Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Every. Fecking. Time.
"The Good Lord only gives you that which he thinks you can bear; no more, no less. Further, every trial and tribulation is sent to teach you a lesson about yourself - resilience, strength, patience, tolerance, or in your case how feckin' dim you've been to get yourself into that situation in the first place."
Those wise words of my Nan still make me smile and have never been more apt than the last six months, which have been a test of gigantic proportions. So much so that I've developed a theory. In the same way that psychopaths lack empathy, I believe that my psyche is lacking that element which says, "That's it, I'm off."
Let's start with the appearance I did at the Northern Irish Assembly in which I was told that I'm financed by pimps and target vulnerable disabled men for my own benefit. Further, I was told that a Justice Committee "do not need evidence." Lovely. That didn't actually get to me until I boarded the boat home that evening and it began to sink in. That any human being in a position of trust and responsibility could be so unprofessional and downright rude, all whilst maintaining an air of sanctimonious righteousness is astounding. What was even more perplexing was when my complaint about that behaviour was cast to one side.
I was home a matter of weeks when having had my real name revealed to the abolitionists present on the day of my NIA appearance, COMPLETELY by coincidence, I had a letter from HMRC to say they had singled me out for a tax inspection. (This is the price you pay as an activist, it's seen as just punishment for daring to question the lies and seemingly unquestionable bottomless funding that the abolitionist NGO's enjoy.) I have nothing to hide, and have years of accountant prepared reports, but even so, spending my evenings going back over every strawberry flavoured condom purchased is something I could have done without.
Finally, and after many months of arguing, I satisfied the requirements of HMRC and was given the all clear. Next up, exams. I became feral for several weeks, and surviving on a diet of Diet Coke and crunchy nut cornflakes I locked myself in to my office and crammed. I'm really not sure how I did, nowhere near as good as if I had really studied to the best of my ability but then when you're holding off HMRC and abolitionists, there's only so much you can do. Finally through the exams and back on the road to enjoy a summer of freedom from any major stresses, I landed back in Belfast.
Day one was grand, enjoyable appointments and good craic. Day two started off like any other working day, sprinting down the stairs at the very last minute for breakfast before hitting the shower in preparation for a busy day. Having carefully laid out my towel, coconut body butter, razor and shower gel, I stepped in to the shower. I'm not sure if you've ever seen those injuries sustained by footballers where their knee goes in completely the wrong direction, but in a nutshell, I did that in conjunction with the splits. Feel free to wince, it goes one eighth of the way towards the guttural screams which emanated from my hotel room.
It's funny what goes through your mind when you've had a bad shock. I was naked, wet and in a crumpled heap at the bottom of a shower cubicle and I knew that my right leg was badly injured and wouldn't take my weight. So I crawled, out of the bathroom and pulled myself up on to the bed where I dried off and got some clothes on. What next ? "Well", I reasoned, "I'm going to be in feckin' A & E all day so I might as well have a ciggy". Yes, that's right, with a leg which was starting to resemble that of an elephant and turning fantastic colours, I hopped over to the other side of the room and hung out the window. By now the shock was beginning to wear off and pain was setting in so I called for help, and David (one of my lovely guys from Belfast), came to my rescue. He picked me up and brought me to A & E and waited with me all day while they did tests, x-rays, and that loud hissing noise through the teeth, usually reserved for mechanics about to hand you a monster bill. End tally = ankle broken in two places, dislocated knee and assorted torn tendons. Full house.
Aside from the fact that I was now facing six weeks off work with no income and probably lots of pain, I was also wondering how the hell I was going to get to Glastonbury. Y'see, I'd been asked if I could go quite some time previously, so what followed was a very animated "discussion" with the hospital consultant. Really, I could have saved us both a lot of time by introducing him to anyone who knows me well, I was going and that was final. Go I did, and it was fantastic, until my motability scooter got bogged down in the mud and I had to be towed out by four burly security men. (In fairness, I've been ably assisted by security men towards the exit in the past, but this wasn't my fault and was particularly mortifying.)
A product of 1950's Catholic Ireland, my Dad doesn't do "I love you". He did say it once but that was after sustained familial pressure when I was emigrating to the US. (I was back ten days later, but that's a story for a whole other time.) No, the best you get from Dad is as follows -
"I'll give you one thing. Life knocks you back but by God, you get up. Every. Fecking. Time."
P.S : I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me when I've been unable to work, including Jewel of Edinburgh, Lucy Smith of Ugly Mugs, David (as mentioned above) and the very many others. It means more to me than you'll ever know. Three more weeks and I'm back on my feet.