Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Nine years after Chris died

In my mind
For a love that dare not speak its name, I was alone in pain and grief, for I had hardly been out of hospital for a life-threatening condition when I learnt that the one for whom love was deep, sometimes requited, sometimes spurned, bordering on rejection and unrequited, yet having some enduring quality of suffering quietly whilst trying to laugh out loud had passed on.
The shock of the news was first hard to take and the pain of cancer that I already had just continued to glow with the feeling that I did not matter. In depth of grief, there was no one to share my sorrow with. I looked for comfort within and wrote a eulogy for a friend and lover.
In my heart
It was years before I came to terms with my loss, though I really cannot say I have fully understood what happened, each year and nine of them already, I wonder about the chances that came that I was afraid to take. The opportunities that I frittered away in doubt and uncertainty, what could have been and probably might have changed the course of things.
Then, I come to myself, I cannot live in a parallel universe of wishes and fantasies, writing a story that has no semblance in reality. I seem to have lost a grip on the romantic, constantly unsure of whether what is before me is worth my while. For where I have extended, I have been exerted to exhaustion. My pearls of affection get trampled on by the swine of ingratitude.
In my life
What more loss can a man bear before no more investment is considered for the affairs of the heart, all because the one that mattered got away. If one could redeem the time, so much more would have been done to redress the situation.
Alas! That chance is gone, the remembrance, the hurt, the regrets and the lessons return to haunt every year, on the birthday and on the death day. Three days ago, I remembered, for I have never forgotten, that the love I lost was a sweet love.
Adieu Chris, rest in peace, my love.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

On becoming anyone's guinea pig

Wards of discomfort
I have known hospitals from the very first day of my life that they do not seem that strange to me, but many a place have I been that it might not be as welcoming as to make one feel well.
In the last few weeks, I have 4 visits, check-ups, assessments, observations and talks, some could well be unsettling if not for a rather calm exterior. For it, all began with a suspicion, whether a growth, she could not tell, but it came with a referral.
Meanwhile, in another place we had a discussion for a change of medication, in my research, of the 4 options presented, none seemed like a safe transition as the listed side-effects were fearsomely avoidable if one just stuck to what one was already on for 8 years already.
Yet, they say, these are newer efficacious drugs, but the news out there suggests over 50% have returned to their original medication just because of the side effects.
A belly prod
At the referral, I could not say the consultant was pleasant. Much as I was invited to see another consultant who I had read up on, the one I saw had a bedside manner that served me lots of discomfort. The hand I offered was not taken and the introduction was mumbled or maybe I had suddenly become hard of hearing.
He referenced the notes, asked a few questions and then had me on the gurney but called in a chaperone nurse before he did anything. For God’s sake, I have been violated by medicine too many times to be concerned by a poke, prod or prick, but needs must for all the reasons in the world.
I felt no pain as his hands did the feeling all around my abdomen and elsewhere before I dressed up and he returned to the desk to scribble away. He was recommending a colonoscopy and a phlebotomy, whilst I was thinking, I would rather be with the people who know a lot more about me.
Pills of life
Then we decided, that was the best, it means my doctor who over almost three years has collected sheaves of medical material about me, but I have never met would be arranging for me to visit a department of probing analysts.
In all, I am now in new medication for which the side-effects have not been that serious, we would review the situation next week, at which point it might well be a full transition. My medication comes in a little box with a difference, I found I had to peel off a card that suggested certain side-effects could be life-threatening. Now, that is scary stuff. I have to travel with a card listing my doctor’s details.
I chose this because it offered no change in pill burden or mode of consumption, I could still take it at the same time as with my old pills and now, with or without meals. If I do suffer pyrexia; a medical type for having a fever, have a skin rash which might well be invisible considering, have shortness of breath, feel queasy, have a sore throat or a cough, I should consult my doctor immediately.
Just writing all that makes me feel unwell, but I thrive. Now, what is an umbilical hernia? That came from the prodding and poking. Whilst I protest that it is my body first before it is anyone’s guinea pig, sometimes, I find myself the latter, just because I am the former.

Inkwell shrapnel

The many stories I have wanted to tell,
All incubating in me that I might just yell,
In stillness like a water in a deep well,
With nowt a bucket to lift and expel,
To put it all in a nutshell,
I write in vain as I deign to excel,
So much a cause I became a rebel,
The book I hoped for but never could sell,
Might well be another novel,
How to life is one to foretell,
The things and strains that does one compel,
For what I have told has freed me from a cell,
As words and thoughts on pages they fell,
We read and run from living hell,
And that is hardly yet a farewell.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Essential Snobbery 101: For your noise be couth

Like really?
“That is what you say to unruly teenagers, not to 36-year old professionals.” She said at the top of her voice. I had just alighted from the tram on my way home as what came to perturb my silent contemplation made me look towards the commotion.
The sight I beheld left me raising an eyebrow accompanied by a snigger, she was in argumentation with two police officers, much of it quite disagreeable, as she sat on the embankment of the tram station on the side where the trams would come to stop, so she had to be moved on, but she was not budging one bit.
A raucous cacophony ensued as I minded my own business but could not help but think about what she said and how much like an unruly teenager she was in attitude and definitely not a 36-year old professional in appearance or demeanour.
What a pity
It might well be that at another time in her somewhat vibrant life, she was a professional of sorts, a confrontation with the law then welled up the urge for a sense of self-importance in order not to be treated shabbily, though every indication pointed towards a shamefaced humiliation.
She had with her demonstration brought a public audience to her pending predicament and there is no doubt that every pretension to being a lady had been lost to the vociferous outbursts that were quite unbecoming.
The moral of the tale being, never make noise when your cause is not in the quest of justice but in the folly of notoriety and the unnecessary charge of disturbing the peace. Little doth it take to respect thyself or none of it shall ye get.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Thought Picnic: Conveyors of character

Show yourself
Frequent travel brings you in contact to different people from all walks of life that without probing and conversation, it is impossible if you are not clairvoyant to determine where they are from, what they do and why they are travelling.
Yet, I think there is one place where expression and impression are so profoundly displayed. It is not in sometimes drunken boarding of flights, garrulous or intemperate behaviour or even the basic social graces.
At baggage reclaim
The best observation point is the conveyor belt at baggage reclaim, it is as much as the revelation of character as any. The ones who gather at the entry point of baggage when the conveyor belt is switched on. As if their baggage would run away from them.
The parents with kids that are out of control, who clamber over the belts before they start and attempt to drag off luggage well beyond their physical capabilities. This, despite the sign that the conveyor belt is not a playground. If one were to read more into the situation of unruly kids in a public place, you can only wonder what happens at home.
Just as the conveyor belt starts, watch the ones who literally ignore you, if not shove you aside to get at their luggage without a word about their uncouth behaviour. Or the ones who get their luggage and don’t immediately move out of the way for others.
And your character
The conveyor belt is in motion, the luggage moves around and comes back again except if by happenstance it gets picked up by another passenger, though that rarely happens. Wherever you stand, it would eventually get to where you’re standing. If you have to pull off more than one and are not fast enough to get to it, it would come around again, it would not end up in a black hole, never to be seen again.
At least, one would think in the West, there is more safety for person and luggage, not to have to stress oneself at the conveyor belt. I can never understand the rush to retrieve your luggage if you’re being picked up until you've made it out to the arrivals halls, you really have not yet arrived. You might well be detained at immigration.
Is revealed
What the conveyor belt scenario reveals of character can be deep and interesting, from the disorganised to the untrusting, from the impatient to the harried, from the rude to the uncultured, from the nasty to the atrocious. Amongst these, you can still find gems of humanity, patient, helpful, friendly, courteous, disciplined, informative and just nice.
Being a frequent traveller does bring you in contact with a broad stratum of society, some members, you’ll rather not meet anywhere again.