Some women say that after childbirth they forget all about the pain and that this is nature’s way of making sure you go on and do it again.. Or that the love you feel for your children makes you forget, or you just do because otherwise you would go mad thinking about it. Perhaps it’s just the way I’m wired, but I never forget anything: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful is all imprinted, scratch me and I’ll sing. It is this way with everything, I have extraordinary powers of recall for the way things were and the particulars thereof.
The exception to this is M.E. I stood in the supermarket today and hit the wall. The wire basket on my arm was becoming too full to carry and I knew I couldn’t go outside to get a trolley because that would mean walking up an incline and I fucking couldn’t. Added to which there was a duvet drying in a launderette machine up another incline and how was I going to get the shopping to the car, deal with the duvet and get myself home? It is like a recurring nightmare where you suddenly realise that you have been here before and actually if you try hard you might be able to wake yourself up. Never mind how the situation was sorted – strategies. But still, after all these years, I am taken by surprise. I get myself into situations that I should know from experience will lead to this. I commit to things I shouldn't. I forget about the wall. Perhaps that is in itself a strategy.
Twenty years in and I am surprised by incapacity. This does perhaps contradict what I said before about having come to terms with things as they are. It's the other side of the coin: the crazy expectation that I will "take up my bed and walk", or a knock on the door will come, a tap on the arm that says, you’ve done your time. And sometimes I wake up, it's a new day and I forget to walk the line.