Marble Hill was a long time ago. Being sick was some time ago. Buster Keaton Mania continues.
My body hasn’t really recovered from my being sick. I went through a dark patch mentally too.
It seems quite a distant thing, all I remember is not sleeping in the evening, and watching hours and hours of Buster Keaton on a tiny screen. I gave in totally to my ability to obsess, and lived away from reality. I know I was stressed, but I can’t remember what caused the anxiety exactly. It may have been a pile up of things. Post viral depression, multiple boils and cysts on my face, sore joints, worry about my Brother and his Divorce, worry about my Dad looking haggard. Trying to organise things for the rooms being renovated. Post birthday blues. My friend Tara moving away. I keep having anxiety attacks about my teeth. My hair is falling out and my skin getting worse. So I escaped. I felt physically and mentally weird, didn’t get dressed or go out or anything. No eating, just Keaton.
Christ on a Bike. I’m exhausted. And I don’t want to eat. And I can barely move. My spine is so stiff and sore I make whimpering noises when I move. I can’t sit with my legs closed as my hips won’t do it. My neck and left shoulder hurt constantly and a pain appears where the neck meets my spine. There’s a strange plateau lump in the middle of my back which I think is a knot, or scoliosis and a knot. Fuck knows. I mean, this is all I can recall at the moment. I know my right leg randomly begins to hurt, my knees hurt as I try to sleep. My right, non-conformist eye is sore all the time and spends it life trying to climb to my ears, and I really need new glasses. I’m just a mess.
At my Dad’s insistence (he was worried about the mammoth sleeping and lack of eating) I went to see my GP. Again a new youngling, this time with an even younger trainee with him. It’s fun to talk bum stuff with younglings. ‘I can’t poo without digital intervention’. Oh. How long has this being going on. ‘Ten years’. Oh. Right, referral to colorectal unit. ‘Also my hair is falling out’, Oh, how long has this been going on? ‘Since March, well at least March’. Ok, blood tests, PCOS scan. ‘Oh, and I’m in lots of pain in my back. I’ve had physio before and I’ve continued doing it, and it’s great. Can I be referred again for that?’. Oh, no, you’ll have to come back for another appointment for that. DAMN. That was what I was really after. I really wanted physio – it would make the most difference. ‘Oh, and did you get the letter from the Maudsley about my Asperger’s Diagnosis?’, When? ‘July/August’ (scrolls on screen). No. You can hand a copy into reception. So, I have to go back for my back, and they’ve not got a really important letter about a really important thing (well, I think it’s important, it felt important. It feels important). I would expect a different reaction from a doctor on telling them something like that. Not the ‘Oh, you can hand in that leg that just dropped off to reception’ blase attitude.
So, my Dad is happy that *something* medical is happening with me. But he doesn’t really know what’s up. My eating doesn’t worry me. My lack of. I know I’m eating enough. I don’t believe that what I’m eating is good or I’m doing things right. I won’t die. I do get dizzy etc. and now after I do eat, I want to sleep almost immediately, like I used to. But I can’t explain it to anyone. It’s just unhappiness. It will pass as it’s always passed. It won’t make any difference. But I can’t force it to go like I have before, or should I say, as life forced it to pass before. Nothing bright and sunny is going to jump up and blow the clouds away, and bring my appetite back. That’s what used to happen. Some jolly brightness would appear and **boooom** I’d be hungry.
Something I realised about Buster Keaton
Ok, a brief thing. Silent movies make you concentrate on the pictures- the moving image. So all you have to do is look and process. Words, language, complicate things by making your brain do more than one thing. Keaton was a brilliant actor – body and face. He didn’t need words. And in those films I’ve seen with him and audible words, they didn’t need him*. I realised that my liking for Keaton was in part due to the lack of complicating words and language. You see, I’ve always had a problem with understanding words. If you say something to me that can have multiple meanings, I will leave confused with all the meanings floating around in my head. My brain will have stopped at that point in the conversation – I will not have been able to go on taking in your words because my brain will not know how to proceed, so vast are the possibilities. An example: a teacher I very much wanted to impress in school once told me that I ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’. To this day, 20 years later I don’t know if he meant: you can’t see the clump or gathering of trees known as a wood, for seeing trees. You can’t see the substance wood, that furniture is made up of, because you can only see trees (because trees are made of wood). 20 years I’ve wondered this. I still do. Now, I’m a trained viewer – I have a degree in looking. So films are like 1000 flavours of ice cream to me. But, I find that talkies (unless in a foreign language) are not as enjoyable as silents. I wondered why until I watched so much Keaton. Then it dawned on me. The talkies make my brain have to do 2 things at once – look at and analyse the picture (from costume details to lighting etc) and process the words. Because of this, my brain does both jobs badly and I come out tired and annoyed and not very happy. But a silent film just involves my looking, and allows me to get fully engrossed in just looking. My favourite thing. I only have to do one thing, and totally. Now Keaton is such a good actor that watching one of his films is like being an epicure given free rein with a Michelin guide. He is far from ‘stone faced’ as quoted. His face tells you all you need to know – he just rarely ‘speaks’ or uses his mouth.
*He was made to make some terrible talkies. But he had a good speaking and singing voice.
Oh, and my silly spellings in this (Mentalis etc) are just a habit. The formatting is just to get something written. The gif is from ‘Go West’, where Buster falls in love with a cow. Literally.