I woke feeling strangely tense and have felt the same almost all day. There was no particular reason for it and it made me gloomy and irritable. But this evening something happened that broke this feeling – but it also broke my wheelchair.
I’d just had dinner with Leftwing Idiot and we were on our way to meet Chopin and her boyfriend Max before I did another slot at Abnormally Funny People. We were crossing a road near Nicolson Square when there was a sudden loud crack. One side of my chair tipped forward and we crunched to a stop in the middle of the road.
I was overwhelmed and instantly started sobbing. I wasn’t hurt but I was shocked – I knew straightaway that the chair was seriously broken. Leftwing Idiot managed to get me to the pavement, urging me to stop crying as he did so.
I gradually calmed down while he inspected the damage. The whole front castor fork had sheered off. I winced as he told me, like you would when hearing about a particularly gory injury. He also explained what had happened – the castor had got caught in a drain that he hadn’t seen because it was obscured by a pothole.
I’d just stopped crying when Max and Chopin arrived, but burst into tears again when recounting this tragic tale.
We jumped into a cab and headed to Abnormally Funny People. I was glad to be going somewhere where I knew there’d be people who’d understand the significance of a broken chair. Even so, I arrived at the tent feeling emotionally and physically wobbly. But thanks to a pile of flyers propping up my chair, a stiff drink, and the understanding and kindness of my fellow performers, I soon felt more stable.
We had to make some adjustments to the gig to accommodate my disabled chair. For example we all started on stage together instead of coming on from the side. But so that we didn’t lose our big entrance all four of us were covered with a black cloth, which was whipped away at the start of the show.
I got back a little while ago and had a cup of tea with Leftwing Idiot, Max and Chopin before bed. I realised the uneasy sadness I’d been feeling all day had gone ¬– broken by a castor-calamity and a good cry.
Tomorrow morning I’ll need to sort out an alternative means of getting around, but for now I’m going to say goodbye to this sad day and say hello to a good sleep.