RICHARD ASHCROFT (THE VERVE) (2017)
I WILL PREVIVE [A Side Serve Of Stones] diary extract, 10 August 2017
N-N-NINETIES OUTRO series (2017)
“No change, I can change, I can change, I can change. But I’m here in my mould, I am here in my mould. And I’m a million different people from one day to the next. I can’t change my mould. ~ The Verve.
10 August 2016 + 1 year = 10 August 2017. My Surgiversary. I was meant to be doing calculations in a small biz taxation class today but I had to skip them to get my numbers from the hospital instead. The sky said blue, the sun said yellow and the dashboard said 19 degrees. Was I in Narnia? The long, cold, lonely winter was showing clear signs of thawing.
The wait to see Dr. Gallstones was 1 hour and 30 minutes. I was number 31. Every other number popped up on the screen ahead of mine. I knew I was in Australia and not Narnia from the conversations I could hear around me. On a mobile phone next to me: “Darl! Do ya wanna come and clean me pool out? I’ll give ya a coupla packets o’ smokes. You know they cost me 30 bucks each. I’m not paying ya cash. I’ll give ya a good feed, too, mate!” And about the long wait next to me: “FINALLY mate! I was gonna walk!” C’était la comédie and a bloody good distraction.
I knew I’d be seeing Dr. Gallstones for it was written in the stars. He did the most superb job of pretending he didn’t know my MRI results. I mentally gave him a 10/10 for his acting. He opened a few pretend docs on his computer and turned to me with a big grin and a double thumbs up. “Never darken the doors of this hospital again!” he commanded. The rolling stones had rolled on through my body, most probably with that terrible band of pain I had a few weeks ago, and suddenly there it was in front of me: freedom! The tears came as soon as I closed the door to his room. Massive exhaustion, flooding relief and 100 years aged all in that moment.
I started writing this bittersweet symphony about a year for so many reasons. At the beginning of “A Year Not In Provence” I never could have imagined what I would be writing about, how very hard it would be and how much I would learn about myself. With the benefit of hindsight, now that the road looks straight and I have my poetic conclusion, I can say that it’s been the most difficult year of my life. But my lucky man of the N-n-nineties, my imaginary god lookalike, Richard Ashcroft, did not know that coping mechanisms can take you places that look after you. The “drugs” do work y’all and here’s the proof: it’s me finally ON THE OTHER SIDE with a tired but smiley N-n-nineties acid face. If anyone wants to go raving, let me know innit.”