Thursday, 1 May 2008

My Epiphany

This afternoon I was standing in the corridor of our local hospital and I was rubbing some kind of sweet smelling antiseptic lotion into my hands. An automated voice had told me to do this and I couldn’t go any further onto the ward until my hands were completely free of flesh eating viruses.

And that’s when it struck me: I really have to cheer up.

So I want to apologise to all of you who have been stopping by hoping to read something uplifting. I’ve been letting you down. I can see that now. This blog is meant to be fun but I keep taking life too seriously.

It began a couple of months ago when my laptop screen cracked and the subsequent repair process led my losing 60,000 words of a manuscript I’d been working on for months. I now understand that it was meant to be wryly amusing.

Then I was informed that my first novel had been cancelled by my publisher barely a month or two before appearing in bookshops. Oh, I hid my disappointment well by making it sound like it happened to a friend of mine. Yet it was really me who suffered this twist of fate. There I was: thinking that people across the land would be laughing at my cunningly fashioned comic tale. Instead, I’m now working in an office where my literary skills go ignored. Again, it’s hard not to chuckle as such terrible bad luck. But now I see the error of my ways. I'm laughing. I really am.

It was about this time that I fell over and blackened my eye in the famous mime-related incident. Weeks later, I still barely suppress a smile when the pain shoots through my still-ruined left knee...

A week last Friday, I fell ill with a version of the flu (Flu 2.0, I think it was) that had me in bed for six days. I was really sick and I’m still not right. But this only serves to remind me to laugh at the humour of my situation. Who wouldn't smile at days without sleep and constant temperatures. Comic gold!

This week’s highly 'comic' event was my sister being rushed into hospital at two o’clock yesterday morning with a rather horrible medical condition that we now learn will probably require surgery in the coming days.

It was while waiting to be let onto the ward to see her that I began to realise that Life is merely trying to be sardonic.

Now, I enjoy black comedy as well as the next guy. I really do. All these ‘bad things’ must be happening for a reason. Am I meant to fashion them into some strange comic tale that will make my fortune and save me from a life of being so highly qualified that I'm only capable of menial office work? If so, then Providence, that old chuckler, is being really kind in providing me such material.

But I wonder: could Life not move on and make somebody else their stooge for a little while?

No, please. Won’t it just stop and let something good happen to me, no matter how unfunny that might be?


Anonymous said...

there is very strange blog effect - when you (I mean "you" in general) post something ordinary, when you just discribe your usual day - lots of comments are written then.
but when you use the blog to tell the most important things that happen in your life or write your thoughts on the subjct - there are "0 comments" very often.
it's not because of total indifference, I guess. We keep silence because we understand.

Sorry for pathos and bad Endlish :)

Nige said...

Yes that's true - we're feeling for you. Well I am anyway. You can always cling to the (actually pretty reasonable) hope that a spate of woes like this should, when it ends, leave you in the clear for a good long while. Here's hoping...

All Shook Up said...

Usually, there's nothing funnier than other people's misfortunes, but shit, that 60,000 words thing is too grim for humour. That would really make me think the gods were a sick bunch.

Lola said...

The blog world seems a pretty crap place at the moment. Yours is not the only blog to be steeped in misery - I've been reading about terrible family problems, a miscarriage, one blogger retiring hurt, mental illness, pets dying... and so it goes on.

The bigger picture is not much better - financial meltdown, individual cruelty, war in so many places. If we look too hard, it seems that there is nothing left to be glad about.

And yet, all this will pass, for good or ill. We will all move on, from this misfortune to other circumstances, which may be better, and, sadly, they may be worse. But they will definitely be different.

I look outside: the sky is blue, the grass smells of fresh rain, and there are tulips. Tomorrow the grey clouds will be back, but I will still be looking for tiny fragments of goodness in my surroundings. I will think of you, and hope that you can find a few minutes free of sadness tomorrow, and then a few minutes more the next day.

One day you will find that nothing terrible has happened for 24 hours. Obviously I expect it will get better than that, but perhaps that is enough to hope for.

Anonymous said...

well, at least "0 comments" have become people's voices. it's a good sign :)

Anonymous said...

This blog sounds better but you still need a change of perspective. Your sister being in the hospital isn't a bad thing that happened to you, it's a bad thing that happened to her. Sure you feel bad for her but there's no reason to feel bad for yourself about it. You truly have had a bad run lately but really, I would trade tripping over a mime anyday for the medically related things I have to deal with on a daily basis, and will for the rest of my life until one of them eventually kills me. I have dabbled in writing and I know it's impossible to recreate a piece the way it was or to make up for the time lost so I sympathise with losing your manuscript, I really do, but among other things I lost an eye. There's definitely no recreating that. I say these things not to belittle your problems but to illustrate that life sucks for all of us in one way or another, we all have our burdens to bear and it just makes it worse to feel sorry for ourselves. There is no reason for it so quit trying to find one. Good things and bad things just happen to us and around us, it's just human nature to focus on the bad things so it seems there's more of them. Instead of dwelling on all the bad crap that has happened lately try to focus on what good has also happened. You have a lovely wife, devoted fans, good friends, your health aside from the flu, what else? It may be an old cliche but it's true - count your blessings.

Ok, the psychology student in me is appeased :)

BTW, I watched the book awards the other day and I thought you were great. That was probably the only interesting awards show I've ever seen. I wish they would all pick up the interaction bits, it made it much more enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

"The pensive man walks unseen to muse at midnight; and hears the full curfew. If the weather drives him home; he sits in a room lighted only by glowing embers, or, by a lonely lamp, outwatches the North star,to discover the habitation of seperate souls; and varies the shades of meditation, by contemplating the magnificent and pathetic scenes of tragic and epic poetry. When the morning comes, a morning gloomy with rain and wind, he walks into the dark trackless wood, falls asleep by some murmering water, and with melancholy enthusiasm expects some dream of prognostication, or some music played by aerial performers...."

I think it would be fair of me,as a friend, to point out that your disposition of mind, of late, has been pensive. It is nothing to trouble yourself about, keep mixing the mirth with the melancholy and you will draw the light from the glowing embers. The cheerful man that you are will shine through the pathetic dark shadows of spirit. hope your sister is in better health today.
Onward & upward.

James Higham said...

I was wondering when you were going to allude again to that mime incident.

You don't feel, Richard, that enough water has been passed under the bridge?

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