“I realise now how people can get addicted to painkillers”, I said to a friend the other day.
Ever since my surgery the other week, I’ve been using some pain relief on and off. “They’ve given you the good ones”, Michelle said to me the other week when she noted the prescribed drugs. The first time I used them, I probably “double-dosed” and had a fairly trippy night. Since then, I’ve arrived at the right balance, I think.
I haven’t used them much, but I have used them. And I’ve come to realise how addictive they can be. You feel a bit of pain. You take one, and pretty soon you feel so much better.
I’m a bit of a “North Coast hippy” when it comes to drugs, always thinking it’s better for your body to heal itself. If I get sick, I usually think it’s better to go to bed for a while, and rest up.
But when the doctor told me the other day he didn’t want to remove the stitches, and keep them in for a further ten days, my heart sunk. I felt quite sad, and my almost instant response was to go home, take a pill, and sleep. Although the doctor told me the wound was healing well, he was worried that if he removed the stitches, the wound might open up again, and we would have to start from scratch. So I’m back to buying and applying bandages.
It’s been a week of visits to the chemist and to the doctor, as I also had my booster shot this week.
Hey that’s what happens when you’re 56 years old.
But I have managed to get out and about this week, with a visit to the cricket today, and a visit to the movies earlier in the week.
VISIT TO THE MOVIES – SWAN SONG
There was a moment this week at my local pub when a very attractive young man kept staring at me. He was part of what looked to be a group of straight men who had just been to the cricket. And then I heard one of them say how hot Toby Maguire was. Maybe they were a mixed group? Or maybe they were a group of gays?
Though there is the inbaked “gaydar” which is genuinely a good rule of thumb, there are times when you just don’t know and I guess that’s what happened this week, I guess.
When a colleague recently mentioned a mutual friend is gay, I was genuinely surprised. In the last couple of years, another colleague was genuinely surprised to learn I was gay. Times have changed, and yet in some ways they remain the same. Members of our community have always been looking out to connect with others. I don’t mean that in a sexual way. I meant that in terms of friendship and connection. That’s the context for the movie I went to see, “Swan Song” which is the story of an older gay man (now living in a nursing home) revisiting his youth.
A couple of times throughout the movie, I thought of a good friend, no longer with us. In some ways, there were parralels with him, also being the small town gay hero. Towards the end of his life he lived with dementia, and there are moments in the film when it seems like the lead actor is living with this also. “It was like a family to me” he says, at one point about the gay be he revisits. I’m pretty sure my friend said similar things about the places of his youth, also.
Too often now, I go to gay bars and people are always on their phones, never looking around the room. I’m at that point of my life where I’m not looking for a hook-up. But when you look around, it’s a bit disheartening. But I guess I’m just as guilty of not wanting to chat either. There’s a guy at my local pub who is always looking for a chat. “I’m not looking to pick you up”, he says. The problem is that all the conversations we’ve had have been boring, and he’s always a bit pissed when he comes over to chat. I guess that’s one of the problems with bars. Alcohol.
The movie is tremendous, and I would highly recommend it. I laughed and cried.
A DAY AT THE CRICKET
When I woke this morning, I felt an instant desire to head off to the cricket. The fact I got the offer of a free ticket didn’t dissuade me.
So, with fine weather, and one stop on the tram, I was there.
It wasn’t long until I remembered why I quite like going to the cricket. The sheer relaxation of it all.