Who is this lady? She is elderly, yes. A grandma,a mother a sister, an aunt, a great grandmother. I don’t know. I have forgotten. Hang on a minute… Aaah yes there was this one time that I was sat in her house -plush, ‘propre’ , stylish and I couldn’t sleep. I kept on getting up to go to the cupboard on the far right of la cuisine that housed all the gigantic Cadbury’s chocolate. I ate and I ate and I ate some more. I always seemed to be able to eat more.
I didn’t it like it when she bought the dark kind. So bitter. So classy, so not me.
But back to la cuisine. Footsteps pander lightly behind me. I turn and look around and I look into the eyes of a lady with pure class-sans maquillage. This seems to counter my non- class evolved youthfulness. The lady asks me a question ‘Ca Va?
I’m expected to answer with the same ‘ca va.’ but it is something like 3 am in the morning. Obviously ‘ca va’ is not appropriate for this setting.
I don’t know why I can’t sleep, I confess. I’ve shoved a load of pills down my throat in an effort to be like the one whom I shall refer to as the Manic depressive. The lady sits me down and makes me a Sleepytime tisane – . Good herbal shit. We sit at the kitchen table with our ‘Sleepytime’ tea, I can’t remember what we talked about.
I have a habit of forgetting things, you see. It is so frustrating. I go back to bed feeling cared about. Why didn’t I feel grateful then?
No regrets. Have no regrets. Okay. I try not too. I wish I had paid more attention, then maybe I wouldn’t forget so much.
I can hear her laughter in that loud roomy part of my brain, it’s threatened me it will become a real auditory sound that knocks me sideways with fright turning me into a paranoid wreck.
I have to remember that laugh. She used to laugh at my jokes. She loved me. She told me she loved me all the time.
She also loved another – another woman-my mom. Angelic looking, graceful, naive and I don’t know – wonderful? This lady helped me out with the angelic-looking lady. Yes, I remember, one poignant night, the angelic-looking manic depressive and I had a vicious fight. I took a braai fork to her neck. I was fucking going out to drink and get strung out on drugs and Miss Manic Depressive could mope in her stupid illness and fuck right off.
Well, she took that big FU literally. We had this stock of prescription pills that could take our local pharmacy out of business – bad joke- that’s why I rely on comedians for such amusements (Omid Djalili and Gabriel Iglesias being two of my favourites ). Nothing like a next-day hangover and a shrill ringing phone to make me grab a handful of downers. I’m not ready for the sunshine just yet- maybe not ever. The lady on the other end of the phone wants to know if the manic depressive is okay. Of course, she is ok……
I turn over
…but she isn’t. She is one tunnel turn away from death. I need some Rohypnol and valium and I need that lady on the end of the phone.
She says she is going to get the next one hour flight from JHB airport to Durban and I need to get the manic depressive to a hospital. I don’t have health insurance. I’m 15 years old.
A cocky shit who obviously knows it all but nevertheless in my narked upstate I somehow manage to get the angelic Manic Depressive a space in a run-down public hospital in Africa – in a- I kid you not – broom closet. Sick people were lying on the floors, covered in congealed blood, in the corridors of this hospital. So I count my blessings that we had some type of room and a bed.
The lady meets me at the hospital. It’s touch and go. We are rooting for survival on this one. Black tar leaks down out through a tube from some part of the manic depressive’s body.
She is okay- stable.
She is in a coma.
The Lady transfers her to a more upmarket private hospital. She has the master card. We spend the night next few days at the Oyster Box hotel – in a chalet. She takes on me and my two cats. Lilac and Mocha- and we all sleep in the same bed united by our love for the angelic manic depressive one.
We don’t know if she is ever going to walk again. I mean it was an overdose with powerful intent. No, pithy cry for help as some believes a suicide attempt is. The angelic manic depressive has a new name angelic, rapid cycler Bipolar.lady in The other lady is my grandma- as you probably have figured out. We go and see her every week. She broke her hip back in Feb 2015 and can’t walk anymore.
Okay… so that happens with a lot of old people. Yeah, but this lady, my grandma has been stripped of her dignity, identity, memories, and she can’t remember she can’t walk. She is stuck on a loop – every few moments she tries to get up and screams in frustration when she can’t. This lady sitting in the middle is my relationship with someone I love who has Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
I know I’m not writing something fucking profound but she means something to me and her family. She is living a world with no faces, no colour and the world speaks another language to her. How is she meant to interpret all this shit?! People talking. Loudly?
Other elderly people not moving- crying, shouting, fondling themselves to remember that they too can feel. My Chronic Anorexia 10 stone self could envy my grandma’s current weight. 5 stone if that. She forgets how to eat. Imagine that?
What type of existence is this?
This is where I get political. Let people die with dignity.
I signed up for the campaign years ago. Who is this lady? She is so much more than she looks. She has had a life people probably can’t even dream up and a life where people would also be horrified how she survived such heartache, ( love is the answer here, folks) but for today we can’t go back into the past too much without forgetting. I don’t want to forget, not today. Those two memories I can hang and frame in the gallery of my mind. They are mine. No one can take them away from me but Alzheimer’s can. Dementia too. You know what really makes me sick about all this? When a person with these illnesses die, Alzheimer’s and Dementia don’t take the credit. The diagnosis of death is usually a secondary symptom. How twisted and messed up is that?
Does she remember her husband? Where does she go?
I should have been a Neuroscientist or something. I want to know what is going on in her head and fix it. All clichés but they are my clichés for today. Can you believe people are being diagnosed with these maladies at as young as 25 years of age?
I would rather choose to die than have everything taken from me. Would my Grandma say the same? I wish I had asked her.
Me: ‘So Gran, let’s talk about something so morbid as to how you would like to die.. ‘
I’m putting it out there. Me? I don’t want to suffer and I don’t want to feel pain and I don’t want to not be understood. That is not living that is stuck between two perverse worlds. I want my family to pay the ferryman and for him to take the money and take me along the river Styx to Elysium and let me die with dignity.
Information on the dying dignity campaign http://www.dignityindying.org.uk
Dedicated to the
gangsters inksters of the writing world.
A lifetime member of sudden death writer collective.
Butter them up to increase traffic
then render them defective.
Noble people not saying what they do. It’s a performance of sorts.
It screams out – this scene has been played out far too many times.
Fucking over a person should be seen in the outdated queue.
What people do to advance their station.
I hold a person to their words – hence this unforeseen faction.
Beware of compliments paid by rubber silicone lips.
Not everyone understands that stars like Mick jagger don’t screw over those just for kicks.
I’m out of your game.
I am sharper and know your words scream dissident whore.
Sell yourself out to whoever seems to make more of a racket.
What happened to good ole fashioned honesty?
You fit well into the conglomeration Trump bracket.
Direct devices – mouthpiece – save your screams for another.
Fraudsters and clear ass wipers.
your ink will never see the light of day. Offended is the weed who loathes the fickleness of the collective of neigh
Take your numbers and deduce the ifs and the buts,
when all will recognize your true form.
The traitors to writers – don’t teach our youth this malpractice – unethical abuse
Power does not come in numbers -it comes from your convictions.
Surround yourself with rats jumping ship as soon as a comet brightens Haley’s rights.
I say raise your words. This is just what I have done.
I am not a springboard to increase you, smite tribe.
I leave you to unravel your cohorts when you have exhausted their ink and deemed them a humdrum
I am not yours to use.
*photo credit Francesca Woodman, Space2, Providence, Rhode Island, 1977, © George and Betty Woodman*
‘Always wear sunscreen’ – comes from a song.
Wisest life advice I’ve ever heard?
‘Don’t read beauty magazines they will only make you feel ugly. ‘
Quoting like I’m toting.
Screens -Scenes. Teams. Streams.
Rhyme it out until I get an inspiration to scream.
I Love screens. What to watch?
I never wore sunscreen.
I went under the artificial tan beams when I hit the isle of Blighty.
Cancer, I probably have.
The world is full of it. Boasting in its insidious arrogant fashion.
We can’t slip away from this malady.
Life is a parody.
Stage screens. Projections. People hustling and bustling about in the form of shadows.
Cue: Audio – people chattering, laughing, Christmas jingles pop out like a pack of Pringles.
‘Once you pop you can’t stop’
Stream of consciousness interrupted by my very own human Bee.
How you doing ? – A total Joey from the series ‘friends’.
Beware of enemies posing as your bros and sisters. Cut out cardboard fake, one-dimensional pranksters
Politics have got me in the corner of a boxing ring, cutting teeth on my mouthguard.
Betray my thoughts and beliefs when I mention the pantomime that is crawling underneath the flesh of America’s skin.
I don’t want to share any posts on this farce. Spread more hate and give more time to something that makes me want to spew my guts out.
Angry on behalf of all that is left of humanity.
The stupidity line is growing longer than the start of the poverty sign.
One screen dividing the people and oh wait they are all in the same queue.
Branded – I can’t stand it.
Fuck Kim K and K west and all the KKK’s and the rest of the Hollywood bandit Muppet crew in folly land with extra zest.
All lives matter. Seriously?
I’m about ready to pack my bag with the bare necessities. Head out to the jungle and live life with my true fellow earthlings.
If I could grow fur, I wouldn’t need sunscreen.
What the hell are we humans even doing here when we can’t even adapt or evolve in our natural surroundings?
Destroy, conquer, divide- it’s a woeful stuttering thought.
Soon we will be paying for the air we breathe.
“Water is not a basic human right” Just a thought from Nestle.
Stop polluting what was given to us.
Stop changing the screen to the scenery you want the commoners to see.
We are dying.
Hairdresser fed up of listening to other people moan. She applies for a job to treat people in a morgue.
Now you listen to me!
We all need to talk even if it is behind a screen – a mask.
I’d rather bleed from my eyes than cover my true feelings, opinions, and thoughts.
People can laugh. I don’t care.
Scan my soul and I will pass every scripture criteria to go to anyone of your chosen heavens.
I reflect what I see in others. We are but mirrors of another.
Despise me? Something inside me resonates with you. What are you hiding?
Drawn to me? remove the smokescreen – brave soldier-admits and refuses to deny that we all share common dreams,
feel similar emotions.
Have days when it’s all commotion after commotion.
I scream – a throwback to the bairn I never intended to wean.
Heartless – that would mean I am aimless.
I’ve had my eye on a spot. That takes more heart and commitment than spouting out hateful, denounced rhetoric.
Grief- ridden, sick chick.
She should have grabbed the knife.
She should have locked the door.
She should have put more clothes on.
She should have done the cha- cha- cha.
Would it have saved her?
Polo – life mint- raspy breath in need of sprightly death.
It’s fun to dream. It’s even better to live it.
Protection – duty to our children- the ones who love us.
I say be reckless -not with others hearts- but be a part of the movement to dine with the Ming dynasty, hovering somewhere above, a local art museum, in some loco town down in Acapulco.
The song I was on about when my thoughts were rambling.