Monday, August 8, 2022

Mrs. Harris / Anger

Last night I rented Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. It’s Disney. It’s romance. It’s treacley. It’s contrived and the usual endless cycle of happy scenes/crisis/repeat until the happy, happy, happy ending. And I loved every minute of it. It’s in Paris, there’s no violence, and best of all—there are a whole lot of Dior dresses. The star of the show is Dior.

I had a dear friend who went blind. He was late-onset blind. I’ve written here before about why that was the most satisfying friendship I ever experienced.

My friend and his partner, Steve, my ex, and I were eating together in a nice restaurant. When the server asked us about drinks, his partner ordered for my friend. And when we were drinking, his partner proposed a main to friend liked. I was seated beside mt friend, his partner was across the table. And so, when the food came, I leaned close to my friend and told him the lay of the land. I described what was on the plate to him and, using the face of a clock as a reference tool, I told him where on the plate each food was.

From then on, I was always beside my friend. I’d read the entire menu for him when we went out. I quietly explained silent scenes in movies.  I loved sitting beside in in a park or on a hill and describing what I saw—the colours, the light, where there was movement, people around us. We became very close. 

I was thinking about him because I saw him go through a massive adjustment. I can remember the emotional phases of his process of adapting. 

I belong to two stuttering support groups. I write about stuttering. I hear my fucking stutter every time I open my mouth. I advocate for stuttering support awareness. But worst of all, every time I do something I have to think about how I’m going to communicate when I get there. Sometimes a written expression of need is required. Always: a pad and pencil. Always: my ‘I am mute’ cards. Sometimes: several pre-written notes. Stuttering has taken over my life and I’m still going through phases of adjustment.

Suddenly my self-imposed boundaries feel like jail bars. I don’t want to go in a plane, to a concert or play, to a movie, anyplace loud. I could go on and on.

I remember one late summer at the PNE with some friends. We’d been on the roller coaster, and I loved it. I thought if I could love the giant wooden whirlwind of a ride, I would love everything. But once on the Ferris Wheel, I started freaking. Each time we went round, I screamed, pleading to the operator to let me out. I wanted it to end!!! That’s how I feel about my stutter. I want to be fluent. And I’m angry that I’m not. And I’m angry that I’ve no ambition and little energy.

My friend had periods of anger. My mantra: the seasons change.

Today, I go to the pacemaker clinic in Nanaimo. It’s a beauty of a day, so it won’t be onerous. I don’t feel like doing any shopping over there, so we’ll just come home afterwards and I’ll do some yard work, watering and reading.

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