The Angina
by Frankie Gault

Story originally published in:
thi wurd magazine, issue #1
Och well, that’s thum away noo. Sure, Senga, the wife, she’s away wi the twins, Danni and Franni. Christine wis in earlier. S’pose they all got a fright. S’pose a did masel. Wan minnit ah’m sittin in the Squirrel playin dominoes, next hing a know ah’m on the deck tryin no tae drop ma doms. Ye see, the opposition, rat other mob fae Shettleston, they’ll claim the game if they can name wan o yer doms, so ye canny drap.

Anyway, wait tae ye hear this, ah’m lyin there and this paramedic lassie she’s like this tae me ‘whit’s yer name?’ an a say Rab whit’s yours hen? An whit ur ye daein here? Next minute she starts loosening ma gear, ma shirt an that, an ah’m sayin, am awright hen and she says ‘yuv mibbe jist hid a heart attack.’ An a says, aye anno hen, a canny play to ma down. By the way that’s a term used in the doms, if ye canny follow yer first dom then yer oot on yer Austrian Tirol.

Noo, by this time ah’m feelin weird, ah’m feelin as if ah’m floatin up roon aboot the ceilin. Jeezus ah’m up at the roof o the Squirrel, an ah’m lookin doon at masel on the flerr, an ah’m pissin masel cos ah’ve still got the doms in ma haun. No whit a mean, ah’m meant tae be hivvin this heart attack and ah’m jist no letting go ay thum.

An then ah’m thinkin, mibbe ah’ve been spiked. I mean its got to be therty stretch since a took an acid. A used tae like them but then again, a used tae like comics an sweeties as well.

Here by the way, afore ye no it, its aw these flashin lights, an aw this hospital talk, aw this myo, myo, my o fuckin myo, whit’s goan on. The hing is ah’m noo up in the tap o the ambulance still lookin at whit’s goan on below. Noo listen, up here ah’m startin tae panic a wee bit an a stert thinkin o hings in the past, regrets n aw rat, cos ah’m sayin tae masel Rab boy, your tea could be oot here.

An then ah’m lyin in this bed wae all sorts a tubes an drips an wires, aw rat nonsense, an a don’t even know whit they’ve done tae me. So a doze aff fur a bit but a stert hivvin aw these weird dreams, naw, hing oan a fuckin minnit, nightmares that’s whit they ur, ah’ve been hivvin them fir years noo. Tae be honest they’ve been getting worse lately. So by this time, a don’t know if its New Year or New York, an then this nurse walks by, she’s a right wee honey, an a says tae her, right whit’s the script doll, is there trouble in the engine room. So she says:

‘The doctor will be in tae see ye in a minnit.’ An a goes, a canny wait hen, canny wait. Anyhow, this big fella comes over tae ma bed an he says ‘How ye feelin now Mr. Grey?’ An ah says spose ah’ve felt better doctor. An he says ‘Ye’ve hid a massive heart attack, yer lucky tae be alive. And ye may be susceptible to another attack, so ye won’t be goin anywhere soon.’

So ah’m like this tae him ye mean like when there’s an earthquake, then ye git these aftershocks. ‘Something like that,’ he says. A start pissin masel, here doc ah’ve tanned hunners o they aftershocks so ah huv. He jist looks at me so a say tae him spose yir gonnae tell me a tick aw the boxes fur heart trouble then. An he says naw, quite the contrary your early tests show that your bmi or bmw, canny mind whit he cried it, wiz aw fine so then he starts on aboot stress, anythin oan ma mind, aw at kinna hing. So a snaps at him didn’t I, aye awright Doc, ah get the picture, ah’ll be fine noo, ah’m awright, you an yer staff yer aw tickety-boo, ye can jog on now Doc eh. But see in all honesty, a felt rotten fur sayin that, guilty even, coz they probably saved ma life, ye know.

Anyway Senga and the twins are back over like a shot. Christine disny stay in Glesga anymore, she shot the craw when she was seventeen and she only came back the night cos they thought ah’d mibbe no make it. Here, Christine walks in an a try an smile, bit she jist walks oot again, so Senga starts tae get at her, bit a say leave it Senga, mibbe she’s upset cos she’s no been hame for years, let her be. Mibbe aw these tubes an wires upset her. Senga says, me an the twins are goin ootside, a need a fag and they want a wee drink, we’ll be back in ten minutes. Noo, a know whit’s comin, so a try and kid on ah’m sleepin, but Christine’s as wide as fuck when it comes tae it. Here’s me lyin on ma side an she leans over so that only the baith of us can hear, and she says tae me: Die ya bastard.

thi wurd magazine / thi wurd books
story illustration: k connor