Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Raffle ticket kindness

So, memories are generally attached to emotions, or rather we remember things where we had heightened emotional states and by and large, the mundane slips by unnoticed; which isn't exactly a bad thing. We remember a lot of The Bad Stuff, the mean thing someone said is now a deep-seated complex and some particularly scary time as a child presents itself as a fully-grown phobia.

I say all of this because I'm as guilty as the next man of wanting to on the one hand blame present failings on past bad experience, yet on the other to display my scars as war wounds for which I deserve praise for my valour at sustaining such deep torment. You didn't have it hard like me.

The post I've been wanting to write for some time is the one that says something of the small kindness, the on that slipped by very nearly unnoticed, but you did notice. It stuck with you, maybe because it was was more than you would have thought to have done yourself, and it had a part to play in shaping you as much as all the bad shit.

Enter Catherine. The scene: school cross country, c1996.

This is my first cross country. Having previously been home-educated I didn't get to do team sports like most kids do, although what I only realise now is that at that time I was the fittest I have ever been and will ever be. But this is school sports and nobody likes school sports.

Catherine and I run round together and we are not walking so that's a pretty big effort, without actually taking it seriously. We get to the finish line, a channel of tape to funnel yourself down and be ticked off a list then given a ticket with a number from a raffle ticket book. Catherine pushes me ahead of her at the last second so I come 28th and she comes 29th.

In that tiny moment I became a considerably kinder person.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The hours that I don't sleep

Sleeping and not sleeping; sleepers and not sleepers, or are they non-sleepers? I know people who love sleeping, which seems like a strange thing to like, a semi-conscious state. Do we not mean that we love dozing, the blurry half-way in between where we get to enjoy it most? In this lucid state where we can influence dreams whilst riding on the back of slumber's heat and weight. If you realise you are dreaming, you have to try to fly, surely.

An insomniac remarked that when someone tells of a broken leg, others don't go to great lengths telling tales of how their legs work excellently, and in fact they did a 12 mile walk last week and they both stood up really well. But with sleep problems we all feel happy to gloat about how we are one of the world's sleepers.... any table, any chair... and I think I am now paying the price for smugly inheriting the sleep gene, waving my Zs in other people's faces. Put a coat over my head and I'm out like a light; any jumper for a pillow, any train carriage fold-away tray table.

Not so now the sandman has lost my address and the alphabet frequently stops at Y. Standard tactics? Hey, nobody can control those sheep. Those bloody smarmy hurdling sheep.