Yesterday, I said to someone, quite without meaning to: ‘Be careful. I’m still fragile.’
The words flew out, beyond my volition. This is not the kind of thing I usually say.
There was a look of astonishment.
‘But you seem so fine,' the someone said.
I screwed up my face a little bit.
I said: ‘I put on a very good front.’
Because that is what you do. That is what you do if you are me and you are British and you don’t make a fuss and you don’t want to be a bore. You put on a good front.
Sometimes the front is true. I can laugh belly laughs now, and mean them. When I find something really funny, I double over and shout with mirth. I can smile and listen hard and take things in. My brain is working again, which it was not in the beginning.
I am waving now, not drowning.
I take pleasure where pleasure lives. My heart feels love. I look at the stars and think of all humans being made of stardust.
I write words and think thoughts and watch the 3.30 at Huntingdon.
But I’m not fine. I have glimpses of fineness, moments of fineness, sudden remembrances of what fine was like. I know it is there, waiting for me. There is a road to travel before I get there. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I have miles to go before I sleep.
I won’t be fine for a while yet.
Oddly, I have sort of made my peace with that.