Stop looking at my assets – it’s my yaw I’m worried about


Yaw to right - steer left

But I can’t help it – something is really wrong with my chassis.

I sip the milky tea a maximum of two times (it was really scarce on the tea, heavy on the UHF milk), and the call of nature beckons.

I swing my legs over the side of the bed and there’s an emergency light goes on in the dashboard of my brain, you know the kind where you’re driving and it gives you something potentially dangerous to think about. My brain is trying to find a level that I’ve always had, but is tossing about like 20-foot seas –down, then up and to the right, then forward and my mind is about two seconds behind each movement – I’m on a rollercoaster where I can see the track but my mind is behind on each movement.

So, I let the brain catch up with reality; it takes a few minutes of swirling around in my head before the circling images come together as one and I’m on my feet…sort of. (I’m reminded of my old Leica M3 where to get focus you have to bring two separate images together – rangefinder it’s called – God, I miss that camera)

I’m holding on to the bed with my right hand as balance and that emergency light in my brain goes on again. It is telling me that it’s not safe to let go of the bed. Feet are go, it’s the balance that’s the problem. How can I explain this? In my younger days I dabbled in pilot training and remember coming up against “yaw” – a sideways movement where going forward. In my case it’s skewing to right.

 When starting the journey to the bathroom I find it’s kind of like a spirit level, drifting right. I have to compensate by over-correcting to the left, so you get the picture of this Frankenstein monster with arms semi-extended horizontally, more to the left, so I can navigate the 25-feet to my destination which is probably why my tea man showed up at my side saying I should ask for help.

I tried to explain that I could do it myself; I could compensate for the deviation; I had worked out the theory and I needed to get to the bathroom. But again, while the brain processed the thoughts, what came out of my mouth was pure drivel.

While struggling to get the words out, the tea man frog-marched me to the bathroom door and was going to help me with the “business,” a matter so foreign to me I objected. Deep within my psyche, my toilet training taught me this was a private matter. I let the tea man know that I could do this myself – no help was needed. But I didn’t have the words.

(I remember a trip to Milan during the 70s. La Scala. Intermission. A similar urge. A palace of a men’s bathroom, marble white and not smelling of urine or chemicals, I picked a spot far from the crowd.  This ensured a fast pace flowed, taking the pressure off my mind. Suddenly, at my elbow, a small woman with a visible moustache was saying something in a foreign language while proffering a white towel. The fast pace slowed to full stop and I was busy hastily covering up the offending protuberance while trying to understand what was being said.

Had I gotten the ladies by mistake?

Is this unisex?

More importantly, did she see?)

He insisted. I demurred. The more I demurred, the more he insisted. The only way out of this impasse was direct action – so I sat down, arms folded with determined look on my face. Well, no having words, I resorted to body language. He left me to my own devices after pointing out the emergency alarm and a fast pace flowed, and flowed.

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3 responses to “Stop looking at my assets – it’s my yaw I’m worried about

  1. Wow, your recollection is good – I was in a coma for three weeks and I can’t really remember waking up that well. All I remember was not being able to move or speak and this terrible fear. You capture the frustration of not being able to speak perfectly.

  2. Your comments are most welcome. It is only by thinking about them over several months they become clearer, and by agonizing over the words, the sentences, it comes together in a form I’m comfortable with. As you know each essay is the work of a week-long-ish incubation until it’s fully developed. The photographs are mine.

  3. Louis

    It’s very illuminating to understand more clearly what you had to endure, my blog has become more of a commentary/cantanker about the difficulties of my living situation. It feels more tacky and cheap than the very real gravitas of your situation. I find it very interesting – keep it up.

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