NOTE: This was written shortly after I had broken my kneecap and was in intensive rehab
Mostly I’m hobbling about, keeping busy: ordering new Jacuzzi parts, making wedding plans, annoying people needlessly on Facebook. Oh, and bending my knee. On the hour every hour with 90 minutes of intensive physio 5 days a week. Chin up, keep smiling, look yourself in the mirror and repeat: Every day and in every way, I’m getting…..older and older. Oops.
But it really is pretty damn good, so far this year, despite the knee break. The money’s coming in, the love is pouring out. Okay, boys who used to stare at my crotch now stare at my crutch. But fuck it, I’m fine.
So why do I catch site of something out of the corner of my eye every now and then that makes me well up and choke? I never really see it. It’s like one of those annoying fleeting things that spook you in cheaply made scary movies.
I have this weird feeling that it might be an Abyss. Dark and scary and non-returnable. From. Non-returnable from. I doubt you can take it back for a refund.
So I’ve been scratching my head over it. Oh – there’s another positive: 51 and a full head of hair! Unlike my Dad, the comb-over king – every time we went swimming I lost him. And summer is here, the sky is bright and there’s no dark cloud over my head. So why this little stealth-well of sadness following me around, waiting for me to trip and fall in?
Certainly it doesn’t help that I haven’t had a fuck since 12.45pm on February 15th (delayed Valentine’s fuck – too drunk and bloated on the actual night. It happens after 7 years together. It’s not that the romance has died, it’s just moved to a higher ground than the House of Hallmark Cards).
Not saying I’m not gagging. Not saying I don’t sometimes feel like I have a better chance of growing a penis long enough to reach than a leg bendy enough to get out of the goddamn fucking way.
But it’s not that. Because I’m lucky enough to have a partner who helps me laugh at that. And snuggle. And cuddle. And, best of all get uproariously, gloriously drunk. And in those nights there is passion, there is consummation. Just no insertion.
So today I was on the bed, doing my exercises, watching some inane music video, when I felt the Abyss behind me, heard it’s hollow laugh, deafening in it’s silence. So I thought about the 4 pillars of my life: those barricades that protect me from the Scary Mists of Utter Meaninglessness that lurk, all existential-like, outside everyone’s House of the Hear and Now.
Has one of my Pillars crumbled and the Mist swept in to pull me down into the Abyss? Doubt it, frankly. I was halfway through my exercises with minimum knee pain and Jason was out so I was looking forward to a cheeky porn-wank. Because everything’s fine as long as it’s cheeky nowadays.
But I decided on a Pillar audit anyway:
And D…….ooh nurse……I think I need my medication now.
Dancing was missing.
And here’s the thing, the reason why I need that Pillar: I’m a control freak. I’m not very good at it. I let things slip all the time. I’m forever saying “Oh, alright then”. But you know…..I’m in a relationship. With Jason.
But what I’m not very good at is being irresponsible. I’ve tried every drug in the box (it was a BIG box) and every time I end up being the one saying “sorry officer” or “you really ought to put a condom on that”.
The only time I ever seem to be able to loose myself is when I dance. Drunkenly of course. Sober dancing is like pooping into a bed pan: one half of you is saying ‘you gotta let it out’ the other is saying ‘keep it in, keep it in’.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a…..was a….TERRIBLE dancer. Smart enough even in my drunkenness never to let anyone video me, to see the hard, cold, sobering truth the next day. But – and this is what matters – in that moment, in that drunken, stumbling, pirouetting moment, I think I’m FANTASTIC! I think the music sends an electrical signal directly to my spine which propels all my limbs into all the right moves.
To borrow from Eric Morecambe: “oh they’re the right moves alright – just not necessarily in the right order”
But I don’t care because when I danced I was free of all the fumbling awkwardness, the compulsory niceness, the burden of responsibility. And for that moment I was away with the faeries. Albeit rather hairy ones at XXL. Note here how we’re gently moving across to the past tense, easing myself into acceptance. Big, breathy acceptance that might let me swim in the Abyss and not drown.
OK so here goes…
Will I dance at my wedding? I doubt it.
Will I ever dance again? Possibly. But only responsibly.
“I’m never gonna dance again – brokey knees ain’t got no rhythm”
Some people see the glass half empty. I used to think I saw the glass half full.
Now I just see an Abyss.
But I drink it anyway. Two shots of Happy, one shot of Sad.
**burp**. Better out than in.
POSTSCRIPT: The video above is of me dancing about an hour before I slipped and broke my knee. Having now reviewed it, I'm more of the option that everything happens for a reason