Now that I’m 51, I do sometimes reflect on my life so far. I’ve had good times, bad times, enjoyed excellent jobs and success in diverse careers, been homeless and lived on the streets, and managed by sheer force of will and intellect to extricate myself from that. I’ve won more than I’ve lost, and lost count of the amount of times that I’ve been around the block.
And here I am! And if I’m honest, I live very modestly, but have never been so settled, comfortable and happy in my entire life.
Why? Here’s why:
• Walking around, kicking up Doritos-coloured leaves everywhere I go, just as I did as a child.
• Drifting off to sleep to the susurration of the night wind in the leaves of the sycamore and lime trees outside my bedroom window.
• Then waking in the early morning to see the majestic brilliance of the constellation of Orion in a squid-ink sky.
• The simple pleasure gained from people thanking me for the meals that I cook for them. And the Christmas pickling that I’m doing for them.
• And from the books that I read, the beautiful music I listen to, and the lovely art on the walls of my home.
• Having good friends to be with me and understand me when I’m a grumpy bastard.
• The soft touch of Trevor the cats’ front paws as he holds my hand when I stroke his belly before bedtime. And then the cold wetness of his nose as he Eskimo kisses me to say thanks.
• Being able to get to the toilet fast enough to vomit copiously without making too much of a mess as the result of chemotherapy treatment. The whole affair really sucks the big one but screw it. I’ve never been the type to lie down with all four legs up in the air and I never will be.
• Coping well with having a life-threatening illness. With shitty side-effects. And carrying on doing all of the above.
• And laughing! We live in a world filled with absurdities crying out to be wondered at, marvelled at so why not LAUGH?
• Here’s a pic of Trevor after an Elvis binge:
– What’s not to like? He pissed in my trainers after so laugh (although I wasn’t best pleased at the time…). LAUGH!
• Most of all – I’m still alive, and intend to be a contrary S.O.B.; around for many, many years to come…
– I am so truly, lucky!
And I’ll see you around, sometime. Mine’s a pint of Stowford Press or a large Tanqueray gin & tonic with a slice of lime – cheers.