Catch ups

Went to dinner at a friends’ restaurant in St Kilda last night.  It was in honour of the fact that I am no  longer jobless, legless, or homeless.  I invited all of the friends who had come to visit me when I was housebound and stuck in a wheelchair. 

It would seem that it had been a year since this group had seen each other, and that was at another catch up dinner held at the same restaurant.  That time had been to celebrate the fact that I had been safely repatriated back across the Tasman, no longer a roving academic working and living in earthquake prone Christchurch.

I’ve recently started working at a public library.  Some people who know me casually have laughed heartily at the idea of me being a librarian.  I’m not exactly what one associates with quiet, hard working, bookish types that are the stereotypical image of librarians.  However, librarians have changed, just as libraries have.  I was telling one of the attendees of last nights dinner how much I was enjoying the job.  When I sign a new member up I slide their new library card across the desk with much reverence and pronounce “Look after this, it’s the key to the universe.”  They usually have a bit of a laugh with me (or at me, I don’t care) and then they hop up and I take them for a tour of the facilities we have on offer.

They are often astonished (just as my friend was) that they are allowed to talk in the library and bring food in with them.  We have a cafeteria in the foyer that is run by Yooralla, an organisation that supports people with disabilities.  In the children’s area we have a PS3 and a Wii for the kids to play on.  We have computers for internet access, a quiet pod for those who need silence while studying and reading and we support community languages including Arabic, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Croatian, Polish and Mandarin. We also have DVDs, Cd’s, audiobooks, and eBooks available for download from the library website.  All for free.  Yeah you read that right, FREE.

So life is pretty busy.  I’m currently editing the first thirteen chapters of my novel and I started a Diploma of Library and Information Studies last week. As it’s only at Diploma level there are a lot of contact hours on campus… Which is possibly the most challenging aspect of the course so far.  That and the book talk I have to give on a children’s or teen book.  Not a book review, a book talk, to encourage children to read the title… Yeah, I think they think I will be able to dumb myself down so I can communicate with children.  The last presentation I gave was at a film historians conference… This is going to be interesting.  Just like being at the library ; )

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My wheelchair, my abuser…

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Soooo… This is a quick one about the writer who is fairly unco at th best of times (except on the dancefloor, go figure). The surgeon says Iʻm healing up okay after his assault with a scalpel. They took the cast off and had a look and were quite satisfied with their handiwork. I looked and thought I was colonising some necrotising fascitis (flesh eating virus). Talk about black death (yersina pestis) just hanging about on the back of my leg. If I could cry I probably would. But I can’t so instead I write about it.
Iʻm lamenting the ta moko (tattoo) that runs down the back of my leg that looks like Wolverine had a go at it. There are two lines of script running Matrix style down the back of my legs.
The left one is a quote from Romeo and Juliet. I had this done on January 8, 2011(Elvis’ birthday), to commemorate my move back to New Zealand to deal with unfinished (family) business and continue my studies.
The right leg is a poem called
Again and Again by a German bloke called Rilke. This was done on September 8, 2011 (just after mine and Keanu’s birthdays) to commemorate surviving the continuous earthquakes in Christchurch where I was living in NZ. This is the leg that was ʻmodified’ by the surgeon’s touch. As far as I can tell only the first four or five words of each line are now illegible…
Again and Again is a beautiful love poem that froze my heart over for a good fifteen to twenty seconds (in a good way) and then jumpstarted it with some dodgy frayed cables the first time I read it. I don’t know much about love at first sight (except with dogs, particularly black labs) but that poem kicked my arse. And it was a great thing and I knew after a few re – reads that I wanted those words on my skin forever. Which I did the following year.
Eventually in a few years time I may think about getting my tattoo artist, Holly, to fix it up in some way. For now I’m just glad I may be able to walk without the help of a frame, crutch or the menacing wheelchair that manages to leave some spectacular bruises, particularly when I get drunk (legless) and decide to wheel myself home from a friends house party…
The filthy bruise marring my dragonfly and sakura (cherry blossom) tattoo showed up Saturday after my escapades the night before. I thought I’d gotten lucky at the party and had some rough (passionate) sex because I was covered in bruises on my non cast covered left leg, aforementioned tattoo marred arm and my throat felt like I had been choked. I’m not into breath control/ play so I had to ask my housemate if I had gone home with someone and just forgotten.
She figured out that my assorted bruises were not the good kind (sex bruises) but from the wheelchair and its unwieldy metal parts. The choking was caused by being in a room with four people chainsmoking. Joy!
Eventual free range mobilty is even more sought after now that I know my ability to leave a room for fresh air is also impinged upon by the red chair of death. I’m trying to see the bright side, someone suggested it was my chance to get falling down drunk and get my friends to enable this behaviour. This someone may have been me in a mental note to self… Which I fully intend to indulge this coming weekend. Punk gig Saturday afternoon and first home game of the season for the ice hockey, here I come. Both days I will be ably assisted by willing co- conspirators, so life isn’t all bad (this week). Just got to get the chair o’ doom to cooperate and we might try for a bruise free weekend. Treat yourself, TX!