My buddy has smashed it again.
- Reblogged from kimileng
This is what a whole load of awesome love looks like.
Two weeks ago, I had surgery. It was a Friday morning at 7am… That lovely time in the morning. The night before, I headed back from work, changed and ran out to travel 40 mins in the opposite end of London to meet two very close friends of mine. One of them, J, a very talented film producer, and M, one of my closest female friends. We were heading to meet A… He had just driven down with his band from the North of England. That’s approximately 4 or 5 hours.
A is special. Very special. The kind of person who touches upon your life and everything turns into vivid colours and you suddenly realise how everything was in monotone before. I met A’s brother before I’d actually met him. In fact, I photographed A’s brother for about 2 years before I even realise A was his brother. When I first met A properly, I was a jabbering over-excited and highly nervous bundle of joy. We took my husky for a walk through the woods and I seemed to be completely unable to stop talking. I was also on intense anti-epilepsy drugs at the time for migraines which weren’t exactly helpful, and I was in a painfully difficult relationship which I desperately wanted and needed to escape from. A and I talked a lot, I cooked some sort of Oriental dish for about 5 people (standard when I’m involved in the kitchen) and we all had a lovely night. We didn’t meet again until a few months later when I’d split up with the boyfriend and was living in a completely different county. I’d sometimes stay in hotels to get to work, and we would hang out when he was around. A’s mind is a beautiful place to venture, it’s deep, very real, playful and incredibly aware. He comes from a background of what has built him into one of the most amazing people I know, and we both spent one evening simply saying nothing but looking to see what communication to be had by speaking with just eyes. Essentially a staring contest. This became ridiculously addictive; we’d spent every encounter/conversation with darting eyes, not holding eye-contact for too long, like most people do when they’re talking with someone. But this time, we couldn’t look away, nor could we actually speak. We had to shut the fuck up and just look. The addiction became more of knowing and safe feeling, we were no longer afraid of looking into each others eyes, instead, we were both inquisitive to what we saw. And it was what we saw which would not stop blowing our little brains. We must have kept this going for at least 2 or 3 hours, and certainly felt like we knew each other a hell of a lot more.
A is one of those rare people I can show practically every part of me. I always get nervous before I see him because I know he can take 3 seconds looking into my eyes and that’s it. I’m done. We share this same yearning to look, and keep looking, even if it were at a stranger, just to see what they would do. It always makes me smile thinking about that.
When I found I had a tumour, A was one of the first people I told. We live 175 miles apart from each other, and as much as I wanted to be able to talk to someone who was right next to me, he was the first person I wanted to confide in. When I returned from work that day, we had a long Skype call which brought me back down to Earth again. He came down to support me numerous times, spending most evenings curled up on the sofa whilst I’m spewing up in the toilet and he’s ordering in pizzas. He’s wrapped me up and seen me embarrassingly ill, to weepy mess, to joyus, to snuggled up safely to sleep. There is no one other than M, on this planet I would have wanted to take care of me after my operation.
The night before the op, we were out late as A had a gig, so much dancing had to be done between M and I. I wanted to dance like a loon, which I almost achieved, but mostly got kicked a lot by a guy dancing next to me. I sang along to A’s songs, caught his eye on stage til he laughed whilst he sang. Danced with M and squeezed her with as much love as I could muster. When A came off stage to give me a cuddle and a kiss, we left at midnight, with a very sleepy J who offered to drive across London to drop us off at my apartment. We blasted Wu-Tang Clan and Brazilian karaoke to keep J awake, and fuelled him with coffee when we got to mine at 1am. Eventually, after a ceremonious goodbye send-off to J for his epic drive home, we all went to sleep.
7am, we walked into the hospital, almost surviving near death due to a crazy taxi driver getting us there in the first place. The waiting room was large, with chairs surrounding the edge, all of us looked pale, sleepless and possibly marginally nervous. Well, I definitely was anyway. M and A did their best to keep my mind occupied, until I was called with a group of women to go in to the ward.
By 9:40am I was ready to go into the operating theatre. I was put to sleep and came-to at a time I can’t even remember. I recall the woman in the bed opposite me crying her eyes out, I felt so sorry for her and wished I could reassure her somehow. I remember continuously being woken up by my doctor and then a lovely nurse who took care of me for 11 hours. Her name is Laura. I was allergic to the anaesthetic which caused me to sleep deeply for longer, but the pain was ridiculous. They’d taken out 3 or 4 tumours. I was only aware there was one. I couldn’t walk, and spent most of it laughing whilst attempting to walk and finding it almost impossible to pee. When the nurse finally got me sitting up in a chair drifting in and out of consciousness, I realised I was the only one left in the ward. She explained she couldn’t let me leave until she was sure I’d be okay. By 6pm (ish) A and M were allowed to come into the ward and see me. A surgeon ran up to them asking if they were the notorious friends who had waited for me for almost 12 hours. The staff were so amazed by their dedication and they were given the label of ‘Responsible Adults’ to take care of me at home. The nurse went through all the pre-lims with them, telling them to monitor meds and certain aspects, no important decision making, no lifting heavy machinery, etc etc.
I couldn’t walk, so A and M held me up together and walked me to the taxi, with A ordering the taxi to drive slowly. When we got home by 7pm ish, I was demanding to eat everything I could possibly fit inside me, and to stay up and watch at least 2 films. I’ve no idea why, but I think my brain was up for this. The pain was insane.
Over the next 4 days, A was by my side. Even on the one night where he went out to see other human beings, he told me how much he didn’t want to leave me alone. I was convinced I’d be fine, he returned late and stayed up with me til 3am with him curled up on my lap. I constantly felt so bad that he was possibly getting cabin fever or sick of seeing my face and dedicating so much of his time. He ended up getting the flu, yet spent an entire day reading a whole book to me. He took out my garbage, he cooked me beautiful meals, we watched so many films together, cried together, laughed together, we even read bedtime stories to M when she was over to help whilst he played the guitar, I would narrate the story. I was so overwhelmed with his compassion that I wanted to give him everything to show my gratitude.
On his last day with me, he walked me to the Dr for my emergency check-up, kissed me goodbye and left. I’d scrawled him a letter and hidden it in his Art of Happiness book, high on pain killers I have no idea what I even said, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of “I want to give you the world.”
One of the most beautiful spoken word pieces I’ve ever heard written by the genius that is Saul Williams:
Please Mr. Nichols come back inside the window
I can’t promise you anything, but I trust that there is far greater reason to live
I know you’ve become disheartened and disillusioned by the current state of affairs
Your stocks are falling, your investments have failed you
The man from whom you took orders has been ordered to jail by his and your subordinates
You question what is this world coming to
What is the profit margin when you’re forced to pander to the marginalized
Where’s the glory you dreamt of as a child..
Dressed as a cowboy, your play gun pointed at real targets
Your mother, holding her tongue as your father consoles her with the words..
"it’s just boy stuff"
You joined his fraternity, you grew into his old suits
You acquired his beliefs, you embodied his dreams and with them his oversights.
How long did you think it would last?
It’s just a matter of time.
The world is far from over.
Your mother outlives your father,
Your sister outlives your brother.
And if you jump from this window today..
She’ll also outlive you.
Look at her, sitting in her midwestern home, tuned into Oprah once again
Today, she learns to meditate on a second-hand couch.
Meanwhile, you stand outside this window
Twelve stories above the ground
One story remaining untold…
You contemplate the setting sun,
Unaware of your disorientation.
Dis-orient: turned away from the east.
The shifting current seems to conspire against you.
Mr. Nichols, you fail to see that you’ve always stood outside of this window, perched on the threshold of oblivion.
Countless man made stories above the truth
For so long you’ve stood facing the setting sun
Mistaking the complimentary unified duality of nature as being right or wrong
Good or evil
God or devil
Mr. Nichols instead of stepping from this ledge into the downfall of your up rise
Why not just turn around
Lessen the intensity of your western glare and face the rising sun
Note the energy swirling from its center
How it illumines us all and only the birds fly first class…
There is your inheritance!
The warmth of a kiss
Invest your tongue into the mouth of mystery
Allow her breath to seep into your lungs and surrender to her touch and guidance
There’s no other way
Your dreams of dominance will only help you forsake yourself
While your family continues its search for understanding
And your daughters outlive your sons…
My gorgeous friend Nick Mulvey and his perfect single ‘Fever To The Form’. I recently went to support him at a gig with Laura Marling. Super proud of him. If you don’t know Nick, get to know!
One of the most bizarre things happened… I’ve had a mad day at work, meetings, constant worry, looking forward to going home… that sort of day. Whilst I’m standing waiting for the tube, I suddenly get a message from an old friend. And I’m talking about someone I’ve not seen since we were teenagers… The first ever boyfriend. The one and only human being in my life who has ever flown on a plane 6,550 miles in the opposite direction to meet my family. We were 16 when that happened, and an awful lot of stuff has happened since then. During that one trip where I was allowed to take someone, it was his first time away from his family, he didn’t speak much, and he also ran me over with a jet ski. Coincidently, he later spent the rest of his life dedicated to traveling around the world teaching winter and water sports, and now knows the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea off by heart. So I’m standing at the platform in my jacket, it’s 6:45pm and his text reads, “I’m on the train. I knew you would say no so I thought I’d take the risk. I’ll be there by 7:30.”
Running as fast as I could move I hightailed it to grab groceries and threw myself in the shower. I sped cleaned the rooms and ran out the door again. Given thad we’d not seen each other in over 10 years, he’d moved country several times and I lived in the city, and by chance we’d kept in touch through the omnipotent presence of Facebook, we also kept each other’s numbers in case the other randomly appeared in our hometown whilst we were both miraculously there by pure chance. And there I was, walking down the road in the dark, completely baffled by what was about to happen. I kept thinking stupid things, such as Is he even going to recognise me? What if he thinks I’ve turned out into a crazy lady? What if we both hate each other? What if he still doesn’t talk much? What the hell are we going to eat for dinner? What if my stupid tumour cripples me and I spend most of it curled up in a ball and he gets bored? Ahhhhhh!! Walking around the corner towards me, as if he’d just stepped out of a Quiksilver advert, car headlights passing by, he grinned at me and we speechlessly embraced each other in the middle of the path, laughing and breathless at the same time. He had grown into a man. And I… I’d grown hair. Last time he had seen me, I had a pixie haircut, I’d never had hair longer than 7 inches when I was a teenager. Now, my hair is practically down to my backside. “You’ve grown into a beautiful woman” I almost choked when he said that.
We spent the whole night catching up over the past 10 years. Neither of us could recall the last time we’d even seen each other. We talked of failed jobs, messing up education, following things we loved, falling in love, falling out of love, falling in love again, falling out of love again, family, health, spirituality, friends who’d now gotten married and had children. “Remember when I used to ride my BMX to your house? “Yeah, you used to ride whilst I walked next to you.” “You mean I never let you ride on the back?” “Nope. You also used to shoot people outside your window with a BB-Gun.” “I shot my brother in the eye with that” “You never danced with me at Prom!” “REALLY?! God I was such a shit boyfriend.” It was insane just seeing him in my apartment, I really couldn’t get my head around it all.
The next day when I returned from work, he cooked a meal — our first meal he’d ever cooked us in all these years as we were evidently too juvenile to know how to cook for each other when we were kids. I found the whole thing hilarious, and annoyingly I was stupidly ill that evening. I was due surgery in a couple of days to remove a tumour and the pain was beyond unreal. He wrapped me up and we talked more about the past. About things that were going on behind closed doors that he had no idea about back then… “Why did you break up with me? Was it because I ran you over with a jet ski, or was it something else?” I unravelled secrets, told him the darkness that had gone on in my life that I’d hidden from him whilst we were hanging out and just kids. How I had no idea how to deal with it at that age. It felt so strange that I’d now gotten this rare opportunity to sit with someone from my past who knows me intimately and talk to them about it. Ask them questions too, and help each other out. It was beyond healing.
The next day I was in way too much pain and lost so much blood I failed at going to work. He took me to the zoo where we met a tiger and I successfully hypnotised a turtle. He kept me wrapped me up in his arms as he booked his flight back to work, and he hugged me goodbye as we witnessed the ending of the most surreal three days I think I’ve ever experienced. When he left, I cried. I’m not sure why. I’m not much of person who feels self-pity, or to wallow, but I think I was just so overwhelmed with what had happened and the suddenness of an old, old friend, coming in to reunite with you and then they’re gone as if it never happened… Not that nothing has changed. Because, inevitably, everything has changed since then.
That’s the beauty of life.
This is beyond cute.