendly demeanour. When he heard that I was coming from Bosnia, his face beamed.
    “So you have fled the war?
    “Yes, doctor. If I had stayed, I would have certainly been killed.”
    “Now when I see you, I remember how I fled Iran during the war with Iraq. If I had
    stayed, I would never have come out of the war alive. Do you have family here?”

    I told him I was alone, and he shook his head. “To be lonely in this country is not
    good. Loneliness kills people; it makes them both mentally and physically sick.”
    I explained to him how I had suffered, and that I had even thought of taking my own life. I was prepared to take any risk to get rid of this plight. He held the tips of his fingers together in front of him and nodded in silence. In the end he said, “So, boy you want to go and dance. I’d be more than pleased to help you to live a normal life.”

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    It was a blazing and suffocating June day. On my way to the hospital, I came across people on their way to the beach: families loaded with picnic baskets, cool boxes, blankets and towels, children carrying inflatable animals, beach balls and diving flippers, men with their potbellies and tattoos on their arms and shoulders, and women in skimpy bathing suits covering their breast implants. The hospital was on a hill, and as I plodded upwards, I felt sweat pouring all over my body. I envied all those people who now enjoyed this beautiful summer day while I was suffering. My only hope was that in a few days, when I came out of the hospital and walked down the same pavement, I was going to be a new man, and start living a new life.
    I am not sure what you mean by cool boxes.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    A young and attractive nurse welcomed me to the ward. She sat opposite me at the table, and when she leaned over a sheet of paper, I saw her cleavage. She gazed at me with her large blue eyes and asked me if I had a relative or a friend who the doctors could contact in case something went wrong. My answer was “No”. She was surprised. She repeated her question once more, probably believing I had not understood her well, but my answer was the same. She, then, fixed her eyes on the form in front of her, determined at any price to fill in the empty square reserved for “family.” “You must have someone, a friend, or some person you know well?” Her persistent questioning opened a wound in me. I did not want to think about my loneliness, although I was aware of it whenever I came outside and saw people enjoying each other’s company. Now and then, I read in the papers about old men and women who lay dead in their homes for months, eaten by maggots and other insects. I wished I would end in different circumstances, drowned in the sea and eaten by fish, or in the woods eaten by animals.

    The nurse was visibly disappointed. Her pert breasts were heaving with her deep breathing. The empty square was not pre-programmed in her mind, nor in the computer. In this conformist and well-ordered society, you should behave as a cog a the wheel or risk being an outsider. Unlike the majority of the Swedes, I had already lived under a Communist dictatorship and did not want to comply with another one, even if this (Swedish) version was benign. The nurse finally gave up and let me go.
    Some people get used to being alone, I suppose.

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    #5

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Tarheel,
    Cool box is a plastic container about 4 or 5 liters, made in plast. People use ot when they go to the beach to keep food and drinks cool. I do not know if you in the US have some other name for that object.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    The ward was large and airy. There was a lounge with a large TV, comfortable sofas and armchairs. The walls were lined with books and paintings, and there was a cupboard filled with all kinds of games. The dining room had an exit onto the terrace, from which you could see almost the whole town.

    My roommate was an older but vital and garrulous man. His name was Alf. He suffered from a brain tumour and awaited the operation that would decide his fate. The doctors had given him about a 50% chance of survival. I took a liking to him from the very first moment. His grey eyes were sad, with the sagging bags under them, but in a moment they twinkled merrily and a smile cracked across his face. He was the opposite of the old men I had met before who complained about everything and everybody. Alf was bubbling with life. He was eager to talk with me. He was a widower and lived in a small town in the north. After his wife had died a few years before, he spent most of his time fishing in the lake, skiing, and visiting his numerous women friends. He explained to me his modus operandi with women. He would bring his host a package of coffee and some biscuits as a gift, and in return, the woman would treat him with a meal and drinks. During the years, he had learned where there were the best soups, pies, fish, meat or pastries. His eyes gleamed as he was describing all the delicious food he had eaten in dozens of different homes. When I told him that I was alone, he jumped up from his bed, hit his palms together and said, “Boy, you must come and visit me. You can’t waste your life in this damn town. I’m going to find a woman for you within minutes. We’re going to have a great fun.”
    You could also say:

    I took a liking to him immediately.

    You could also say:


    We are going to have a lot of fun.

    or

    We are going to have lots of fun.

    I am not sure what a package of coffee is.

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    #7

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    I made a mistake and wrote package, I should have written a pack of coffee. I believe a pack of coffee is the right word. Here, you can usually buy an instant coffee in glass jars or ground coffee in packs of 500 grams.

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    #8

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Tarheel,
    I would like to tell you that loneliness in Sweden is one of the largest problems in a society. You probably do not know, but in Stockholm about 50% people live alone. It is interesting to see how the environment affects people. People in Bosnia do not divorce in such numbers when they live there, but as soon as they have arrived here, they started to separate just like Swedes do. Some of the old couples who had been married for 25 or 30 years suddenly understood that they cannot live together and they separated. And even those who marry recently , after two or three years become bored and break up their marriage.

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    #9

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    Not correcting anything but rather out of curiousity

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post

    ...cutting of some of the nerves that lead from the rest of the body to the brain. the brain to the whole body or connect the whole body to the brain - it somehow seems a bit more more sensible to consider the brain the centre of the human organism even if from the medical point of view it might not be so.

    The operation was simple, although there were some secondary effects that could make the illness even worse. - only to emphasise that the situation was already bad enough

    There were also a few cases of a few death - each case, no matter how many cases there were, reported of one death?

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    #10

    Re: The Tumour, part four

    whenever I came went outside and saw people enjoying each other’s company

    dining room had an exit onto to the terrace

    package packet of coffee

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