Returning the handheld medical instrument to a shallow metal dish, the doctor explained my affliction as ‘classic water on the brain’.
“While in the shower, you have this habit of turning your head over onto one side during the morning washing routine.” She said, her voice inflected with a pleasing, Low German accent. “That’s how it happened.”
Earlier, I had included in my explanation to the doctor, exactly how much I enjoyed the sensation created by allowing hot water to stream into my ears. Also, how I would adjust the tilt of my head, judging carefully, until locked on target and able to direct the water into my actual ear hole.
“I like the sound.” I had told her. “I find it comforting and with the door to the bathroom closed shut, steam accumulates abundant and I feel warm. The only impossible improvement would be if I were suspended freely in mid air.”
“Ja, you like the sound.” She sighed and sat down heavily in a chair. Removing her glasses from the contour of her nose, the doctor wiped the lenses with the sleeve of her cardigan. “You like the warmth and whatever, but you dislike the significant side-effects you feel afterwards?”
“Yes, correct.” This happened to be the truth. Outside of cleansing rituals and the needs of my body’s rehydration, water and I were not friends. Stemming from childhood, never taught how to swim and with the passing of time, I had come to view H2O with a consistently high-level of suspicion and mistrust.
“Okay, well, the decision is yours, stop your habits, just use a dampened flannel to clean your ears like everyone else. Or, these unwanted watery themed events you report, they will continue in your life, on repeat.” The doctor gave me a serious look and briefly pursed her lips together.

when nothing’s inside my head (and I have no clue what to say)

Unsure if the darkened cafe is actually open
I sweep inside, straight past the hosts
Despite their earnest efforts to engage
Princess Charlotte says I look ‘dapper’ –
Referring to my outfit

She – with dark blue eyes
Dual German-Irish princess, by birth-right
Still, I penetrate deeper into the darkened space
Ignoring the time-spent on decorations
I don’t register such things

So, I actually made it to the Christmas fancy dress party!
Having left it ’til the last minute to decide
Congratulations are in order
No mean feat

Ignoring everyone I pass by
My mission is to disembark my coat
Find the safe place
Hat and scarf
To boot

Where is the drink?
Why wine?
Why white wine

Against red?

Move on
Notice Derek, chatting intensively
To shy Lina
Join them
Graciously elbow Derek out

Lina opens up
I nod head, agree
Say something wrong
She leaves

I disappear for a cigarette
Reappear, drawn to the Ladies in Waiting
I chew the fat, yet
Before I settle in
All six arise together and leave

I am doing well
Another cigarette, outside
Back in, attracted to Cordelia
The source of light
To a dusty old moth

“You look well. Pretty, you look, well pretty” 
Stumbling words
I am stared down by her friends
She leaves
To involve herself elsewhere

Secret Santa exchange begins
I watch my wrapped gift picked up
Several times and placed back down
I can’t bear to watch, find another table
Here’s Tara, locks tied back.

But it is exclusively me-talk
I can’t get a word in edgeways
Facing failure, I am elbowed out of the way
By a grandpa age-difference man
That’s how bad I performed

Full circle
I chat to the two Princess Charlottes
Explaining how my gift hasn’t been picked
Now I don’t want to give it away
I decide, so take it back for myself

Mild confusion ensues
I beg my leave
I retrieve coat, hat and scarf
I don’t look back
“If only I had said this…” all the way home

Short Fiction: Breaking News, Episode 3

Following on from the well-received and successful posting concerning local Oxford news, and after much cajoling from well-meaning readers, supporters, friends, family and financial backers, this next instalment turns the eye-glass lens toward current European news.
With fluency is 17 languages, including Swiss, Swedish and Swahili (usiniamini?), I have picked out and translated truthful media reports from a variety of viewpoints on the latest political storm to hit European leaders. As with my previous instalment, all now left for me to do, is to insist and encourage you to enjoy! reading this latest humble offering and get on with telling you the story. So… without further ado, in an un-matrimonial sense, I do.

In a move that has stunned the civilised world, French Président Jean-Michel Macron (39), looks set to introduce a nationwide ban on men looking at their female colleagues in the workplace. In the wake of recent sexual harassment cases springing up across the western half of the globe only, many view this as a knee-jerk reaction. Some are saying the president’s wife Marie-Claire Macron, 28 years senior in age and now struggling to maintain her looks, may have used her widely acknowledged and significant ‘motherly’ role, to influence her husband’s decision. When I telephoned the Élysées Palace yesterday seeking verification of recent statements made in the media, Queen Marie-Claire, as she is known to close associates, informed me ‘Petit Poo-Poo’ remained unavailable for comment.
The German Chancellor, Angola Merkal, in a press statement issued to the press in the early hours of today, is quoted as saying “About bloody time!” While the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs has already tabled an amendment to any future EU-wide edict, proposing only looks proven as ‘lustful’, would actually lead to disciplinary punishment. The Italians, needless to say, are up in arms over the whole situation, with no one in a calm enough state to issue any intelligible response or be heard over the cacophony that marks a usual day in the Parliament Italiano. Further afield in Estonia, President Kersti Getlaid quoting from a much longer speech thought to be in support of France’s increasingly isolated top frog, remarked “We know few are interested, but we say let the people of the free world know the citizens of Estonia are riding up the behinds of our French counterparts.”
Editor’s Note: Although we feel the point made is valid and accurate, editorial pride demands we point out Ms Getlaid only began with her once-weekly English language lessons at the beginning of the year.
Even further afield, with his usual candour, the Australiana PM issued a statement through a senior official, which simply read, “HAH!” Asked to expand on this, the official returned minutes later with, “The Australianian Government believes Mister Macron is a prize prick and has no further comments to add at this time.”
The Former North American Territories are remaining tight-lipped, with Whitehouse officials seen pretending to ‘zip up’ their mouths when asked about the feudal feuds, brewing in the motherlands.
One thing for sure, the question people keep returning to and asking is how long before the ruling spills out of the office, out from the factory floor and TV studios, onto the streets, into bars, strip clubs and homes? When asked for his thoughts, a shady local businessman based in Paris on the west bank of the Seine, replied “Quoi? ‘Ow could I know? I cannot see it into the future! Imbécile.”
And there you have it, an excellent point to finish on. As a member of a group of predatory venture capitalists, my recent investments include a small start-up company working on a contact lens with an apparent fixed stare, meanwhile allowing the wearer to study an entire scene unnoticed. On a personal note, my stock in sunglasses has risen twentyfold.
“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

Next week, “Why?” At last, an answer to that age-old nut of a question.