The Heart Transplant
Bus shelters in city's can be desolate places. Eye contact avoidance is often rigorously enforced and personal space defended at all cost. Bit like the tube, lots of folk pretending not to notice each other.
The bus shelters outside hospitals however are of a different sort. After the somewhat humbling experience of visiting a friend or relation in either dire or improving health, folk waiting outside the wards for the bus home seem genuinely keen to make conversation, pass comment on the weather and unfortunately, tell anyone who will listen about near misses with death.
Until today I had absolutely no idea that heart transplants were available in Aberdeen. The man in the shelter had seemingly had the operation and was completely over the moon about it. He told anyone he could engage about how he had been opened up like a kipper, been at deaths door and had insisted on a decent new heart not one from a sow.
He continued to entertain fellow passengers on the bus journey home, suggesting that his new heart would keep him hearty and healthy for another 50 years, how he was going to celebrate his transplant with a few malts and wasn't medical science great!
Somewhat oddly, he asked to be dropped off at the local chipper and not at the regulation bus stop, citing poor health and bad legs. The driver of course dropped him off at the bus stop whereupon the transplant patient literally ran the five hundred metres or so to the chip shop.
On reflection, he wasn't your regular hospital visitor and NHS Grampian do have a psychiatric unit not far from the bus shelter.