My late grandmother used to have a lot of sayings which I didn’t think particularly clever or relevant. As I’m getting old myself, surprise, surprise, I’m getting my grandmother more. A shame I can’t tell her. (Now I almost sniffed, which is ridiculous because I didn’t love my grandmother that much at all. Feel free to shoot me in my cold heart.)
The grandmother used to say, When you don’t feel like doing something, it’s worse than when you can’t do it. These days this resonates with me more than ever. To complete the picture, my favourite personal growth author writes to the effect that workaholics are the least efficient workers and that when you work too much, you can get yourself to the point when you’re too tired not only to work but also to relax. That’s all me. A shame I know it but do nothing much about it.
Speaking of grandmothers, I visited my late grand-grandmother’s grave today. She was my favourite family member ever. She was a fucking heroine. A shame I didn’t take after her. She was uneducated, simple but commonsensical and she was the bravest person I ever knew. She buried her husband, her grandson and her only daughter, yet she shut the fuck up, dealt with it and lived to 92. How could she do it? I’m only slightly over third her age and I can’t anymore.
I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me.
—Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
My father is visiting tomorrow in the middle of the night. Specifically at 8 AM. This illustrates his lack of both sense and sensibility because it’s four hours before my wake time. It’s not even a real hour.
I’m deeply metaphysically terrified of meeting my creator. By which I mean my father. I don’t specialise in family psychology but I suspect that the presence of terror might constitute an abnormal response to the stimuli presented. I was probably terrorised as a child and the primitive parts of my brain remember, though the protective parts of my brain repressed the memory.
My father occasionally calls me to inform me that I piss him off. He uses this in lieu of greeting and doesn’t state any particular reason. I’m not even curious. The reason is probably because I exist anyway. Totally legit, though my father had better blame himself for this fact. It’s not like I made myself exist because I had nothing better to do and thought it would be a good idea.
I certainly blame my father and my mother by association for producing me. It wasn’t very fortunate and everyone would be spared a lot of pain in the ass if I hadn’t been born. I don’t particularly appreciate being alive, as has probably transpired. A shame I was conceived before the rise of the Don’t breed, adopt motto. It’s probably Don’t buy, adopt, but whatever.
While waiting for my fate, aka father, I shot the crazy night storm that is currently happening. You’ll have to imagine that because I shot it with my phone through my filthy window (courtesy of the cat) and the camera captured—nothing.
When I plagued my readers with the inquiry what I should write about, Michael from Morpethroad came up with a topic I never considered before: “Your body – how you see it, have used it, have cared for it, how it’s regarded by others.” That’s an appropriate occasion to list some of the complaints I’ve been receiving from my body, which I apparently hate, considering how I mistreat it (I’d say outright that I abuse myself, but I suspect it might come out wrong).
I was born with an unsightly brown patch on my face. Since we don’t live in Sparta, my parents didn’t resort to tossing me off the cliff (though if they would have, they’d save everyone a lot of trouble). Whatever the patch was (probably a witch mark), it disappeared before I got old enough to be disposed of in pre-school and exposed to mean kids laughing at me. The kids laughed at me anyway because my father was regularly forgetting to pick me up as he got easily distracted by the pubs he was passing on the way.
I was also born bald. My baldness persisted for several years. My mother made me wear a headscarf to hide it (back then a headscarf didn’t have religious connotations because we were tucked behind the Iron Curtain and knew nothing). She also treated my hairless head with green water in which nettle plants were boiled. It probably worked because I grew hair, lots of hair, and my mother is never going to forgive me that I wear it half-shaved these days. I mean, she put so much effort into growing it.
When I was a kid, I apparently attempted to kill myself. Don’t get scared, it qualified more as incomplete manslaughter rather than as attempted murder. I was warned not to go sledging down the steep hill in the woods behind the house, so I naturally went to sledge there. The sledge gained unexpected speed and since I was too clueless to remember that the sledge had brakes, I hit a tree in full speed. I was unconscious for a bit and had a wonderful dream about the Hansel and Gretel fairy-tale. I spent two weeks in hospital with concussion but was most worried about my parents yelling at me.
Now I think my body is trying to communicate with me but I mostly ignore it. I mean, I’m trying to defeat its demands through sheer willpower. I’m not particularly excited with how the body is working, but since it’s past its expiry date, I can’t return it, so I guess I’d better just get used to it. I could have ended up with a worse one. For example, I could have had crooked teeth. Wait. I got crooked teeth. Anyway. Let’s look at the bright side: it will be so awesome when my teeth fall out and I’ll have perfectly white and perfectly straight dentures to replace them. No?