Monday, 17 September 2018

Getting light treatment

This morning I set out before office hours to visit the dermatologists’ in the central business district. On Harris Street where a new office building has just been finished a man on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was waiting at the access panel at the foot of the driveway that leads to the building’s parking garage. He wore a helmet and the machine was painted black with the distinctive logo printed in white on the petrol tank.

Crossing Pyrmont Bridge I saw in the crowd walking in the opposite direction from me a man, who was quite young, carrying in his right hand two black plastic objects longer than they were wide. They looked like shin guards to wear while playing sport and I thought that possibly he was used to doing this during his lunch hour. On Castlereagh Street as I was heading north I saw a man who looked a lot like the author Karl Ove Knausgaard walking in the opposite direction. He held his chin up and his handsome face was thrust skyward as though he were off on a quest in the wilderness.

In the office building where the clinic I go to is located I got into the lift and then as the doors were about to close I saw a woman and her daughter approaching the wall where the lift is housed. I put my hand out to stop the doors from closing and they got in. As she turned around to face the doors the woman thanked me. Her daughter, who was aged about 12 years and who was dressed in comfortable clothes with Ugg boots on her feet, timorously held her mother’s right arm with both of her hands. Her mother spoke to her softly and smoothed the girl’s blonde hair with her left hand as the lift ascended. They got out on the fourth floor and I continued upwards to another floor.

In had light treatment for my psoriasis and as usual wore the tinted plastic glasses and welder’s mask (see photo) provided to protect the patient’s eyes from ultra-violet rays that are produced by the tubes mounted in the booth that you stand in, in your underwear, for treatment, which this time took just over three-and-a-half minutes. At intervals during the treatment the booth’s sound system tells you how much time is remaining, and the voice is a standard American male voice with the “o” of the word “approximately” pronounced “ah”.

After the treatment I walked west and saw an Orthodox priest in Pitt Street Mall, as people walked to and fro going about their business. He was dressed in a black cassock and had a wooden cross on a cord slung around his neck. He was standing with a woman who was also dressed in black and they seemed to be lost, or at least unsure of their surroundings. On the man’s head was a black hat shaped like the torus that you find at the base of some classical columns.

I walked downstairs into the food court and as usual at one of the concessions there I ordered a pide. This is a closed Turkish pizza that in this case was filled wtih sujuk, a type of sausage, and egg. As I was eating while seated at a plastic table I saw the priest again, this time next to me in the food court, and he was looking around as though trying to get his bearings.

Back on Harris Street once I had crossed the bridge again I saw a group of young people standing outside another office building. One of the group was explaining things to what were evidently new recruits unfamiliar with the area. On her feet the guide wore pink pumps with four-inch heels and as I walked past them she was telling the people standing on the pavement in front of her where to find a supermarket.

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