I can’t donate my organs because of The Black Spot. Well, that’s what my mother reckons. When I was 17, a black spot appeared on my upper arm. The skin specialist removed it, sent it off for testing, pronounced it benign and that was the end of it. Well, so I thought. But not according to my mother. She’s informed me that it was a melanoma and I had check-ups for the next five years to ensure the cancer hadn’t returned. This startling revelation came after I took the Sprogs to the beach and didn’t cream up. The backs of my knees … killing me. They look like I’ve smeared raspberry juice all over them. When my mother saw them, she issued the dire warning that I should be more careful or The Big C might come back. You’d think I’d remember scary cancer check-ups between the ages of 17 and 22, but I don’t. Mum and I had an altercation over her version of events. I let it go in the end. I have a terrible memory, so maybe I did narrowly avoid death. There are whole swathes of people, for example, that I’ve erased from my brain. It drives one of my oldest friends bonkers. She remembers every person she’s met since pre-school and words me up each time I draw a blank. My brain must decide it won’t be needing the information again and deletes it. But sometimes I do need the information again, like when I went to an open-house inspection and ran into the neighbour out front. She greeted me by name, hugged me like a long-lost friend and invited me over to see her house, it being a mirror-image of the one going to auction. Hopeless with spur-of-the-moment excuses – in addition to names – I went in. It was terrifying, I had no idea who she was or how I knew her. When she popped down the hall to close the front door, I frantically examined the kitchen for clues. None. Still have no idea who she was. So it’s quite possible I’ve forgotten my brush with melamona-fuelled death too. On the upside, if my mum is right, I no longer have to agonise at the RTA about which organs to donate at licence renewal time. I’m funny about external stuff – skin, eyes. The thought of being flayed or having my eyeballs removed disturbs me. Perfectly happy for them to take anything internal. Being cut open and having my gizzards extracted doesn’t faze me. Probably something to do with the two caesareans. After you’ve been splayed on a table for 30 minutes having a baby surgically extracted from your abdomen, then another 30 minutes being stitched up again while the surgeons chat about their favourite movies and tennis matches, organ removal seems pretty tame. Husband, however, gets upset about my skin and eyeballs going to waste. He’s a little dejected every time I don’t check all the boxes. But now I have a good excuse – I’m defective. I’ve had The Black Spot. They wouldn’t want my manky organs anyway.
TONIGHT’S MENU: A New Year’s Eve supper of baked salmon with homemade pesto.