wings and things

Mixed emotions

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When I was 12 and struggling with my all-over-the-place thoughts and feelings, and worried that I was abnormal, my mother wisely reassured me that I was simply suffering from mixed emotions and that this was normal for 12-year-olds.

At the time, I found it immensely comforting that there was a name for my ‘problem’ – mixed emotions.

Now, all these years later, it is happening again – that simultaneous sad/happy thing but of course it doesn’t sound very convincing when you decline an invitation to lunch, for instance, by saying, “I can’t today because I am sick with mixed emotions.” A migraine is a much better excuse.

Yesterday afternoon, Anthony was taxied home and the handful of friends I’d invited (he doesn’t cope well with more than a handful) all arrived with food and drinks, and I was filled with happiness. It was a delightful afternoon and resembled the hundreds of delightful afternoons when Ants was well. I used to be amazed at how Ants would never sit down, would constantly replenish half empty glasses, would shout with laughter at his own anecdotes, turn the music up and dance, bear hug me, wink at me, grin at me. The good old days.

Of course now that Ants can’t stand up easily, or wink, or grin, or shout with laughter, or dance, or hug, or even follow an anecdote, let alone tell one, it’s different. Don’t get me wrong – it was still wonderful, but when the taxi arrived to take him back, the sad kind of stole my smile, and our little crowd went from noisy to quiet.

After Ants had gone, the frivolity resumed, but at a lower key for me and, later in the evening, when everyone had gone, I felt such a surge of grief and nostalgia that I had to remind myself to breathe.

Mixed emotions.

(But at least I didn’t injure the taxi driver this time, even though he mistook me for Anthony’s daughter!)


Just for the record

Yesterday I wrote about accidentally slamming the taxi door on the taxi driver’s foot. Today I find myself rather anxious about this foot and every time the phone rings I am scared it might be the taxi company suing me for assault, or the police arresting me for battery.

So, just in case either of those two things happen, I thought I would record here exactly what occurred during the foot-slamming incident. After all, detailed documentation might be required if the taxi driver’s toes are injured.

I said goodbye to Anthony and the taxi driver over the roar of the wheelchair taxi’s engine, then, as I was standing next to the taxi driver’s door, and he was seated in his driver’s seat (I thought), I politely closed his door.

Now this is when things are a bit of a blur. You see, the door just wouldn’t close. I kept trying (I think it was about three times), before I realized that the taxi driver was trying to tell me something over the noise of the engine. So I gave the stupid door a final shove and that is when I unintentionally slammed the taxi driver’s foot and his words finally soared above the engine noise.

He said, OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, turned the engine off and pointed to his foot which was wedged crookedly half inside and half outside the taxi.

I then poured a fountain of apologies on him and he forgave me and reassured me that taxi drivers always wear protective boots.

So that’s for the record.

What isn’t on the record is that I seem unable to stop laughing!


Slapstick taxi mishaps

I seem to be developing an unintentional talent for slapstick comedy especially when it is a wheel-chair taxi situation.

This afternoon, Anthony came home for a few hours and it was great until he became ‘wobbly’ (that’s our word for when the Parkinson’s disease gets the better of him).

Anyway, the taxi arrived to take Ants back to the nursing lodge and there was a flurry of activity as Ming and I got him into the wheelchair, and the taxi driver and an apprentice got him into the taxi, and I tried to find my elusive wallet.

Once all of that was okay, and I’d said goodby to Ants, I thanked the driver, shook his hand and closed his door so he could drive off.

He was such a kind person so I thought he was yelling at me (over the sound of the taxi engine) that I was such a kind person too, but he just kept yelling.

I had slammed the door on his foot!


If you don’t know what to say, just shut up!

I’ve been trying to find a word that means the same thing as ‘stating the obvious’ but, apart from ‘duh’, there doesn’t seem to be one in the English language. ‘Redundant’ doesn’t quite cut it, √≠nanity’ only just comes close, so ‘duh’ it is.

A close relative of Anthony’s, who only visits him sporadically, and has baulked at my suggestion of getting him wheel-chair taxied to their place, sent me an email the other day. In the email it was stated that they had visited Anthony but didn’t have time at the moment to arrange for a taxi visit. The irony and inanity of the email’s concluding sentence astounded me:

We notice that he is very lonely.