Real Time Short Stories

Sunrise Over Wavertree

Posted on: November 15, 2014

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.


10 Responses to "Sunrise Over Wavertree"

“blame it on the hot knives, the cold flats, the revolutionary delusions and of course the boogie.” Now that’s a line!

Glad you are alive Dinesh and writing beautiful words like these

Very best wishes to you Dinesh, for a continuing recovery and lots more writing.

I’ve been reading Jenny Diski’s account of life with cancer and its treatment in the London Review of Books, and her first instalment cane across as self-conscious, almost apologetic, aware that ill writers are forever banging on about it. A very good thing it is too, if you and her are anything to go by.

…a good thing that you’re writing about it all, not actually a good thing that you’re ill.

My plans for the rest of the day? Catching up with what’s happened to you now that DaddyPig has let us know.
Feeling a mixture of fright and relief on your behalf right now.
Best wishes Dinesh. Hope to be able to buy you a coffee sometime soon.
Rich C / DsD

Will take you up on that, Rich, and thanks to Tim, Pete and Alison for the wishes and kind words. Still got a long journey back but the ride’s getting smoother so relief for the NHS, cricket and Vic, who you and Tim both met, is the dominant theme.

It’s coming up on eleven years ago now, but the memories of blurrily waking up in a hospital bed – in my case, precisely as the old year turned to the new, courtesy of the noise & reflected lights of the fireworks outside – are much more vivid than of the RTA that put me there.

I had the best part of a month in Stepping Hill, and despite feeling much of the same gratitude towards the staff that you describe, it was the bits and pieces brought in by friends and family that most kept the boredom and stir-craziness at bay.

At the moment, I’m supposed to be working a short shift in Liverpool on Thursday (though it’s suspiciously not yet absolutely confirmed). If you want me to pop in and bring you anything – reading material, music, whatever food treat you may be allowed – just shout.

Here, email or mobile. And that applies even if I have to drop it off rather than come in; just let me know exactly where.

All the best …

Well somehow cataclysm and disaster brings out the best in us – outstanding writing. I’m not sure I quite follow why being a writer brought you to your hospital bed, but no doubt you will enlighten us in future epistles. Get well soon card and all power to your expressive elbow. I moved to New York so I can’t pop in but I’ll be keeping tabs. You’re missed on the other blog – ever thought of a guest guru slot ?

This is a wonderful read even if I am bound to say it. I second every word relating to the care and compassion shown by staff in the ITU to both Din and myself. Amazing human beings all of them.

all bests Din, nice piece – & get well soon buddy

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