A funny thing …

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. I was doing some gentle sound engineering (and when I say gentle, I mean gentle) at a function when one of the punters said hi (we’d met at a previous function), identifying me by referring to my ex-partner. For a split second, I knew how women feel when introduced as someone’s girlfriend or wife – the manner in which one is identified not as oneself, but as an addendum to another, an adjunct, an extension, a mere optional extra. I may have added value, I may not. What is certain is that in many ways I was an irrelevance. Interesting. The evening continued apace and degenerated upon decamping into a house party of the most random type.
But the incident got me thinking about that old chestnut identity. And then, one of the performers, a Dane who eschews a name (he is pledged to name himself in February of 2012), having conducted his own funeral, and having had his old identity declared dead, back in 2001. I remember having pretty much the same idea back in the late 80s with a close friend, but we couldn’t work out how to really appear dead without being arrested upon re-emerging. But declaring your identity dead is quite an interesting adjustment. Forget deed poll, actually bury the old you-in-a-name and then spend the next ten years ‘finding yourself’, or, perhaps more appropriately, ‘finding aself’. Whether this is what he has been doing is perhaps moot, or perhaps the most important question to ask. So naturally I didn’t.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the old PD recently, as I’ve finally started to write the book on PD … a Young Person’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease©. It’s not actually for ‘young’ people, unless you count 60 as young … hell, it’s for young people. All I want to do is write something which won’t sit easily in the motivational shelves, or the self-help workshops, or the misery memoirs. Something which simply describes the disease in emotions and empirical terms. Something which neither exalts nor demonises it.
Something, when push comes to shove, that I wish I’d been given four years ago.

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