Friday, 21 December 2012

Circus Boy 11 - In Which I Text Him

So still in a happy little bubble, that Saturday I went off for a pub lunch with the girls and their kids. And my ex-husband and his family (including my son). We all get on well.

So well, in fact, that Heather and I were still sitting there drinking when the evening drinkers arrived - including P_ and her family, who hadn't been able to come to lunch because they were geocaching or orienteering or trekking to Alaska or something equally healthy and energetic. They certainly deserved their drinks. I'm not sure I deserved the ones I continued to consume.

I don't actually remember getting home that night. What I do remember is waking up on the sofa in the early hours of the morning, and SHAMEFULLY deciding that since Circus Boy was always going on about how I never text him or call him, now would be the PERFECT time to make him happy by texting him.

Sometimes I look back on the days when we didn't have mobile phones with nostalgia and fondness. This is one of those times. In the 80s, we had to use pagers to make complete drunken arses of ourselves, and that took an amount of dedication that was not usually possible when half-bladdered, half-hungover.

Then I went to bed, waiting for a reply, but, goodness knows how, I fell asleep whilst waiting.

Fast-forward to Sunday morning. I get up in time to listen to The Archers (one mustn't let a hangover get in the way of an Ambridge catch-up), and am suddenly overcome with utter FURY. That BARSTARD hasn't bothered to text back! Now, believe me, I am fully aware of all the reasons why this fury is irrational. I'd doubtless texted after he was in bed. He wouldn't yet be up. I'd not particularly texted anything that needed an urgent reply. But this is all way after the fact, when neither you nor I are in the grip of a frenzied anger.

Better people than me would have let it go anyway, and LUCKY THEM, for they now wouldn't feel wracked with guilt at their behaviour. Not me. I fired off not one, but several utterly arsey texts, about how DARE he say I never text him, because what was the point when he wasn't going to text me back, and he is a complete LOSER anyway, and I don't even LIKE him.

Then my phone rang. It was him. For like one second I was a bit apprehensive, but lucky old me, the fury took over again and I picked up. 'WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?'

The rest of the phone call went pretty much along those lines. Give Circus Boy his due, he was way nicer than I deserved, didn't get angry at me, seemed genuinely puzzled about what was going on (as well he might be!), and was trying to placate me. Even though I told him he was unable to follow through on ANYTHING, right down to not even getting his hair cut when he said he was going to. Even when I told him I wasn't emotionally unavailable, but that he was a gameplayer and I was sick of it. Even when I told him I never, EVER wanted to see his sorry face again. EVER. And then he came out with the most mortifying line perhaps ever spoken to me.

'I think maybe you were right. Maybe I shouldn't have slept with you the other night. You seem to have.... changed.'

Wind. Out. Of. Sails.

'Sorry,' I said, in a wee small voice. 'I think maybe you are right.' And in my head I could see visions of all those shags that we could have had flying away on little angel wings. 'You must hate me, I have behaved really badly, it's YOU who must never want to see ME again, I've gone completely loopy haven't I?'

'Yes. But that's ok. I do really like you, and I do want to see you again... But when you've calmed down a bit maybe....'

Well, yes. So we said goodbye and I slid under my crocheted hangover blanket and waited for the sofa to eat me.

My son got home later on and I told him what had happened. He was horrified. 'It's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!' And it was.

Which makes the aftermath even odder.

An the Monday morning, I woke up feeling a bit odd. When I went to get out of bed, I couldn't feel my left leg properly, it sort of wasn't under my control. Ditto with my arm. I realised this when I tried to touch my face, because as I looked in the mirror, I could see the left side of my face was swollen - but not as swollen as it felt.

I could hardly make it down the stairs - had to go two feet to one step. Opening the living room door really hurt and it was like I was trying to remote control my arm very poorly.

In my head I was terrified I'd had a stroke, but I had to get Son off to school, and I was even considering going in to work - but realised there was no way. I phoned in sick and got a GP appointment, thinking she would just reassure me and then I'd get off to work. But she didn't - she referred me up to the hospital, and even offered an ambulance to take me there! Well, no way - I got a taxi, and two nurses from the Stroke Unit were waiting for me. They examined me and told me I would probably need to be admitted overnight. for various tests and scans. Now, I was scared, but not THAT scared.

'But I CAN'T! I've got a son, and my Dad is dying and my Mum has dementia, and I don't have time for this, there's no-one else to take mum visiting him, and he could die at any time, and I need to be there and...' I was crying by this time, and one of the doctors was watching from the desk. A short time after this he came over.

He said I could choose to stay and have all the tests if I wanted, or - and he wasn't against this at all, because my obs were fine and I wasn't in pain, didn't have a headache or any other signs of brain compression - I could just go. There are some funny things that happen, he said, neurological illnesses that seem to come out of nowhere and act a bit oddly and, like my migraines, can happen at times of stress - and it sounded as though I was under stress. I nodded, I definitely was under stress, and so I was only too happy to go home. He said to rest and to try not to worry, because he had never in his career heard someone who had had a stroke begging to be allowed to go home, because normally they felt really rough, so he was 99 per cent sure I was fine. But to come back if I got worse at all.

So off I went. In my head, I had translated what he said as meaning I'd had a weird sort of migraine. I didn't actually feel any better, but I didn't feel worse either, so when I got home I just lazed about on the sofa feeling a bit cruddy.

Shortly after Son got back from school, someone knocked at the door. I got off the sofa, all swollen face, cried off make-up and greasy hair in a ponytail (because I hadn't felt like washing it when I thought I'd had a stroke). It was Circus Boy, standing a short way away from the door, with his friend from The Night When I Sided With His Mother.

'I thought I'd come and see if you'd calmed down,' he said, trying and failing to not show how nearly he had yelled out, 'WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE!'

'Is that why you have moral support, ' I said, gesturing to his mate.

'Well, I wasn't sure what mood you'd be in.'

They came inside and stayed for a couple of hours chatting, and Son was VERY excited to see Circus Boy, because he really likes him. And Circus Boy was quite keen to show off his new haircut. To which the only response could be for me to apologise yet again. Because it doesn't matter how much a person says you are forgiven if you can't forgive yourself. Then off they went 'to look for beer'.

Circus Boy was DJing on the next Saturday, and he was wanting me to go and see him - now as it happens, a couple of girls from work were going out with their friends that Saturday in that town, so I said I'd probably go if they were up for meeting there. So when he left on the Monday night, the plan was we would probably meet up on the Saturday.

Five hours after Circus Boy left, my Dad died and all plans were off.

And I know he is young, and I know he meant well, but when he rang about the Saturday and I explained, I wasn't impressed when he said, 'come out anyway, celebrate your Dad's life.' This was only four days after his death, I wasn't finished grieving the loss of him.

Now by all rights this should have completely been the end of it, and it was nearly the last I've heard of Circus Boy, but there is one more incident that has had me laughing whenever I think of it, that perfectly sums up all there is to know about Circus Boy, all in one simple telephone conversation.

But it deserves a post all of its own... ;-)

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