After all the horrendous things are accused of, writing shouldn’t be one of them, right? Sure, their constant craving for human flesh can be a huge buzzkill, and when gathering in vast numbers their collective groan is far from a choir of perfection.
But what they lack in basic communication, cleanliness and manners, they make up for by not writing. Why would they even attempt writing when there’s a smorgasbord of tasty human snacks to tuck into?
Setting aside the issue of human flesh addiction for a moment, I think I know why zombies don’t write.
Zombies can’t sit still.
I know this because I’m a zombie myself.
Don’t worry. I’m not currently chewing on a chunk of thigh from the lady at No 41. Certainly not without cooking it first, with a creamy sauce, and some veg. And maybe a glass of red. Come to think about it, I am kinda hungry.
I’m still human, though I am feeling more than a little zombiefied lately. It’s my hips. They hate me you see. Back in November 2012 I wrote a piece called What a Pain in the Hip! where I moaned and whined about how the pain demon is slowly driving me insane.
I’ve seen a physiotherapist, who twisted my body into nasty unnatural poses that made me wince and hold back the tears of pain. You know, in that manly way where we take deep breaths and croak: “Yup. Hurts a bit there.”
I had x-rays taken. They were lost, found, lost again and finally recovered from God knows where. Kinda weird to look at photos of inside your own body.
I’ve seen a bone witch doctor, or “consultant” to use the technical term. He sent me for a scan. That was fun. I listened to U2 on headphones inside a noisy circular coffin that vibrated my atoms so a camera could take photos of my bones.
Doesn’t sound too safe does it?
It was somewhere between being stuck in a prototype Star Trek transporter beaming thingy and humming away inside a giant microwave oven. “Roast me up Scotty – Power Level 5 for 60 minutes!”
And after another visit with the consultant I was told there’s nothing wrong with my bones at all. Hips are fine and that round knobby bit at the top of my thigh is honky-dory.
“It’s all fine on the bone front Mr Farmer, isn’t that just spit-on-your-neck-fantastic?”
“Um. Yes. No. Well, sort of. Actually no.”
“Oh. Sucks to be you.”
“Yeah. So my bones are fine but my body’s knackered?”
“Basically yeah. But we’ll send you to see the physio’s again so they can hurt you some more.”
Thumbs up. “Oh joy.”
Can you understand my disappointment, dear blog reader? It’s horrible to say it but I was hoping for a clear-cut reason why the pain demon has taken up residence in my hips. Something along the lines of:
“Yup. It’s bilateral hipodema arthritical despondency syndrome of the upper/inner/right/left/generally all over bone thingy. We’ll just cut you open, hack away the pain demon, what we call a Pain Demon-ectomy, and you’ll be tap dancing in no time.”
But no. Instead I’m stuck with that little red bastard and the physio’s will make him sing and dance until I pass out.
That’s not really the problem. Well it’s one problem, obviously. Pain killers don’t really help much. Hot baths ease it a little but never enough or as much as I hope when I sink in to the red hot water each evening. Massaging my thighs don’t do anything because it’s not really on the surface, it’s deep inside.
And to make matters worse another pain demon has moved into my right hip and enjoys shooting happy forks of lightning into my hip at really weird times. Walking, limping, standing, laying down, moving my pinky finger, staring into space, you name it, the pain is a never-ending barrel of laughs from dawn till dusk.
So the pain demon has a pal now.
Oh that’s wonderful.
Join the party you evil dick.
As I say, it’s a problem but it’s not really what grinds my gears. The problem is that like zombies I can’t sit still for very long. Can’t stand for very long either, but sitting is worse. That means I can only write for brief periods. These tend to vary from 20 minutes to…ooh, 22 minutes. Then the pain becomes unbearable and I have to stand up.
That takes about 30 seconds. Not exactly a life time but when you consider that standing up should only take about 1-2 seconds, half a minute seems like a life time. Once vertical I stare down at the screen, longingly, wistfully, muttering to myself and cursing the pain demons as they cackle and prod me some more.
Each time I wonder if I can somehow write standing up.
Maybe if I rest the keyboard on some books…tilt the screen a bit…adjust the mouse…hmmm, maybe…
Instead I have to walk about because stupidly I hope the pain will subside.
Ha! Yeah right!
Strangely, walking at a steady pace isn’t that bad. The pain is still there, numb, always ready to kick me hard, but it’s sort of manageable.
There are times when I find I’m concentrating on the physical act of walking. Making sure one leg does indeed go in one front of the other, that I’m prepared for when things go wrong and I have to reach out and grab something for support. It’s kinda funny when you think about it, makes me empathise with toddlers learning to walk for the first time.
Then when I stop…yup, pain demons 1 and 2 say: “Hiya! Remember us?” Back to sitting again. For a grand total of 22 minutes. You’ve no idea how long it’s taken to write this post!
The Car Dance!
Getting in and out of the car is hilarious. Actually it’s not but I can’t help but imagine watching myself from a distance and reigning in a smirk.
Getting in isn’t too bad.
- Door open.
- Left leg in.
- Rest bum against back of seat.
- Slide slowly down onto seat whilst twisting slightly so my right leg doesn’t fall off.
- Breathe a sigh of relief and wait for pain to ease off.
Getting out is a different game.
- Door open.
- Swing right leg out whilst twisting in the seat so right leg doesn’t fall off.
- Hoik left leg out to join the right.
- Grip seat and door then heave upwards like I’m about to mount the window winder-upper and have some freaky vehicular sexy time, doggy style.
- Wobble a bit and let the pain demons have their fun.
- Aaaaand rest. Act like it’s all perfectly normal and that’s how everyone gets out of their car these days.
- Wait for the pain to subside then shuffle about, close door and walk away…zombie style.
I miss my writing.
Only two years ago I could sit and write for hours and hours. Blissfully letting the words shimmy into place on the screen. It was joy. I still write in bursts but the pain demons don’t give me enough time to really get into it. And The Zone is now a distant memory.
My sister has suggested trying some visualisation and self-healing techniques. I admit I’m intrigued. I like the idea of using the power of mind, and perhaps will of spirit, to focus positive energy on the pain demons. I tried a few meditative exercises a while back, nothing grand, just relaxation, concentrating on breathing, clearing the mind stuff. It was good. Left me feeling nice. Relaxed. Open and calm. Maybe this is what I need to try.
Or do, as Yoda says, as there is no try.
What else is there to do?
witch bone doctor consultant agreed it could be a muscular or ligament problem and sounded dubious positive about the physio’s discovering where the pain demons were lurking. I asked about having a camera shoved in my hip and he pulled a face. Not a good sign is it? Turns out that’s a tricky manoeuvre to pull off – blocks between my legs, twisting, clamping, stretching, injections…oh and apparently it would render my junk unusable for up to 6 weeks.
So, physiotherapy you say? Jolly good.
I’m not the sort of person to dwell on the what-ifs, not unless it’s fiction related, but I can’t help but wonder about the cause of the pain. Is it something really terrible like hip cancer? Is that a thing? A muscle wasting disease? Something unrepairable or inoperable?
Jesus, what if it gets a lot worse than it already is? And it is getting worse.
What if at some point I can’t walk?
I rarely sit and think about, and I guess blog therapy is good for getting those thoughts out of my head. I continue to consider myself lucky. There are plenty of worse off people in the world than me, and pain isn’t the end of the world. Staying positive, laughing, joking, keeping moving and not giving in are the best way to deal with the what-ifs, at least that’s how I see it.
I’m sure it’ll work itself out in the end.
But for now I know why zombies don’t write.
They have my sympathies.
At least until they come looking for a snack.
Then it’s head whacking time!