At almost exactly this time last year, 10.20 am, I wrote an email and opened a couple of others – all of them unremarkable.
I only remember that because it is the last record of any activity here before a mobile log shows me making an emergency call at 4.20 pm after partially waking up, climbing a flight of stairs in a lot of pain not knowing it but having suffered a major brain haemorrhage and also fracturing my spine. I lay on my bed in a pretty hazy state and I can vaguely remember a visiting doctor, a scene in the ambulance and some medical procedures in Accident and Emergency.
I am not superstitious but all week I have known that I should relive this moment so as to get beyond it. I guess, I am near to that moment now.
I had swept the stairs, set the wood burner for later but not got round to making coffee. The most annoying thing about it all is I just have no memory at all of what happened next. Where did I collapse, what happened, did I do anything else before my brain haemorrhage that I now have forgotten – a party down the pub, a parachute jump, a triple somersault in the street? Unless some surprize witnesses step forward, I will never know.
All I do know is that I was in a particularly good mood that morning. I made some jokey phone calls, I did a fairly athletic sweep down three flights of stairs feeling great about the World. What happened before I then mounted the last five steps to the top of the house six hours later will always remain a mystery.
Today’s haemorrhage anniversary will be marked by an MRI brain scan this afternoon – I hope that the results will show that the blood has dispersed from my brain but I will have to wait to find out.
I was feeling cheerful this time last year and now, on this mild sunny day, I am feeling pretty good again too. I have been exorcising some ghosts who have persisted in haunting my home but who, I think, may well be off out of my hair soon.
One of my reasons for such good cheer is last night’s exhibition at the local Polish Restaurant, Artisan, I have been asked to exhibit some of my poetry in an art show there celebrating the new season. How strange I thought to have my weird hand-writing up there on the wall with the beautiful handiwork of artists with all those graphic skills that I so manifoldly lack.
I have never done anything like this before but, on the advice of people who know more about these things than I do, I wrote out five of my poems on some beautiful Indian paper with an elegant glass pen.
Dipping the glass nib into the ink pot was pure pleasure and, even if my writing could never be described as beautiful, the end results do have a certain crazed quality which is really pleasing.
Last night saw the exhibition opening, some mulled wine, a fashion show, a choir, some more wine, a newspaper photographer who mistakenly thought I was shy and then some more wine.
People actually stood and read those poems, I have no idea what they thought, they said nice things but , hey, they had had a few drinks and this was a party, but I did decide that it was great putting poetry up there on the wall just like, well, just as if they were works of art.
I was busy preparing for two events all day yesterday. One was to get my work on display and to finish proofing and printing all the writing that I have produced this year, 45 poems and 29 short stories. Something has been driving me to get it all “in order.” The 30th October has loomed like a critical deadline when I would have to have left everything complete.
It was a strange deluded set of thoughts but my mind was focused on bringing this year to what psychologists like to call closure. The year, my haemorrhage year began at 10.20 am, 30th October 2008 and, yay, it has just finished! I don’t know what my medical tests will show up but I am now so ready to start anew. It is now 10.59 am, 30th October 2009 and I am still alive!