“Oh Granny, What are you wearing?” said a horrified looking Grand as I showed off my beach attire. I said nothing when he elected to come to my Birthday lunch in a multicoloured tutu, rugby shirt and jeans. He might not approve of my sense of style but I admire his nerve in mixing his.
He’s a boy who knows his own mind and what he likes, well, he likes. We took a photo of ourselves before we sat down to eat. He had his arm around me in a loving embrace. In the picture, I looked adoringly at him. He had a bit of a smirk on his cherubic face. I’ve subsequently discovered that his little hand was not squeezing me in an act of unbridled affection, but he was busy pebble dashing my party clothes in giant cuscus and a really good set of oily smears that even the dry cleaner sucked in her breath at.
When the post party pictures circulated, I only had eyes for the Grand. He was on form and looking pretty pleased with himself. As I sat in bed drinking my fourth litre of water of the day and feeling post chemo sorry for myself, I tried opening my phone to have just one more look at the centre of my universe. My phone was having none of it.
Since my hair dropped out and my face got puffy, I am no longer a recognisable version of myself when it comes to the tech on which I have grown so dependent. Not only does it repeatedly tell me that my face is not recognised, it doesn’t think that popping in my passcode is enough anymore. After so many weeks of failing to see the person I am, it repeatedly demands that I check my texts and enter the one time only pin number I’m about to receive. It could be worse I suppose.
It got worse. Next it started asking me to enter the letters and numbers it sent me in response to my having entered the verification code. Since they come is a jumbled state and are impenetrable at the best of times, it didn’t like my responses, which were many and incorrect, so it referred me to help desk. A ticket was raised and there was nothing for it but to drink water and wait.
The Dry Cleaner said the stains have come out pretty well. Only a shadow of a handprint remains and the cuscus is history. She broke the good news the moment I presented myself at her counter. She has never known me with hair or a jawline or the ability to move faster than a sloth. She’s in for a surprise sometime next year. I only hope she doesn’t ask me for the secret dry cleaner password in a moment of doubt that I’m in fact there to launch a raid on dry cleaning fluid and paralyse her business for a ransom.
A man I know walked straight past me in the street a couple of weeks ago. I was relieved not to have to stop for a chat, but outraged that he didn’t see me. It’s bad enough to be ignored by people that I want to ignore, but no one wants to be invisible.
It may be that it a weird twist, those around me should get their eyes tested. They just don’t know it, or are having trouble reconciling how they used to see with what they see now. After a lifetime of living in a world which is largely invisible to me, maybe, just maybe I have the edge.