Going Home

Nintendo, Transformers and movement… this is how I remember my early years. Basketball, camping and movement… this is how I remember my early teens. Marijuana, VH SLE dreams and movement… this is how I remember my late teens. Women, travel and movement… this is how I remember my early twenty’s.

Like most people I can categorise periods of my life. Specific objects, places or people remind me of an era. And each era has a theme song. If had to pick one album though that has played through every era, it would have to be Metallica’s Ride the Lightning.

Hang on 2 secs while I chuck it on.

Anyhow, the next period of my life unfolded a little differently. Hospitals, fighting for survival and no-movement… this is how I remember my late twenty’s.

Nope, life was not turning out at all as I’d planned.

Kids, mortgage and movement… this never manifested into a memory or a reality.

But one day I realised that all these periods made me, me. All these objects, places and people made me, me. Even as I was now laying paralysed in a hospital bed, it was all these idiosyncrasies that kept me going. It was my past that was actually creating my future.

I thought about this a lot, well in hospital I the time to. I was in the midst of a 16 month stay. It felt like a time capsule.

I’d dream of driving, deer shooting, coffee and cigarettes. Marni, and watching the film Marnie.

It was then that it damned on me that my life was encapsulated in one specific little bubble.

This is all I could now think about. In hospital they could do (and where doing) everything imaginable. Treatments were coming and going, Nurses were coming and going. But finally I’d found an achievable goal that my heart desired.

I wanted to visit my family home.

I hadn’t been there in 3 years. My Dad still lived there, alone now as my Mum had passed 12 months earlier. And the funny thing was, before I set this goal, my life seemed to be all about nik-nak’s and experiences, not about bricks and mortar. It was like this physical object was my world – because in reality it was.

This was my childhood, my teens, my stupidity, my safety.

But how could I get there? How could I experience this blast from the past that meant so much? I mean, I was stuck in hospital god-dammit. I could barely leave my bed to make it to the foyer. Visitor’s where a challenge.

BUT BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!!!

So, I was totally going to do this shit. Hospital gowns, bed pans, the recent addition to my body of a wheelchair… meh, all I was focused on was playing Master of Puppets in my bedroom. And with that, my focus on rehabilitation became everything.

I’d envisage shooting hoops in my driveway, doing weights in the garage, drinking beers with the boys in the backroom, even ‘surprise cheffing it’ in the kitchen. These were some of my favourite things to do.

The biggest pull of all came from family though. To see the couch where my Father falls asleep on a daily basis, the spot where my Brother’s muddy workboots lay askew by the front door, and the memories of my Mother floating down the hall. To me this was much more powerful than any action figure or my car that still sat rotting in the garage.

With months now passing, my health slowly improving, my date with destiny had arrived.

My Father drove me out in a hospital commissioned van. The letters A.M.B.U.L.A.N.C.E. splashed from front to back. A relic from another era the van itself.

Hitting what felt like every bump along the way, the road felt like the great escape and I Steve McQueen. The present behind, the past in front of me.

Due to my height I couldn’t see out the windows, but the closer we got, I could almost sense the roads. I knew every turn, I knew every landmark, the memories flooding back of yester-year. I could imagine everything beyond the vinyl roof.

Next we passed friend’s houses, my High School bus stops, the netball courts – none of which I could see, and in a way I didn’t need to because I knew them all so well. That’s where I learnt to skateboard.

The van then slowed. I could hear my Father click the indicator stalk, it was to be that one last right hand turn into memory lane. My heart skipped a beat. I could just make out the curb where my childhood best friend and I used to play Transformers. We’d pulled into my driveway.

‘Welcome home Mark’ Dad said.

My Brother met us there, and he removed my buckles, put me on the hoist and lowered this cumbersome chair, and then wheeled me out in full view of the house.

All I could do was cry.

Nintendo, Transformers and movement… this is how I remember my early years. Basketball, camping and movement… this is how I remember my early teens. Marijuana, VH SLE dreams and movement… this is how I remember my late teens. Women, travel and movement… this is how I remember my early twenty’s.

Like most people I can categorise periods of my life. Specific objects, places or people remind me of an era. And each era has a theme song. If had to pick one album though that has played through every era, it would have to be Metallica’s Ride the Lightning.

Hang on 2 secs while I chuck it on.

Anyhow, the next period of my life unfolded a little differently. Hospitals, fighting for survival and no-movement… this is how I remember my late twenty’s.

Nope, life was not turning out at all as I’d planned.

Kids, mortgage and movement… this never manifested into a memory or a reality.

But one day I realised that all these periods made me, me. All these objects, places and people made me, me. Even as I was now laying paralysed in a hospital bed, it was all these idiosyncrasies that kept me going. It was my past that was actually creating my future.

I thought about this a lot, well in hospital I the time to. I was in the midst of a 16 month stay. It felt like a time capsule.

I’d dream of driving, deer shooting, coffee and cigarettes. Marni, and watching the film Marnie.

It was then that it damned on me that my life was encapsulated in one specific little bubble.

This is all I could now think about. In hospital they could do (and where doing) everything imaginable. Treatments were coming and going, Nurses were coming and going. But finally I’d found an achievable goal that my heart desired.

I wanted to visit my family home.

I hadn’t been there in 3 years. My Dad still lived there, alone now as my Mum had passed 12 months earlier. And the funny thing was, before I set this goal, my life seemed to be all about nik-nak’s and experiences, not about bricks and mortar. It was like this physical object was my world – because in reality it was.

This was my childhood, my teens, my stupidity, my safety.

But how could I get there? How could I experience this blast from the past that meant so much? I mean, I was stuck in hospital god-dammit. I could barely leave my bed to make it to the foyer. Visitor’s where a challenge.

BUT BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!!!

So, I was totally going to do this shit. Hospital gowns, bed pans, the recent addition to my body of a wheelchair… meh, all I was focused on was playing Master of Puppets in my bedroom. And with that, my focus on rehabilitation became everything.

I’d envisage shooting hoops in my driveway, doing weights in the garage, drinking beers with the boys in the backroom, even ‘surprise cheffing it’ in the kitchen. These were some of my favourite things to do.

The biggest pull of all came from family though. To see the couch where my Father falls asleep on a daily basis, the spot where my Brother’s muddy workboots lay askew by the front door, and the memories of my Mother floating down the hall. To me this was much more powerful than any action figure or my car that still sat rotting in the garage.

With months now passing, my health slowly improving, my date with destiny had arrived.

My Father drove me out in a hospital commissioned van. The letters A.M.B.U.L.A.N.C.E. splashed from front to back. A relic from another era the van itself.

Hitting what felt like every bump along the way, the road felt like the great escape and I Steve McQueen. The present behind, the past in front of me.

Due to my height I couldn’t see out the windows, but the closer we got, I could almost sense the roads. I knew every turn, I knew every landmark, the memories flooding back of yester-year. I could imagine everything beyond the vinyl roof.

Next we passed friend’s houses, my High School bus stops, the netball courts – none of which I could see, and in a way I didn’t need to because I knew them all so well. That’s where I learnt to skateboard.

The van then slowed. I could hear my Father click the indicator stalk, it was to be that one last right hand turn into memory lane. My heart skipped a beat. I could just make out the curb where my childhood best friend and I used to play Transformers. We’d pulled into my driveway.

‘Welcome home Mark’ Dad said.

My Brother met us there, and he removed my buckles, put me on the hoist and lowered this cumbersome chair, and then wheeled me out in full view of the house.

All I could do was cry.

 

1 comment on “Going Home

  1. widz1957

    Tweeted xx

    Like

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