Thursday, 25 September 2008

Being a carer

People often say to me, "You're such a noble person, giving up all your freedom and social life to look after your wife." I really don't know how to answer that. It wasn't something I volunteered for, it just crept up on me over a period of years. I used to have a pretty good job with an international trade union, well paid, challenging and varied. Gradually, it became clear that being on call around the clock at home didn't fit too well with holding down a full-time job. I think it was the third or fourth time I woke up with my head on the keyboard of my work computer that I realised something had to give; the job or the marriage. By that time, we had three children, so even if I hadn't continued to love my wife, it was a real no-brainer.
So here I am, going slowly out of my mind with boredom in these four walls and wondering why a person so glaringly unfitted to the role of home maker gets landed with the job.
It's not rocket science, of course. Any fool could do it and a lot of people with room-temperature IQs do it very successfully. What defeats me is the motivation. After all this time, I still have the feeling that I'm just holding the fort until somebody capable comes along and licks this place into shape.
If it weren't for the fact that I can escape into writing and, all too occasionally, performing my silly poetry at various gigs in and around London, I think I'd go crazy for real. As it is, all my latent insanity is channelled onto the page, where it sits and smirks at me.
My pager's just bleeped. I have to go and see what my patient needs. One bleep means, "When you can," two mean "Come now" and more than two mean "Help, I'm on fire!" So far, just one bleep has sounded. Oh no, there goes another one. Can I use foul language on a blog?

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