Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wild Horses (contains made up words)

Despite the death of Morris the duck (saved from someone's Christmas table a few years ago and given a fitting retirement surrounded by girls, a nice pond and plenty of food), this has been a week where I've been trying to extol the virtues of being positive. Me and optimism have always had an uneasy relationship; normally it all goes a bit the way of the pear just around the time I start thinking, 'hey, things are looking up'.

I suppose most people think that, or even are subjected to it, on a regular basis. The thing is I've never regarded myself as being a pessimist, despite supporting Tottenham Hotspur; and even when I've been whining about the crap things that have happened to me, either through no fault of my own or by the actions of others, deep down I've always thought 'it'll get better'. I might not say it; but maybe I'm superstitious and one of those people that thinks if you say it out loud it will have been heard by someone.

Which, in a weird way either suggests that I'm a Christian at the core of my being or I've been indoctrinated by religious icons for so long, I subconsciously think that if there is a God then knowing my luck he has a direct line to my vocal chords (not, as many will suggest, he'd need it with my booming voice). Because, I suppose being a pessimist is a bit like being the hired wailer at a funeral; you're there to illustrate the 'I told you so' approach to reactions. It's all gone tits up - I told you so. Pessimists are also here so that optimists and even-keeled people can be pissed off with someone other than God, especially if they are atheists.

But, despite all of this, I woke up earlier this week and thought: I've been bored beyond belief, I've been let down and abused and I've literally wasted the last 3 months of my life and the running thread through it all has been me sitting around feeling sorry for myself because I've got a disability, or because I've had an injury that has left me incapable of doing things I could do with aplomb 2 years ago. Shit happens and I know this better than most people and yet I'm still here to tell the tale, I'm still here to annoy and pester my friends and family and I'm still ready and willing to accept that as I get older, more shit is going to happen and there aint a lot I can do about it, so I might as well make the best of the situation (and if the last paragraph reads like it could be the lyrics to an old blues song, I do apologise).

So, faced with a limited time before I return to the daily grind and the knowledge that time goes even faster when you actually want to do things; I decided that between now and September 2nd I'm going to do some stuff. I've already made two new friends in the last week - I mean real friends, not just another so-and-so on Facebook; I've started work on a new story, which in a way is reworking of several elements from old stories that might have wormed their way into an infinitely better tale; I've decided that another new 'friend' should be given a little more leeway, because I've perhaps not been particularly fair to him, I've been to a gig and walked around town on a lovely summer's night. I've also been crowing about this year's horticultural successes, talking with the neighbours, going out with my Godson and his fiancee and speaking to old friends - again, actually contacting them or being contacted by, rather than through the medium of social networking. Surely 'social networking' should be called unsocial networking because you can literally have a relationship with a person without ever speaking to them in person or over the phone. The Internet allows people to make friends, but I'm betting the majority of them don't end up in each others gardens every summer for BBQs and wife swapping parties! But I'm betting if you speak to people directly, there's a better chance of it happening.

It does have it advantages though, I don't deny that. I've had a quote from my review of 2000 Trees, from this blog, used on a musician's website and possibly made a new friend out of said musician in the process. Plus, I even learned some priceless information about a guy that I know; which I'm sort of hoping will come back and not just haunt him but bite him so hard on his substantial arse that it leaves teeth marks on his pelvis!

There have been, as there always are, elements to the week that have put a dampener on what would otherwise have been the best week I've had this year! But, shit happens and even the wife has noticed that recently the histrionics and Victor Meldrewisms are being replaced by a far more Zen Phil. Shit happens and you know something? When it does, it's done - end of; move on.

Of course, this new approach to life might have the longevity of one of my many ill-fated attempts at stopping smoking, but equally, it might last as long as my vegetarianism and even longer. My eldest brother Ronnie, he doesn't smoke - never has, doesn't drink, apart from really sugary shit and is the world's biggest fretter and worrier; he's a passive road-rager (ie, he'd never chase anyone or start a fight, but he'd work himself into a frenzy of frustration and stress all on his own), he had a heart attack when he was my age. I've always joked that I've known how I was going to die - it would be from an aneurysm sustained from going apoplectic at some wanker in a Nissan Micra. Stress and sporadic pretend bi-polarism (one minute I'm lovely, the next I'm Robert De Niro in Raging Bull) in a car will be my downfall, but I've noticed in the 20 odd miles I've driven in the last week (yay!) that I've barely even noticed the arseholes. I have to keep this up.

The next week brings a physiotherapist appointment, two days prior to my surgical check up with Mr S*****; a lunch date with an old (as in from a long time ago rather than her age) and exceptionally lovely colleague; two days with the missus - we're planning a day trip on Monday and a duck rescue mission on Tuesday. We've got a lunch date on Sunday with my nephew; a meal at my favourite restaurant tomorrow, beer on Tuesday and Thursday night; the first episode of season 4 of Dexter to watch, an impending Bank Holiday weekend and suddenly I have 2 days and 2 evenings free between now and returning to keep kids on the straight and narrow.

I also love the fact that even though I'm still getting some discomfort with my shoulder, I can, for the first time in as long as I care to remember, sit down and type 5,000 words in a single sitting. This is about 4,500 words more than I've managed since last year. My brain, that has been raging with ideas all summer, finally has its outlet back. I need both hands to type, otherwise I'd never keep up with myself. It's a good job that every time I had an idea I remembered to write it down - some of them will wither and die, but one of two might just be the right ones to let in.

Of course, it all might change tomorrow and something is sure to go wrong and on Sunday Tottenham's great start to the season will come to a thundering halt at the hands of the wife's own football preference, so by Monday, when we're due to go out for the day I might be reaching for antidepressants again and prophesying the end of civilisation as we know it... but until then, you're all fucking lovely! MWAH!!!

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