6 Jan 2013

Post 377: 2013 fizzles into life

A good word fizzle....? Anyway, I apologise for the slight religious implication in the above picture –anyway, that famously forward looking institution, the catholic church have said Jesus was probably born in 5 BC, how does that even work? Like I said last time, Christmas was a bit routine – I think you’d be a bit hard pushed in a sample of a hundred 30somethings to find one who said ‘yup 2012, best Christmas ever, and as for new year, I’m speechless’. I was speechless this new year because I was asleep. I was ‘childminding’ for my friend Isabel who was catering at some fabulous wedding. I say fabulous because it was a civil partnership. Getting married on New Years Eve? Now, that is a declaration of intent, and I thought weddings were expensive enough – I would imagine a lot of the guests were just thrilled to have a party to go to. It’s a gay wedding too? Bring it the f*ck on darling!
Isabel’s 13 year old son Kevin

came round here at about 8, we had my last decent meal for a while in the form of a large papa johns pizza at about 9, Kevin had worked out how to wire up his Xbox live by 9:30 and he barely uttered another word before I sloped off to bed at about 10. Textbook modern childminding I thought! I can handle that!
One thought did make me a bit sad though. I am a bit slow in everything I do because that’s what fatigue and disability has done to me but my critical reasoning is all there (well, I think so), trouble is thick people, young children and animals (I’m definitely not talking about Kevin) think I’ a waste of time because you can’t run around, be loud or energetic or be remotely how a 35 year old should be. Children under a certain age for example have no regard for you, so I’m positive my youngest nephew (ok, so he’s already a bit of a sociopath) just treated me as this person to just ignore, barely tolerate or endure because he can always just run away from me and I can’t catch him which he full well knows. He may look angelic here

but you can bet he doesn’t want to be here, whereas the other two have grown up and are aware that existence is sometimes conditional on doing things you don’t like. Charlie hasn’t got that yet. His behaviour is not dissimilar to the behaviour of a domesticated pet –he knows which side his bread is buttered, but there is little capacity for patience or much gratitude although to give him his dues he is learning. There is obviously a vital stage in brain development which is more to do with estrogen I think because women are just more nurturing, kind and understanding than men, according to comedian Steve Hughes, ‘testosterone appears to have two functions, either Fuck it or Kill it’ – if this offends anyone then I’ll be sorry for a couple of seconds, pip pip that’s that, this is evidently when the brain develops empathy, patience and gratitude, ie, all the things that make people nice when they cease to be cute which is how my favourite cat Ham can get away with waking me up at 3AM when she’s got muddy paws. One nuzzle on the nose

from her and all is forgiven! A few girls I have known won’t get kicked out of my bed at 3AM for being filthy, what can I say, I’m human!
One of my big worries since regressing to the abilities of a child is that life’s virtues like patience and gratitude, graft and quiet contemplation are much harder when you take into account the uncertain things that other people might be thinking. I mean by this that I often wish people who help me are hardwired into my mental process and can anticipate how I need help. Obviously this is impossible but people who have bothered to get to know the post-stroke unimproved me pick it up pretty fast, some even seem to enjoy it. It is devastating being unable to be totally independent. I know friends on facebook will have seen this before but it is a function of how exhausting I find typing that ‘copying and pasting’ stuff I’ve already typed is a bit of an inevitability. Thanks to everyone who virtually rallied round, and special thanks to my neighbours (Tracey, her daughter Emily and son Dylan) who answered my distress call. Here was my facebook post:

Sorry if this looks like sympathy seeking. Well, it is. I have learnt a f*cking awful lesson today. Never take any risks. I was standing, trying to hold a bar with my left hand, it let go[as I have no feeling in it], I then fell backwards and hit my head hard just above my brainstem. Slightly scared I'm just going to drop dead at any minute. Apols to Simon for the repetition.

It’s drama after drama and people (including me) are fed up with it. This is what I wrote about an hour later:

I'm back towards equilibrium grimness now I think. I hit my head so hard on a radiator that I've broken the bugger and it's leaked all over the floor. Fjurk! Sorry to bring anyone down, if I was a blues singer this sh*t might be acceptable to moan about. Thanks for the virtual hug!

There’s not really much of a way of bringing levity to this situation except by commending the things that have been making me laugh. Kevin Bridges latest DVD which I saw live back in September at the Apollo

It is bloody hilarious, a Glaswegian comedian who doesn’t use the ‘c’ word instead of ‘and’, gosh, I must be mellowing! And the Big fat quiz of the year which is mandatory viewing for anyone who could have thought that 2012 might have passed them by. Week on week all I seem to need is 8 out of 10 cats, Have I got News for You and Mock the Week – the actual news is a bit dry in comparison! I know I have been rude about the Jimmy Carr-bot 2.0 in the past but he’s not an idiot, a bit of a smug f*cker but he hosts this format

well and this country is oddly better off by his existence no matter what his Tax arrangements are!

I have worked out I can’t really identify with anybody properly because of the way I sound. What I say is fine but having a proper conversation doesn’t work, you can see it in the other persons facial expression and body language, it’s almost like they’re talking to a small child. It’s the same with other disabled people. Even other stroke survivors, if they can talk normally and look like fatigue isn’t as bad as mine I can’t help thinking ‘your life must be at least tolerable’. Even my poor tetraplegic friend Carlie who died last year could at least speak and feel normal, the rest of her life must have been unimaginable though. Someone also sent me a video featuring a guy with no arms and no legs who just seems to get on with his life because he has such a positive and infectious outlook here he is and the tone of the message was ‘why can’t you be more like this?’ I try, but I can’t because I never feel well enough. End of story.
I wrote all that before I realised it was Gary’s 60th birthday dinner last night (Saturday). Here is a man who after his heart attack over 20 years ago thought he’d never see 50 but here he is together with Gwen making life possible for me,

The meal to celebrate was an orgy of meat at one of those Brazilian places in Fulham. Rodizio Rico. It was marvellous. Gary and Gwen must be proud. The way his sons gang up and take the piss out of the old man is hilarious and he loves it! What a f*cking legend! Unbelievably I avoided Alcohol. But I’m not sure that much meat is in the plan!

In separate news my folks are away skiing in Switzerland.

It's weird not having them around. Not the best skiing by a stretch but as you can see, it is pretty and the mountain air is a bit special I hope they're careful! I now understand how terrifying skiing must be to some people. I am terrified just standing up, I can see that being strapped to a couple of slippery planks at the top of a mountain in the freezing cold -are you insane?

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