A Reflection on my 21st Year
I know probably reading this blog it seems like I’m kind of an idiot with an odd obsession for human feces.
The thing is, I like to write how I talk. I’m a very self conscious writer, absolutely terrified of sounding like a wanker.
Which is kind of funny considering I, like most 21yr old hipsters from Melbourne, look at almost all times like a complete and utter wanker. Sitting in a lane way, sipping a latte talking without a hint of irony about how pretentious Nietzche becomes in his later work.
But I digress.
So I like to write how I talk which is in a kind of silly, jokey, very sarcastic and self effacing way. It’s also a very guarded way of doing things. I don’t want to get all “13 year old livejournal” on your arse but it is.
Truthfully, my 21st year was a difficult year for me.
My Dad became very sick quite suddenly. My friend died even more suddenly, and far too soon. People who probably should have been there for me kind of let me down.
I realized how everyone has a “worst thing” that happened to them. It may be the death of a best friend, or it may be a bad break up.And it may seem trivial to the world’s tragedies, or compared to the worst thing that ever happened to you.
But to them that’s their worst thing. That’s the worst thing that ever happened in their entire life so far. They don’t have the context of other more horrible experiences, they just have that.So we need to be kind to everyone we meet, because they’re all carrying that little bit of pain.
I guess this year I experienced some of my own worst things.
I quickly realized how we like our tragedies confined to the neat columns of the newspapers we read.We distance ourselves from them with myth-making and capital letters.
The big C
– Cancer. The big A- Aids. Depression. Death. “And did you read about that millionare from Toorak? Horrible isn’t it. My daughter used to play on the same netball team as his niece. Then again if you live your life like that what do you expect?”
Scenes of industrious self delusion in which we convince ourselves that these things are for other people, that they don’t happen to us. And then they do, as they always do. These things happen to everyone.
And that’s when you realize how fragile we all are.
The rising panic, surging through your body. Cold and foreign and filling your mind with the thought, the same one, over and over that “Actually, I don’t think I can do this.”
Sickness- “from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady,” wrote Christopher Hitchens.
A phone call, late at night from Dad. He’s in hospital and he’s upset. Something happened. Mum missed his call or wasn’t where she was supposed to be, the man in his room is too loud or the nurse gave him the wrong medication. Different problem, same cause; the loss of control that comes with being sick. Unable to get yourself out of bed, to go to the bathroom, to eat what you want to, to eat when you want to, to walk down the street, to leave. To sleep.
The night yawns before both of us in all it’s terrifying glory. The seeming unending drone of boredom and the tedious, heavy drum of thoughts that only visit at 4am, when you are awake but your rational mind has long since slipped off to sleep.
The terrifying thoughts that flit through your mind, which upon waking usually dissolve but in his case, won’t.
Suddenly all those times you walked past the donation box surge to mind, was this Karma- bitch?
You’ve had a stroke.
You’ve contracted Golden Staph.
We found a tumor.
When you leave hospital, you won’t be able to walk.
And then, all of a sudden, you can do this. Because it’s nothing compared to what he does. Because you have to. Because you want to. Because, actually, you can.