Sunrise Over Wavertree
Posted November 15, 2014on:
I could give you the big handover notes, talk you through my medical history and we could get puzzled or outraged as to how I got to November 4th so sick that a slightly later 999 call would have been too late.
I could go with self-accusation: Billy Grahaming up to my bad self-destructive ways; put my 20-year-old self on trial; blame it on the hot knives, the cold flats, the revolutionary delusions and of course the boogie.
I could get all Erin Brocovitch about it and resolve to find the guilty of the medical profession who didn’t foresee this all happening at any point over the last 45 years.
But my concern isn’t ‘How the hell did I get so sick?’ but ‘Who the hell isn’t this sick?’ Because, you know, there were local factors in the case of my body, but the sickness of keeping on slogging away in desperation, in increasing depression, trudging up and down the same bastard roads for an occasional glimpse of a honey pot – yes, exactly like Cormac Mccarthy’s Winnie The Pooh – that’s where to find the class action.
But I’ll narrow it down again because the sun just rose over Wavertree, my first sight of the sky since last Tuesday. I have rich memories of the morning skyline in Gdansk 15 years ago, waking up eye to eye with church spires, and of sky-tall building work over Dhaka, 9 years ago, watching the immense blood orange sun from my hotel window. These trips were two of the great working experiences of my life and those moments, realising that I was here, seeing this, because I made the choice of being a writer, are among the most fulfilling I’ve known. And this moment – I’ve been sat out in a chair by the window; the Ozymandian towers in construction for the new Liverpool Royal Hospital are striping the view of Archbishop Blanch school, Mount Vernon and the stretch from Edge Lane south to Runcorn; I have a coffee and a new Bolano – correlates quite precisely with those euphoric moments abroad. I am here because I’m a writer.
Here because I’m a writer: the life I’ve had to live to fight for the retention of that core truth; the logic I’ve neglected to follow because my sense of who I am and what I should be was bigger; the reward or revenge you get for making that call. Everything that put me in here. Everything it’s given me while I have been here. Everything my life was supposed to be about while my insides were fermenting like squalid moonshine, while I was maintaining the distance of one microsleep on the motorway away from being shovelled into one of the cement mixers outside instead of arriving via the ambulance bay into this world of brilliant humans and caring machines.
Tell me about your plans for the rest of the day.