One of the main problems with this whole self-isolation malarkey is the potentially disastrous effect on people’s mental health and the potential for mass murder on a truly epic scale. Basically you’ve got thousands upon thousands of familial pressure cookers up and down the land, and the longer this self-isolation continues the more the pressure will build up, and eventually something will have to give.
Why am thinking of ‘The Purge’?
Be that as it may, it’s my mental health I want to write about and this desire so to do was bought on by me rather sensibly going through my drug medication to see what I had. You know, to make sure I had enough. Like I wrote, sensible. But as I was doing so I suddenly realized what the drugs were, and I thought ‘How times change.’ Because there they all were, the anti-depressants and blood pressure one’s, all prescribed, all perfectly legal and nothing recreational. It seems to me that we need recreational drugs now more than ever. Well when I write ‘we’ I mean me. I’d quite happily take a gram or an ounce of your share, if for some unfathomable reason you didn’t want yours. Some tea made with magic mushrooms? That’d take the edge of anything. Add a cheeky teenth to well…anything. What about a livener?
I was thinking about how much better things are when recreational drugs are involved earlier on today, when I passed by a young man leaning against a car smoking an impressively large spliff. As some women say, it wasn’t the length of it that mattered, but the width. And the smell, oh the smell, the unmistakable aroma of skunk. Never has a drug been so well named. I wanted to stand downwind of him, to linger and breathe in what I’ve been missing for so long, I really wanted to, but he looked like the kind of chap who wouldn’t bother with asking questions.
Because my brain injury has fucked my fine motor skills, whilst rolling a joint would be an achievement, I didn’t think it wise to have it as one of my goals in my funding review statement for social services. I don’t think they’d look favourably on it if I put ‘One of my goals is to roll a tidy looking joint, one made up of three King Size Rizla’s with a ratio of two parts Drum tobacco to one part skunk, generously and evenly spread throughout, with not too much of a roach’ I can’t see them going for it, much less funding it, can you?
No, now my mental health, or rather the thing that keeps it going off the rails completely is my housemate’s nine year old daughter, Little Miss Sunshine (LMS). As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, her effect on my mental health has been the exact opposite of the numerous talking therapies and anti-depressants. There are no words to convey the certain knowledge that the banging on your bedroom door at nine am accompanied by her saying “Get up, get up, I want to play,” won’t stop until you do. It’s wonderful.
Her unshakeable belief in the fact there could be nothing I’d rather be doing than playing with her is endearing. And not too far off the mark, actually. I find her endlessly entertaining, possibly because she see’s me as ‘Mr. Fun’, a benefit of not having to do the more onerous tasks that a parent has to. Last night being a case in point. We were having a communal meal and LMS was sitting next to me. She eventually grew bored of all this boring adult conversation, and rolled up her sleeve. Her father asked her in a tone that said ‘you’d better not be up to no good’ ”What are you doing?” I knew only too well what was about to happen and had just managed to turn my head when she blew the most magnificent sounding raspberries on her arm.
I know it’s not big, I know it’s not clever, but the sound of a fart, especially one that sounds like a Harley Davison starting up, well that’s’ just funny and so I almost managed to stifle a laugh. Almost. A laugh would’ve been better, not the sound an old balloon makes when you let the air out of it in fits and starts. Her parents, as expected, upbraided her for this and our other housemate Paul wryly observed, “Well it doesn’t help if she’s got a big kid sitting next to her.”
Actually, I think that’s exactly what she needs and I need her to be a small kid for exactly the same reason that the government today announced that off-licenses would be classed as essential and allowed to stay open. The last thing the government wants is people going up the walls and having no safety valve. It’s not that you’d want drink necessarily, but not having the choice? The same with me and LMS sort of, inasmuch as her boundless capacity for mucking about is exactly what I need in these uncertain times. Some mucking about. A much overlooked quality in people, I’ve found, mucking about.
Needed more than ever, I’d say.