I swear you couldn’t make my life up.
After all the crap things that have happened to me, by and large I’m pretty bloody smiley.
Talk about compare and contrast with other people that I used to spend time with…
Today I went with a completely festive motive and no other ( tbh I’m hard pressed to even imagine what else could be construed by it ) to give gifts to people I once called friends. I’d spent time and cash getting everything and was 100% positive about it, when I pressed the doorbell at someone’s door. The lady of the house answered and said ‘ oh it’s you ‘ Nice, right?
I said ‘ I’ve just got some things for you to give to people’
She said ‘ there’s NOTHING I want from you ‘ and slammed the door.
Blimey .. it was like trying to board a bus in Chiswick and being confronted by a mum with buggy already 30 seconds late for her Pilates class ( the second ‘ included in her gym membership’ one of the day ).
Somewhat bemused I headed towards my estranged daughter’s abode. There I posted a package in their letterbox. As I then took a phone call I was aware that the same mailbox was being opened on the other side. As I wheeled forward I saw it was my ex wife and her boyfriend ( Mark, aka Pringle… ). They were opening the package ( addressed to my daughter ) that I’d just posted, reading the message, smirking and muttering.
Forgive me, but surely that’s really not acceptable? I knocked on the glass door and said ‘ what the hell are you doing opening Amber’s mail ?! ‘. At that, Pringle opened the door and swore at me and kicked at me, hitting the wheelchair frame. When you don’t have legs that work, your wheelchair is far more than some inanimate object such as a car or bicycle… it’s your everything to be honest.
As this was the second hostile act in 2 encounters ( that makes it a 100 percent record ) from him towards me, I hit 999. He’s 6 foot 3 and 17 stone. That’s a lot of hostility when you have no chance of striking back or defending yourself.
As I spoke to the police, Pringle was ranting and raging. What his issue is I don’t know. Let’s state the obvious, if Danielle and I were still together he wouldn’t have met her, so he ought be grateful to me that she and I don’t still get on. … right?
She’s shrieking ( oh I don’t miss the shrieks ) and he’s raging. What a pair they are.
The cops ask me to describe my assailant. I did feel a touch guilty when I said, in the spirit of accuracy, that he was big but portly, with close together eyes ( well as an optometrist I am qualified to judge )
As I waited for the cops, who should turn up but my estranged daughter! She asked what I was doing there and I said I’d dropped off a package. She said ‘ is it a bomb ?’
I said ‘ er no, it’s not. Why not go and look at it and then come and talk to me ?’ She said ‘ no I’m too busy ‘, but then loitered near me for a full 15 minutes when the police turned up, blue lights flashing. I explained the events. Given teachers get arrested for touching the arm of a pupil these days, I was surprised that a big ( portly ) bloke can assault a fella in a wheelchair and get away with it, but there you go. They said they’d find him and talk to him. I requested that they make it clear that I find him threatening. As a non paralysed person I’d have cherished dearly the opportunity to ‘ show him the error of his disabled hate crime ways ‘ but sadly those days are gone ‘ Oh, I wish I had a taser. ..
My daughter was, well, unpleasant to say the least. I asked her if she reads this diary. She said ‘ NO, BECAUSE ITS SO TOXIC ‘. Blimey, why would she say that ? For a start, if she doesn’t read it how would she know? And secondly, well it’s not, is it?! I can only assume that someone who lives in her house is keen on keeping her on side so spreads that incorrect malice. I can’t begin to comprehend how that helps Amber, but I do realise that in many years to come, she can read it for herself and see. It’s a permanent written account of a person’s life, without invention or agenda.
I’m so glad I have good people in my life, I really am. It’s good to separate the wood from the chaff… there’s plenty of wood I have to say, but I’m a little shocked to realise just how much sawdust there is out there from my past. You DO realise after 6 years, once all the ‘ do the right thing for the sake of appearances ‘ brigade has evaporated.
There’s a chap called Pete Reed, a triple Olympic gold medalist rower, that has just ended up like me. It’s a month in and his social media interest is off the scale. I so want to tell him that no, it’s not going to be this way for long. He’s simply a man of the moment. There is NOTHING sexy about wheelchair people. It’s cruel that his ‘ popularity ‘ will descend so very quickly. I hope he’s prepared for the real world outside hospital. How can he be? I wasn’t. I desperately wanted to go back into it, but Christ it was terrifying realising how much I didn’t fit anymore. I fear for Pete. I want to tell him everything, but at the same time don’t want to piss on his ( probably ) totally unrealistic optimism. He ‘ll get home to see he can’t access most of his house and then in all probability his relationship will break up painfully ( because THAT is what normally happens after a life changing event like his, like mine, like all those parents who lose a child etc etc ) Are you supposed to warn someone of their likely fate? Well it wouldn’t exactly help a guy’s mood state, having realised he can’t walk, run, shit, piss and have sex anymore, to then be told his wife will sod off before too long, taking any kids with her.
So maybe I ought leave him to it, to the struggle of just not having a bloody clue how to do things now, while everybody blows smoke up his arse and says how ‘ inspirational’ he is, and then actually soon stops giving a fuck. One minute he’s a formidable Olympic champion and the next he’s some bloke in a wheelchair who can’t get on the bus, is holding everyone up, and is in the bloody way !
Brutal, isn’t it, life?
Oh yes it really is.
Actually I know I’ll try to help him. It’s in my nature, but I’ll give it a bit before I try. The thing is that there are SO many ways to do things differently, which then means you CAN do stuff that at first looked impossible. You don’t just know though, and unless you have an inventive and lateral thinking aspect to you, you will never actually know.
Depression is a given for him, but Christ it doesn’t have to be as bad as it looks at first, and yes it’s definitely possible to be happy. You come to look at the world ever so differently though. The massive positive is that you don’t have ‘ first world problems’ ever again. What troubles other people with functionality of body is so insignificant now.
Whatever gripes and moans my former friends are muttering about are almost certainly pathetically small to me. Problems ARE all relative, so thousands of minor irritations just disappear altogether.
Mind you, you are still left with lots of pretty HUGE ones!!
Last night we saw Primal Scream in North London. Jeez it was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. I’ve not ever experienced an atmosphere like it. Getting back was a bit complicated. I got stranded on a tube train and asked 3 blokes to just pick me up and carry me, but they were drunk so very very happy to assist. The more alcohol fellas have had, the more helpful they get, by and large. They may actually be less able when drunk, but they are ever so nice!
The Fun Goes On!