Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Back in the Jug agane!

A sunday afternoon. Kelly and I attempt to watch the Ewan McGregor/Pierce Brosnan film "The Ghost". McGregor's accent is ludicrous, the script is a doddering exposition and when Kim Cattrall turned up I knew that something was wrong. And not just with the film. Kelly had already told me she was having difficulty dealing with her depth perception watching film, as cameras tripped in and out of focus it was hurting her eyes. The clincher came when she asked me to change the volume for her. Now this was extremely odd. Kelly is very nuch the practical hands-on one in our marriage. For her to ask me to do something vaguely technical, and pressing a button on the remote is about the limit of my technical sophistication, should have been a warning sign. A more obvious warning sign was when she started saying "erm" repeatedly, the sort of noise you make when someone makes an off colour remark in a social situation or when you're trying desperately to remember a word. And in fact it was the latter - though Kelly wasn't trying to remember a word but ANY word - nothing would come. Suddenly she let out a low gutteral moan and threw herself against the back of the sofa, her eyes rolling back in her skull, her teeth clamped shut, her body rigid as a table. I jumped up and grabbed her by the shoulders begging her to look at me, to acknowledge me. Slowly her body relaxed, curling like a passion fish onto her side. At last only her teeth remained solid, gritted. I thought for a moment. I could only think for a moment, from moment to moment. I thought about her tongue, how she might have bitten it in two or how it could have curled back in her mouth, choking her. But she wasn't choking and there was no blood in her saliva. I ran off once I was certain she was still breathing and phoned an ambulance. When I came back, jittery and sick with sweat, she was still lying on her side, but her eyes were open. I lifted her up and she smiled, her eyes were slipping in and out of focus, her recognition fading, the pupils expanding and contracting as her face seemed to cloud over in confusion.

"Do you know me, darlin'? Do you recognise me?" I said grabbing her arms.

"Love you" she slurred, grinning like a happy drunk.

"But do you know me? What's my name?

A levee broke inside her head. Words tumbled out: phrases, sounds, strings of disordered language patted out. "Bronagh and the bird-bag" was mentioned as were "the tablet, the tables of the tablets". It was language loosed from its moorings, a scatter-shot of attempted speech.

"love you," she kept saying. "love you" She had no idea who I was but she knew she loved me.

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