Let’s do it!

Let's do it!

There’s a glimmer of light at the end of this particular tunnel.

Or, possibly, it’s a slight crack in the paradise of life, showing the fiery core of the earth – hell.

I feel uncomfortable and, yet, still interested enough to go along with it. This is someone who may not have the preconceptions of others. And I don’t have a history with them so I, too, should have no preconceptions. And, still, I am wary.

But I should probably do it. After all, it’s not like I’m going to the gallows.

And I wonder what is going through his head. For I am someone that he doesn’t know. Someone who may have been spoken of occasionally – if ever. I am the mystery.

And what will he find? How will I be. I mean, will I be able to be “normal” given who he is?

I don’t know. I guess there’s only one way to find out …..

Let’s do it!

A dream. It could change everything.

A dream It could change everything

The other night, within the first hour or so, I had a nightmare.

I think it’s related to “the letter” that I have written and that I may/may not send.

I was in some sort of meeting and suddenly realised that my mother and my two brothers were also there. I realised they were there when my mother spoke and said something about an event in my life (seemingly unconnected with them) that went wrong and how they were happy that they had made it go wrong (I’m afraid I don’t remember the exact details or even if the “event” had actually happened – you know what dreams are like) – and, at that point, I realised that what I had thought all along was true – they are a mean, vindictive group of people. And I said that I was glad that I hadn’t sent the letter.

And, when I woke up, I wondered if it was a sign that I shouldn’t even bother to send the letter?

So, now I’m hanging on, really in two minds about whether I should send it or not.

Let sleeping dogs lie ……. or not?

Let sleeping dogs lie?

So, here’s the thing.

Perhaps I was wrong. I have posted about this before but it’s kinda niggling now. It’s niggling and time is running out. Of course, it’s not essential that I know. I mean, nothing will really change either way. But, you know ……..

Worse still, what if this niggling gets worse and then I find it’s too late to find out?

I’ve checked for obituaries and death notices and I can only assume she’s still alive. TBH, I expect her to still be alive. After all, her parents lived into their 80s, so she should too.

But, she is at least 79 now, possibly 80 this year (maybe older but I have a fuzzy memory of being at school and writing about her age – I was around 5 and, when she found out, I was admonished for giving away her age, ‘cos you don’t do that for ladies) – I was 5 and she was 26 which means (and I’m fairly certain about this) that she was 21 when I was born. People had babies much younger then, of course. And got married much younger too.

So, there you have it. She is the only person left alive who can verify (or not) this particular “truth”. If she should choose to. And if she doesn’t lie about it.

But, to get this “truth”, I must make contact. And, I have several problems with that.

Let’s take the simple things first. How do I start the letter? Dear who? Of course, I could just go straight into it – but that might be too cold or, for her, too odd. And then there’s her husband. I have to mention him. “Your husband” or “John” or something else? Certainly not Dad or Father.

If the thing is true, maybe she wouldn’t show it to the others. But, then again, maybe she would. And I don’t really want that. Not that it really matters but, still, I would prefer not.

Then, there is the thing that it somehow encourages some hope (in her) and I don’t want that either. Also she might be ill or at the end of her life and, although I have no specific feeling for her, I don’t want to cause unnecessary pain or suffering nor any false hopes.

Of course, if what I had believed for all these years (until recently) remains true, then the contact wouldn’t bring that. But then she most likely wouldn’t reply. And then that would be an admission on her part?

Or, if the new belief is true instead, maybe she would be heart-broken that he really was such a bastard and that he set out to permanently and irrevocably stop any contact. And, for her, that would be too much to bear and so she wouldn’t reply. So either way I would never know.

I could phone instead of a letter. But then, if it’s true/not true, hearing it would be too much …. for both of us??

On the one hand, I want to know. On the other hand, as the saying goes, for a very good reason, let sleeping dogs lie

** p.s. As I had written this post I thought I had better look up obituary or death notices, just in case. I found that she is probably around 82 so I was a few years out.

Getting closer every day

Getting closer every day

Death happens to us all, sooner or later.

Before the Internet, it was more difficult. Information wasn’t easy to come by.

But, when I was around 15 or 16 (or even 17), I knew how to kill myself. Sleeping tablets. I knew you had to take a lot of them.

I must have been living at home, which is why I put the ages above. I went to the doctor, without telling anyone, and explained that I couldn’t sleep and could he give me something to help me sleep. I thought it was so simple. I was naive. I was a kid who knew nothing.

However, instead of giving me something, he wrote referring me to a psychiatrist. I honestly don’t know if he wrote to me or to my parents. In fact, this story of my life has been so deeply buried that it was only today that I remember it at all – and then only the pertinent things.

In any event, my parents opened the letter. They were some kind of (fundamentalist?) christians. They didn’t believe in doctors or illnesses or anything like that. And so, the idea of me going to see a psychiatrist horrified them. My father “suggested” that I didn’t need to see a psychiatrist at all and, after being very embarrassed by the fact that they found out (not thinking instead about how they came to know), I didn’t attend the appointment booked for me.

And, of course, my idea of suicide was equally scuppered.

So, maybe it was a good thing? Or maybe I should have gone to the appointment and got rid of some of the dreadful baggage that I carried around (both then and now).

But on a different but same note, this summer some things happened and I have cancer.

Well, as I’m not actually a doctor, I don’t actually know it is but suspect it is. I’ve talked about my tendency to hypochondria before now, so, you know, things happen and I think the worst but you “ignore them” and they “go away”. In this case, some things happened together at the start of the holiday (so I could hardly ruin my holiday, could I, by going to a doctor?) and some of those things are still happening.

Of course, I do understand that these things may still be happening because I believe my diagnosis. But, you know……

So, today, I’ve made an appointment to see the doctor and this will mean tests and stuff to determine if my diagnosis is correct. I’ve already been playing out all the possible consequences of these tests in my head and in my imagination – from it’s nothing, to a simple infection to a full-blown, nothing-you-can-do, terminal cancer.

And I’m both scared and not scared. “Not scared” being more “resigned” to it.

And then today I learn that a friend (or, rather, a friend’s wife) has some sort of mass on her brain. And now, at this time of my life, of course, these types of things will happen more often.

When I was a kid, death was so far away as to be something you had to actually force.

Now, death is a reality.

And it gets closer every day.

Can I find the keys to the vaults?

And, to add to my previous post.

My memory is terrible and everyone who knows me knows this to be true.

Except, that’s not really the whole story.

My memory is very selective. It seems that I am able to blot out parts of my life to the point where I remember almost nothing. But it’s a choice, albeit an automatic “choice” in that, I don’t consciously say “OK, I will forget that part of my life” but rather that parts of my life just, simply, disappear.

The student I mentioned in the last post seemed to think it was my way of dealing with difficult or hurtful things.

This can be very convenient. It can also make things difficult.

Convenience comes with not having to remember details that may upset me or things that were difficult. Also with the fact that certain things can be revisited as if for the first time and re-enjoyed without any previous “knowledge”.

The difficulties come with things like the coming weekend. My previous best friend died a few weeks ago. We (V & I) had been on holiday with him and his family many, many times; we spent Christmasses and Easters with them and other weekends too. We just got on so well. On Thursday, I shall go to the funeral. And people will talk about things from the past.

Except, I remember almost nothing of all those years (it was, maybe, 15 years or so) and I remember almost nothing of our times together, except a few, very tiny and insignificant things.

So, I’m quite nervous about this. I will have to have my “Oh, yes, I remember it well” face on. For about 3 days. This could be more than a little difficult.

Sometimes, when people remind me of something, I will be able to retrieve it from my memory bank, from the securely-locked vault. Other times, it’s locked in a different vault and the key seems to be missing. And, no amount of prompting by others enables me to find the key. The memory remains elusive.

And, I have learnt that people will try to help you remember and that they don’t really like it if you can’t remember.

On the other hand, some things I DO remember and, because those who know me and know how terrible my memory can be, assume they have better memories than I do and will be convinced that their memory is the “correct” one, even if it isn’t.

An example of which was the argument I had with my sister one time. Talking about my Grandfather, I said that he was in his 80s and she was convinced he was in his 70s and assumed (and told me) that my memory was always bad and so I was definitely wrong. I knew I wasn’t but I couldn’t convince anyone.

Some years later I found the “order of service” of his funeral which proved he WAS in his 80s. Unfortunately, by then, my sister and I had become “estranged” again and so I was never able to say “I told you so”!

Anyway, let’s hope vaults are opened this weekend so I don’t have to hide my lack of memories too much.

Like a ghost

So, she got me thinking.

Was it true? Did we have such a relationship that HAS affected everything else?

And then came the most disturbing thing.

I realised that, in all the memories, although she was obviously there, she had no physical presence. I mean to say, she was there – she was making or had made food; she put that blue stuff on my wasp stings; she cried in the car as they took me to university. And yet …..

When I tried to picture her or feel her touch, she was like a ghost – not real, ethereal. I couldn’t see a face. Or hands. She was always just out of vision. Just out of reach. She could have been touching me but I couldn’t feel it.

And that was strange. I could see him. He existed in both sight and feel.

But she’s not there, exactly.

So, I keep thinking, is this all part of it? Have I locked it down so well that she is being erased/has been erased by my own mind?

I was teaching something about women in business. There was a thing called “imposter syndrome”. It was said to cause the person to attribute their “success” to other factors such as luck, good timing, etc. rather than to themselves. They felt that they were always on the verge of “being found out”.

So, we were chatting about it and I explained that this was how I felt about the business I had. When people would say I was successful, I would respond with things like, “It’s not me, it’s the people that work here” or “It’s only because I happened to be in the right place at the right time”, etc.

I had forgotten that she has trained as a psychologist.

She said that this was caused by the relationship between me and my mother, up to 5 years of age. She suggested that it was because I had felt disturbed in some way when she wasn’t with me. So, that led me to thinking about the situations with and without her.

And that led me to the realisation that, in my thoughts and memories, she didn’t exist. Not really.

So, come our next lesson, I have to ask about this. To me, of course, this is normal but I’m not sure if it’s really normal or not.

A visit

A Visit

Ay (my “niece”) and E, her boyfriend have been over for the weekend. Well, long weekend.

They came Thursday night and are leaving this morning.

To be honest, we haven’t seen that much of them. Ay (and, maybe E) like shopping, so they are out every day. Saturday night they got tickets for the football (AC Milan v somebody other team that’s not at all famous). Sunday night we cooked for them at home.

I say, “we” meaning F. He did pasta with his ragù (which is particularly nice) and the saltimbocca (using chicken fillets instead of veal) and some mixed vegetable thing. It was all really lovely and he went to lots of trouble. I mean, she isn’t my “real” relation, being V’s niece really, but they are a sweet couple and he thinks so too. He wanted to make them real Italian food, bless him.

i know he liked them because he invited them down to Carrara (when the house is finished) which he only does if he likes someone.

But it was really lovely to see them. I miss Ay (and all V’s family, to be honest) although I don’t miss the “drama” of their family life. But, in the peace and quiet of Milan, talking to them and spending some time with them, it has been really, really lovely.

So, I will miss them but I think they had a lovely time and I hope that means they’ll be over again.

I think so.

One slightly strange thing – as I never told E what he should call me, he addresses me as Uncle Andy. I’ve always felt quite strange about Ay calling me Uncle Andy but I like it – it just gives me a strange feeling. But E calling me Uncle Andy seems even weirder. However, I don’t want to correct him as it seems far to late to do that.

Shit happens

Shit Happens

He’s been back just over a week but it seems like F O R E V E R!

I’m not really complaining, of course, but it seems I’ve rarely have a good night’s sleep since he’s been back. Such is life.

Last night wasn’t too bad except that I woke up some time around 3 a.m. and, amongst the many thoughts that crowd my brain and keep me awake, was this blog. Can you believe that?

It started off by me thinking about my brother. We haven’t “been in touch” for about a year. He stopped emailing since I explained that F’s dad was dying and that everything was a bit “up in the air” and then, even though I’ve sent an email (or two), – nothing.

I’m not particularly bothered by it one way or another but I do wonder why. And this led to the blog.

After all the trouble I went to to move it, for some reason which I don’t really understand, I’ve let it slip a bit. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say, it’s more like I don’t want to write it all down, which is strange for me. As I’ve explained before, I tend to use it as some kind of therapy and yet, right now, it doesn’t seem to work as well as it did before. Or something.

I still have the same doubts and fears about the most stupid of things but I either don’t want to write about it or can’t be bothered.

And, without regular posts, of course, blogs become a bit defunct.

And then there’s the blogs that I have listed that have suddenly become “private”. I have emailed the guy for one of them, Man of Roma, and he said he’d email me after the summer but then he didn’t. And, if you can’t see the blog, you can’t see what’s going on. Or, maybe he’s not posting? In any event, you can’t tell if there’s anything happening in his life (not that it was really about his life, as such.)

So, here I am, after the middle-of-the-night thoughts, posting something to explain why I’m not posting much. If you see what I mean.

I do have some shit going on, of course, as usual but nothing I can write about since I do need to try and sort it in my head and find a “way round” the problem (which is all to do with the effiing bureaucracy here) but let’s see what I can do first.

And, then there’s other stuff. But it’s not like any of it is exactly life-threatening, so it will keep. And it’s not like my life is terrible, as opposed to friends who are ill or dying or struggling with life in general.

And, anyway, shit just happens, right?

Mice, men and plans.

Mice, men and plans.

“Maybe we can leave early?”

I have work, so it can’t be really early. But, as in less than two weeks, I shall be staying at work a little later (rather than go home before picking up Best Mate), I could leave half an hour earlier.

So, in order to be at home as quickly as possible today (Friday), last night, I went to buy cigarettes rather than, as I usually do, on Friday. And I bought that long-life milk to take down with me. That would mean that the only thing I would have to do on Friday night, on my way home, was fill up with petrol.

But, the best laid plans ….. etc., etc.

Of course, it was first mentioned, a few days ago.

“They can’t deliver the new furniture until Saturday.”

This is for the shop. Since he’s responsible for the layout, it’s important that he’s there. It was due to come this week, during the week but for some reason, can’t be done until Saturday. I ask if he has to stay and he says “no” but I’m not convinced. His boss has also told him he doesn’t have to be there. But I know he’ll feel responsible.

So last night, I met him and some of his colleagues for a drink. He tells me two things. 1. His brother (and girlfriend) will be staying at the house from next week (his girlfriend’s house got flooded and is being “worked on”) and, 2. he has to stay in Milan for Saturday.

Whereas I’m not really surprised, I’m disappointed (and very disappointed for him) on two fronts. First that his brother will “mess up” the tidy, super-clean house that he spent about a week doing, ready for our holiday and secondly that he can’t come down this weekend.

He’s quite angry and frustrated. With his brother and with the furniture thing.

I shall still go down tonight but it’s not really so important to leave early. My heart’s not in it. Without him it’s really not the same. But I’m going down because it will be so hot over the weekend and going down is so much better for the dogs, poor things. But, I think this year, we’ve actually travelled together only once. And, even if he annoys the hell out of me (switching off the air conditioning from time to time and not wanting me to smoke when I want and lots of “be careful”s or sharp intake of breaths because he thinks I’m not driving slow enough, etc.) I much prefer that he’s with me. In fact, I much prefer that he’s with me most of the time and this year he hasn’t been.

And, then, maybe, the weekend after, his brother will still be there so probably we won’t go down, which is a shame, mostly for him.

But let’s see. He wants to buy out his brother from the house. If his brother won’t give up his half, he says he will push to sell the house and then buy one of his own.

He’s angry and frustrated, I’m just disappointed. My plans were for nothing.

Lies, damned lies or much, much worse.

Another of those draft posts written but never published. This from July 2014. Maybe now the blog is more “secret” I feel better about posting it?

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Of course, you never really know anyone, do you?

You have to trust. Or not.

And, then, there’s what someone tells you. Is it always true? If not, is it because they’re trying not to hurt your feelings – a “white” lie. Or, sometimes, is it more sinister than that.

There’ve been cases recently, in the newspapers, for example the girl who accused her boyfriend of rape and later admitted she had made it up just for attention.

Sometimes, it’s for attention. Sometimes, it’s because someone lives in their created world.

I employed a salesman who was like that, once. Later, when we learnt that everything had been a complete fabrication, everything started to fit into place. Unfortunately, by then, he had married one of our other employees and she ended up being taken for a ride too. But she was a strong lady and now lives happily (I think) with their rather delightful son. He, on the other hand, continues on separately from them.

Sometimes, I think it’s malicious. And those are the worst kind of people. They do it for spite, for jealousy, or just to be evil.

So, if, years later, you find out that something you had been told had been a fabrication but, as a result of that something, it had taken you down a road that affected, not only you but others as well, what should you do? How can that purposeful, vicious lie be undone?

Of course, first things first – maybe it wasn’t a lie? Maybe the lies are being told now? How the hell do you find out? Should you find out?

Or, perhaps, in any event, it’s better to leave things as they are? After all, many years have passed, many rivers crossed, many mountains climbed. And what possible good would it do to try and repair something broken by the vindictiveness of someone who’s now dead? What purpose would it serve?