We Are All Made Of… Memories

My editor, lover, lifesaver and cat-claw-clipper noted that Monday’s post was particularly dense. I chose to interpret this as a mostly good thing, and this turned out to be the correct call when she added that it probably contained enough material for a couple of weeks’ worth of posts.

Fortunately, there’s a lot going on in the world, of strokey and not-so-strokey natures. From my introduction to Vilayanur S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms In The Brain to the ongoing NSA surveillance revelations (and how Wang Dong will react); from how non-invasive brain stimulation is being used to help patients with walking impairments to the maleficent spread of the craft beer plague around the world.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin gets a pass

All this stuff will be considered in due course. But for now, there’s a lot going on, whether it’s preparing for the move, the tiredness of my stroke arm, or my plans for annexing Rockall by a means more ludicrous than post-it affixation.

Actually, that’s going to be pretty difficult, isn’t it? Not the annexation part.

So, till Monday, here’s a list post….

Ten Favourite Stroke Bloke Hospital Tweets

These aren’t selected by any particular criteria. Just general personal preference, whether that considers humour, strength of the memory, or any other criteria I choose. If they occur in the first four days of post-stroke tweeting, all the better. That’ll cut back on prep time.

ONE gets in because it’s the first tweet. I tweeted 26 times on November 4, around about the time I was deemed sufficiently compus mentis to get my phone back. I still misplaced it dozens of times a day. Nevertheless, if my friends could read my tweet about some whimsical thing I had learned about strokes, I would have some presence in the outside world. And if I had some presence in the outside world, then I would have asserted my continuing existence. Even if I was too spazzed out to tell the difference between “Harney” and “Barney”.

Well, you got my name right, but I don’t make tea. And I don’t even have genitals, never mind sons.

The orderly who took me for my morning showers provided most of my early post-stroke material, including numbers TWO and THREE below. Tenko got his name from the 1980s BBC drama set in a Japanese internment camp. I was equal parts scared to death of him, and touched by the job he did. (Both the job he did, and how he occasionally would do it with kindness.)

Soon after getting my phone back, my reintroduction to the human race was continued when I was allowed to wear big boy clothes, as evidenced by FOUR and FIVE.

Brett Anderson, styled by a stroke victim

After I’d squeezed everything I could out of Tenko, the Wee Man made his first appearance in tweets SIX and SEVEN. Another fellow inmate for whom I had confused feelings….

Then, the epic struggle to get real food began. Note that, while the short-term memory is still effed at this stage, I can still, in tweet EIGHT and NINE, reference a classic British sitcom first broadcast on 23 June, 1961.

Happy Father’s Day, pal!

Eventually, I could eat proper food again, when @baconpaul brought in his lovely homemade bread. But my struggles continued in TEN….

I’ve enjoyed skimming through these early tweets. Pretty amusing, I think, given that a few days previously I couldn’t even remember whether I’d had one or two strokes. And it’s striking how much of it, as I look at it now, looks like a guy trying to rebuild himself out of memories, whether old TV shows like Tenko and Hancock’s Half Hour, or favoured indie bands.

I suppose who we are is built from our memories. And Brooklyn will always be with us.

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4 thoughts on “We Are All Made Of… Memories

  1. First you remind me of this song which may be one of my faves (despite that being the 16-years-later tour band). Take a walk through the peaceful meadows.

    Second you remind me of when I saw that you had returned to twitter. Since you introduced me to twitter – and my very first tweet mentioned you (and Scottish storm trooper lolcatz if I recall) it is a morning I remember vividly.

    To keep in the apoplectic me style though I now need a sarcastic joke (or ASCII art of robot naughty bits obvs). So uhhh []===|>

    1. Ooh, I like. And very apoplectic.me appropriate. It also gives me a forum to claim David Byrne for the Scots again. Where are those post-its?

      twitter is all the better foryour presence, btw. #robotnaughtynits

  2. Is @strokebloke available on twiter? if you change your twitter identity, does the old you cease to exist? Interesting exploration of how memory is formed, by the way, can found in this video.

    1. It’s not. I’m not sure what this means for my identity. Regardless, you have a short story there. Dunno if you saw it, but some interesting questions of identity cropped up in my old Old Goths Never Die post. Not that I’d take credit for all of them. Looking forward to the video….

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