My feet are worn down to blunt stumps of bone and gristle, coated in a thin broken film of lumpy skin. My toes break and splinter with every step and my shattered ankles wobble then lock. So that’s me; how are you doing? Oh, great, I’m glad to hear it. Listen, sorry about all that moaning, hope you don’t mind. And don’t worry about my feet. I was exaggerating; they aren’t that bad really. Nothing a last-resort transplant won’t fix anyway. In the meantime I’ll take a leaf out of the Riverdancers book and dunk my legs in a bin full of iced water (with ice). While I’m at it I’ll just pop a plastic bag over my head and tape it shut... just to see what happens.
Erm, anyway. What would you like to talk about today? I tell you what; why don’t you do the talking and I’ll just listen. I really don’t have the spark to think or talk, but I can nod appreciatively at occasional intervals and grunt in agreement as I stare uncomprehending at a picture emitting box in the corner of the living room. As you talk I feel a glob of dribble beginning to slime its way out of my mouth and down the side of my chin. My arms are now flaccid and dead so all I can do is hope you don’t notice my drooling decrepitude.
As an aside I just had a thought, an actual thought. I think it was a memory. It’s my dad; I am young. I am nagging or relentlessly asking for something. I can’t remember what it is. He won’t let me have or do whatever it is. Then he raises my hopes by saying, “I tell you what”. Oh, I think, I’m about to be allowed to have/do whatever it is. “I tell you what... Shut up.” Hopes come crashing down. It will (whatever it is) not be mine. My pain is pathetic. Time after time I expected the phrase I tell you what to precede a treat or reward, and time after time I was disappointed. Why did I always associate the phrase with positives, and why never learn the reality? It can’t be that I am some sort of optimist or one of those horrible people who smiles.
Actual though run out of juice; no more thought left in the tank. End of aside. Back to sitting empty-headed and dreaming about the walls, and watching the fairies and inhaling and exhaling. And inhaling again. And repeat. And rest. Sorry, did you say something? I was listening, I just faded out for a moment. Of course I did; you said something about hairdryers, or hairdressers, or dresses, or stresses, or step classes, or caresses, or canapés, or can I please... something or other. Sorry but I’m having a sit down; you’ll have to do it yourself. Whatever it was. I can’t reach my tea, can you move it closer. Thanks.