Funny Ribbons


Not too far away from conjunction, but whatever the opposite of coagulation is:

the process of something standing like a 19th century jelly (where to boil down the feet and the hooves was to make a spectacular trifle). A slab turning to ribbons on a washing line, yes. I’ve seen the same ones twice, like Godard playing the same prank on poor Agnés or the way a hospital smell can rudely interrupt the kitchen, even after all this time.

Something I learned last Easter, is that an ICU can also be called a CCU, and this is where we got stuck. A man at reception claimed ‘I CAN HELP’ by way of a ribbon sash across his chest, and as it hovered millimetres away from the map, I stood thinking to enter the waiting room with this funny story just to lighten the mood, and whether I should run there like on TV or walk like a sensible person. The likelihood of him dying suddenly in the 10 seconds difference between a light jog and a power walk was slim, albeit I am in a place where stupid slim dreadful possibilities keep happening. Sash-man still hmmm-ing ICU, I…C….U….

Some of these days, the ribbons map themselves out like a detective would and I’m yelling whose fault is this! that i would end up some lonely murderer, looking for any excuse to lay ribbons out in the garden, and tie them up in chaotically synchronised knots - knots so ridiculous i can hardly stop myself from laughing.

One of those mornings, ha! I sat up, just like ha! He had been sitting with his wife, two heads racking two brains to come up with a solution. See, he was past the 2 months the doctors had given him, and he was actually feeling completely fine. Being the person he was, I am, continue to be, this felt almost rude, to be defying nature this way. No one knew what to do so we had a party. A drink in his hand was funny enough, given the ordeal that was sitting up in bed, the one I helped build in the living room, where he hung fluids from a picture hook and we all thought what are we going to do without you? Anyway, another life, a drink in his hand, in a glass, not a bag. Beer spilling everywhere, like you see in films when medieval knights give most of their alcohol to the floor. Because the night! Belongs to lovers! Because the night! Belongs to love! everyone singing and spilling, this could be the last, this could be the only.

During the faltering of Easter last year, I brushed my teeth and emailed my therapist that I would not be able to make it today. My first apocalypse in June, a week before my 23rd birthday, I continued to make a potato, rosemary and garlic focaccia, and the paramedics watched me through the hatch in the kitchen. My sister went: deathbread. And who knew that an unfunny situation and an unfunny pun would make for such raucous laughter, laughter so heavy I started screaming and did not stop.

Spring, really is quite violent in its arrogance - like the play I heard about where the stage swords were replaced with real blades. The audience made a cacophony of applause for the wound and the palpability of the pool of blood.

Summer, the day we stepped out to see what a post-apocalyptic world would look like and I can’t remember if I was yet 23. Out of the five of us, I realised I am now the only person with a name not beginning with J and I try not to take this personally. This I do remember: walking in a pack, us who had survived whilst the others, they were picking up bits for the barbecue later. None of them are aware that the end has come, been and gone, or that I may never learn how to use our barbecue now.

A very small boy can spell the word Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicavolcanoconiosis, I know because I saw it in a YouTube video my brother showed me. Meaning: lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine ash. The very nature of Bader-Meinhof is that it will appear more frequently the more you think about it.

The anniversary time of year

lumps like the heavy pile of mentioned ribbons, pyjamas

and the feeling that this is the moment of the severed head in the box

over and over until it’s almost boring.

Look, there are only a certain amount of severed heads i can receive,

before i run out of places to put them.

Even so, the Bader my hoof jelly

turned to knots, to dust, grit

in the toothpaste, a stink

exacerbated by a radiator,

a bile bag, a box

of tricks and trifles

and laughing laughing laughing

over and over again.