Virgin from Christmas Island to the Mainland

A man walks into my consulting room with a bouncing limp. He is tall and upright. He bows slightly and shakes my hand. The familiar courtesies.

I greet him: Salaam Aleikhum.

He responds: Aleikhum Salaam.

We exchange names. His name is Ahmed. He says: “My foot is painful. Please excuse me. I am afraid I must remove my shoe.”

His problem is visible through an opening in his sandal: the left great toe is infected. The flesh of the nail bed is hot and red, a crescent of swollen skin surrounding a sunken island of nail. The skin is shiny, stretched to bursting. A promising eyelet of pus peeps from beneath a corner of the cuticle.

The infected nail bed is about to burst in a flow of laudable pus. The pus will stink, Ahmed will feel better and so will I. Finally, a patient telling me a straightforward story. Finally a patient I can cure.

I treat the infection, dress the toe and ask Ahmed to return tomorrow to renew his dressing.

“I cannot come tomorrow.” His manner is politely regretful. “I will leave here tonight.” He speaks softly, practicality competing with swelling happiness: “I have my visa.”

Ahmed’s smile is a field of waving daffodils.

As it happens I will fly out tonight too. After three weeks of seeing patients here, Ahmed is the only one I meet to win a visa. The remainder reside in trailer parks of hope and despair.

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OVERPOWERING REASONS TO SPONSOR ME IN THE BOSTON MARATHON

The Boston Marathon is the premier amateur marathon in the world. “Amateur” is surely an oxymoron – who could love running up 26.2 miles of hills, let alone 42.185 kilometres?
Answer: only an oxy moron would love that – ie a moron who enjoys oxygen deficit.

Your representative in this blue-riband, black-chip event is such an oxymoron.

I have been training every day, dainty little 5-10 kilometer runs in the Central Australian desert and Israel’s Mediterranean coast – runs that will prepare me for Boston as usefully as picking dandelions for a world heavyweight bout. However, as of yesterday, all has changed, changed utterly: a terrible fitness is born.

There I was slouching towards Bethlehem when I lost my way. The result? I ran for three hours. I became a distance runner once again. I loved the feeling. I can’t wait for next Sunday’s four-hour run, after which I’ll taper my training. First time in a decade of marathons that I’ll have reached a high-enough point of preparation from which tapering is feasible.

Following yesterday’s odyssey I looked at my legs: they are indeed beautiful. Even the varicose veins at the back are beautiful. If there is a demand, I will send photos of the veins to my donors.

Around mid-year, Hybrid Publishers will publish my new book, a novel (titled Carrots and Jaffas). This is a sensational creation in which a pair of humans of opposite genders meet, fall in love, fall into bed, copulate, conceive and deliver – a story. If you love it half as much as I do, you will be thrilled to receive a copy of the first edition, signed and inscribed by the author. All you have to do is to read the attached Unusual Offer. The largest subscriber/donor wins the copy.

Every donor of $50.00 or more will receive a signed copy of my earlier book, My Father’s Compass. This book, too, was HIGHLY recommended by the author.

Avoid the rush: donate now, donate often.
Many of you have friends who have a lot of money and very large hearts; please pass on my offer to them.

If you look at where the money is going at http://hopkintonrespite.com or http://www.youtube.com/user/HopkintonRespiteTV , you won’t need the special offer to feel good.

Go for it! All you need to do to say goodbye to your money is to sponsor me in the Boston Marathon.

Time is short: the marathon will be run – as always – on Patriots Day, falling this year on 15 April, 2013. Please send your donations directly through this link– http://www.razoo.com/Pheidipides-Foolproof-Investment-Opportunity

I’ll send you news from now until the aftermath (is there ever a beforemath?) of the marathon.

Howard/Pheidipides Goldenberg