- Vol. 05
- Chapter 05
Image by Lewis Glucksman Gallery
TANGENTIALI have to admit, I’ve never been exposed to a live Commons debate, though I’ve watched bits on television. School debates were oh so much more civilised, despite all the heckling, ribbing, and unrelated gossiping which resonated through the audience. Even the time I caught the tail end of a salacious account of a first date during the debate on sexual equality; where “she” – whoever it was – reportedly “brayed like a donkey”, seems tame in comparison.
Some people can’t pick up the more lurid of comments, probably because of directional microphones and selective editing, but I can … sometimes, especially when the MP speaking was dating one of those Cheeky Girl creatures.
I watch them go through the empty motions of intelligent debate; then imagine them sipping their cognacs and pulling on King Edward cigars, thick as small branches. The evolution of notion from that to the wind-up false teeth clattering across the little table beside my hospital bed is no longer funny. They’re supposed to be creating a future. Most of the fouler language is covered by the Speaker calling “Order … order.’ The urge for some political wag to shout burger and chips must be almost unbearable. Or do they even have that amount of humour?
Well, with my current incapacity, I didn’t see me being exposed to a live debate of any sort … anytime soon. I can’t handle crowds, loud noises, or bright lights. I feel like a mogwai from Gremlins (Warner Bros., 1984) sometimes. Funny how a kidnapped loved one can put all that to the back… Well no, not the back of the mind, but somewhere behind the threat and the inevitability of the item I’m delivering. I suppose this mental meandering is me temporarily dealing. I’m still shaking, though.
TANGENTIALI used to enjoy going to debates and the annual Münchhausen event in Mason’s Bar, the latter being where the more exhibitionist Derry people would stand and model the actual historical character, recounting outrageously ludicrous tales of imaginary exploits.
But my peer-imposed artsy past is long gone, and here I am: settled into the more prosaic side of the arts, trying to squeeze a few more words out of a prompt which I have already taken around the houses and through the hedges to arrive at this copse of stillness. I wonder if the laptop will survive the bomb in my wheelchair even if I could get access to The House of Comedians. It would be so cool–
“Ready for your bath?”
I look up at a face which looks to have been physically beaten by every aspect of depression I’ve ever suffered.
“Not in the slightest!”
Her laugh is incongruously girlish. “You always say that!”
Indignity finds a new depth at the end of a rubber glove and a sponge.