Am I mentally ill or, simply, just happy to be alive?
I think it is only myself and my wife-to-be and our dog who are qualified to answer that question.
You don’t know my mind or heart, doc. And whatever may happen in the future, I strongly believe that you can never touch my soul, doc!
It is frowned upon by many these days when one declares they are happy, but we are incessantly pressured into expressing our *personal* anxieties and woes etc.
What about all the millions of people suffering in the world?
How dare you rub your happiness in the face of the collective misery that surrounds us!
But I am happy, why should I not express it from the increasingly flat rooftops that surround us all?
I still suffer, I still experience pain, frustrations and misery and I am sure I will express it in words in the not so distant future, but still I proclaim to be happy!
How can I be happy?
I must be crazy!
Are we free to be happy?
What is happiness?
What about Bob?
I was having a tantrum on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas, referred to as ‘Christmas eve-eve’ by some.
I was in the back seat of a car on the way to a Christmas dinner with friends and family of the woman who had lovingly tolerated my often intolerable ways in the last three or four years.
I would have preferred to be at home alone, like when I was a child when I would shyly hide in my bed and study room when cherished grandparents aunties, uncles, cousins or family friends would pay their visits with good cheer. Eventually one of my loved ones would pop upstairs to say hello, which would instantly soothe my reclusive ways and cure my shy excitement.
Back to the car, and I had a few pressing matters on my mind, some ‘negative thoughts’, and I raised my voice high, regurgitated the things that anger me about life, like a singer with a song to sing that must be sung.
It took about five or ten minutes, I got everything off my chest and my wife-to-be, my patron saint of toleration, calmly got out of her car to get a few bit and bobs from the CO-OP.
Just by calmly listening to my loud thoughts, my reclusive nature and my shy excitement were tempered by her love once more, with help from Jack the dog who was a constant, curled up snugly and lovingly by my side.
We ventured through the wild Stockport traffic, myself in the back with Jack now cradled on my lap, who becomes very nervous when life is lived in a moving motor vehicle.
I was making my final mental preparations, prayed I wouldn’t spoil the evening ahead and that this countdown to Christmas Eve would be Peaceful and Happy for all.
The festive gathering was highly enjoyable, I had one malt whisky too many I think, and my now my thoughts were being expressed slightly over-abundantly.
After a finely cooked Turkey dinner, the next thing I remember was waking up on the sofa not long after midnight.
The rest of the small, but intimate gathering were sitting around the dinner table. The evening was winding down and merging with the early hours.
Everyone was winding down, losing their battle against tiredness, on what had been a most enjoyable evening of games, frivolity, and laughs.
I was sorry to have missed out on this fun, however, several hours earlier the malt whisky went straight to my head and I was a chatterbox who was finding it very difficult to let anyone else get a word in.
I don’t think I made a fool out of myself, in fact, I am sure I did not.
I awoke, and it was after midnight, my Christmas Eve had begun perfectly with a wide-eyed, almost childish enthusiasm.
My liver and kidney function was mildly put to the test slightly again and I happily found pre-recorded songs to play via one of those voice-activated devices. And I danced, laughed and cried with my wife-to-be and maybe others, it is a bit blurred in my mind, but the memories beat strongly in my heart.
Eventually, I was the last person standing and found some room on the comfortable sofa on which my loving tolerator was resting peacefully, and I carefully rested my wet joy-filled eyes , without knowingly causing a disturbance.
The next thing I remember clearly was being in Stockport town centre in the early afternoon.
I really do not like a lot of the ugly modern architecture there, but I found myself falling in love with the place.
Architecturally, it is a strange dolly mixture of what England was, of what England is, of what England shouldn’t be, and what England could be, and of what England will never be again.
Stockport tells a unique tale, just like everywhere and everyone else in the world has their own unique tale to tell, as I uniquely discovered on Christmas eve afternoon in 2018…
To be continued.