Author Topic: I wrote this back in December  (Read 153 times)


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I wrote this back in December
« on: February 27, 2018, 12:14:14 am »
I spoke a lot back then. Illness is performative. If I did not speak, no one would know I was sick. I liked that power. If I did not want someone to know I was ill, I did not speak to them. 

The effect was helped by the fact that aphasia terrifies people. It's easy to perform illness when you have aphasia. I’d sit in a hospital bed playing snap with a visiting friend or a nurse, when suddenly I’d embark on a monolog about “bears in bonnets dancing sockets”, and my companion would  cease questioning whether I needed to be there.   

And questioning it is what they were doing. I know questioning it is what they were doing. We’re all only human, and from my experience as a human, I know that any illness suffered by another person is exaggerated. That was my bias, so it’s undoubtedly theirs. 

I never had the stroke that the doctors said was coming. Maybe if I had...   

The Bright Side of the Road by Van Morrison sounds like crashing metal to me. LIke a drum kit falling down the stairs. That’s how all music sounds. And that description is not a metaphor, it’s the literal truth; to me, anyway.

He poured me a glass of sparkling wine as I asked what the song was. His chest swelled with pride as he told me. He had a nice chest, strong arms, the delicate stemware looked comical betweena his fingers as he slipped the glass across the bar to me.

He was not expecting me to be saddened by the answer, and I was not expecting the sadness o show on my face. But aphasia kills your poker face; when you can no longer speak, expressions are all you have.

But men think the world revolves around them. He took my sadness as insult, and deflatedly informed me that the wine was $5.40 plus tip. I paid and took a sip. Why do we do this? Wine is awful. It was my first glass since the hospital, and it seemed I had lost my taste for it. Under the hot Los Angeles sun, my body cried out for a long swig of something cold, so I drank down the tiny amount of liquid in the flute. Even though it had been served chilled, such a small amount had risen to room temperature in no time. So I ordered beer instead. It tasted even worse than the wine, but at least they gave you more of it. Why do we do this to ourselves?   

Toki was tied up outside. I untied her and lead her into the beer garden. She leapt up onto the bench next to me, and rested her head on my lap. I held my head in my hands, and watched two birds flit around trying to make sense of their chittering.  The brown spots above Toki’s eyes looked at me.   

Sha la la la la.   

I cried.

Toki looked at me concerned. Her rottweiler face always always concerned.