Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Ditch

Travelling home from Manchester, I was too tired to read – eyestrain is a real problem in this job – so I got out my Mp3 player and watched an episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ instead. It was the episode in which Larry makes friends with a sex offender and invites him to a party at his house. At one point, the sex offender asks Larry how he came up with all the ideas for ‘Seinfeld’. Larry answers that he just copied them out of his life. The sex offender is impressed. ‘I’m not creative, so I don’t know how these things get written,’ is something like his response.

I could have told him the same. Everything I write about comes from my life. There’s not a word on this blog that isn’t, in some way, informed by what happens to me. The downside of all this is that people rarely believe that anything is real. They question if this is really a blog. I think I’m dismissed as some kind of freak. Not serious writing. I bet you even doubted if I suffered a pulled groin muscle yesterday yet it’s all true. The peas are true, all as true as my story about falling over and damaging my left knee earlier in the year while watching a mime in Manchester.

Which gets to the point of this brief post. My knee has been painful for months and I began to think that I needed it treated. Recent events meant that I ignored it. I don’t like doctors. I always think they made my father worse than he was. I read of Bryan’s blog the other month that doctors are the biggest cause of death. I try to avoid them when I can. However my knee has been bothering me. I was ready to book an appointment when, the other day, I kneeled down in a bookshop and my knee went ‘pop’. It was agony for a few hours but, a day later, it was feeling better than it has done in months. Salvation, I thought, had come to my knee. It was restored.

End of tonight’s preface. So I get off the train tonight and begin the mile long trek home. It involves a dash across a dangerous road and them down a poorly lit path that runs beside a railway. It’s one of the town’s oldest and most familiar shortcuts and it’s used by anybody who travels by public transport. For some reason it’s also completely unlit, angled to about 30 degrees, and, in winter, covered in leaves. And tonight I managed to fall over. Not only fall but tumble. I’ve hurt both knees, which are bleeding and bruised, and cut my left hand in about a dozen places. I have photographs but they’re too much for this blog. Yet the odd thing is that I found myself lying in a ditch laughing.

Some people came out of the darkness to help pick me up. They must have thought it odd that I was laughing after such a heavy fall. I wanted to tell them about my year: my cracked laptop screen, my debut novel cancelled a month before publication, being forced to abandon writing to take an unrewarding job, my left knee damaged by a mime, and then my father’s aneurism, months of worry, his death, the funeral. Of course, I couldn’t tell them. All I could do was lie in a ditch filled with leaves and mud, laughing and bleeding in the dark. I figured they wouldn’t even begin to understand. I’m not even sure that I do.

9 comments:

Barbara said...

I understand all too well. I was nearly done in by a doctor after an accident, over 10 months in the hospital, and some of the things I went through and still go through are so ridiculous you just have to laugh.

Nige said...

That's not a post, it's a life story, a philosophy, a world in microcosm - Dick you excel yourself! Oh and get well soon - nasty abrasions there - get Oddie to rub some badger fat in...

Swearing Mother said...

You've finally cracked, Richard.

Know how you feel.....

Thanks for visiting by the way, it's ages since I've had the honour of you on my blog.

You may have had a tough time recently, but you still manage to blog a good blog, as ever.

Welsh Girl said...

Avoid doctors and try a physiotherapist for the knee instead. They'll be much more helpful and have a higher survival rate! I think that as long as you can laugh when you are in the ditch, and not sob, then you are doing ok!

Don said...

My rule of thumb is if there isn't blood gushing or bones jutting at inconvenient angles, best stay clear of a hospital. I've had great luck with an osteopath myself, but was it just that - luck?

At any rate, this entry is typical of why I read your blog: it is real life told with with with, clarity and perspective. There are some things you just can't make up, and plenty of made up things that aren't worth the effort to read.

Keep up the good writing (falling optional)!

Moi said...

If you didn't laugh, you'd cry!

mutleythedog said...

Well done you - we are all dancing on the edge of a volcano, best to laugh whilst we still can.

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