The Sleepwalker of Ironopolis


Here’s the story of folk music, comeuppance, and porcelain baths.

Have you ever broken your leg and not known how you did it? I’ve broken my finger before and I knew I’d broken that because I couldn’t stop screaming. Yet I just went to bed one night and woke up the next day with a pain in my lower leg so bad I couldn’t put any pressure on it. So I couldn’t do things like stand. Or sit. Or do my morning star jumps. But it can’t be broken because… I’d know about it, wouldn’t I? I am the type of person who ends up with injuries and no explanation for how they happened. I wake up covered in bruises all the time. I wonder if I have a nighttime alter ego. Boxing extraordinaire, ‘The Sleepwalker.’ But, I mean, come on, that’s just ridiculous. Where are the gloves? That said, my mum did sleepwalk a lot when she was younger. There was this one time when my granddad woke up with my sleepwalking mother’s hands around his throat, but that’s a story for another day…

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did spend many a sleepless night with something propped up against by bedroom door after mother told me that particular hilarious anecdote. Sigh. I can’t have broken my leg. I wouldn’t be able to walk. It can’t be a sprain, either. A fracture? I don’t know. It does make for an interesting walk to work, though. Step. “ARRGH! HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF GOD, I’M DYING HERE!” Another step. “ARRGH! CRAP! HOLY BADGER ON A STICK!” Yet another step. “ARRGH…” And so on.

I’m not kidding, it is agony. But I haven’t fallen over. I haven’t fallen out of bed. I mean, I haven’t done that in ages. Otherwise known as last week. I haven’t banged it on anything. I haven’t gotten into a fight with a giraffe. I mean, is my body falling apart already? I was hoping to get a couple more miles out of it, but never mind…

That said, I did slam my shin into the bathtub last week when I had those drops put in my eyes, the ones that made everything a bit fuzzy and as dilated as a hippy. I had to have my shower with the lights off, which, in retrospect, wasn’t my greatest ever idea. At night.

But it’s only made of plastic. Not porcelain. Like they used to be. Oh, I sincerely hope that didn’t make me sound too old. You know, porcelain baths were all the rage in the ‘90s. I remember when we got rid of ours. We couldn’t afford a skip so we chucked it in the back garden and dad gave me a hammer. “Here son, have some fun…” And I did. We then just put the pieces in the regular trash. We did that when we got rid of our old computer, as well. “Here’s a hammer, smash the hard drive to pieces.” “Erm, where’s the hard drive?” “I don’t know.” “Should I just smash the whole thing?” “Yeah, go for it…”

As a result of my injury, one that is getting considerably worse by each new day, I am struggling to get by as normal. I had an appointment this week and I had to get to it from work. Now I work in the town centre and the appointment was also in the town centre, about a 30 minute walk. Yeah, I wasn’t… I wasn’t gonna make it, readers. So I got a bus. I timed the journey to about one minute, 40 odd seconds. You shoulda seen the looks of the people on the bus. I was a bit embarrassed. They didn’t know I was injured. I heard one woman turn to a friend and whisper, not very quietly, “God, I thought that was an old man getting on.” ALRIGHT! I know I’m young and supposedly healthy, but with a mysterious leg wound and a largely bacon diet, I’m not doing so well!

It is embarrassment why I haven’t gone to the doctors. I assume it’s either a small hairline fracture or a bruised bone, but I’ve never had either, before. My knee also keeps seizing up, so it could be that old injury I got in school flaring up again. I can’t go to the doctors over a sore leg, though. They’re always complaining about people wasting their time. I could go to these pharmacy nurses we have in the UK, but that’s also embarrassing. I could also Google it, but Google has a habit of ranking diagnosis’s by how likely they are to kill you, the deathiest first. ‘Google, diagnosis of sore leg so painful I’m literally weeping here.’ ‘Google: Diagnosis: Smallpox.’ WHAT! ARRGH! I HAVE SMALLPOX! Oh, it’s the end of everything!

Not that I’m a worrier. Ahem…

I don’t feel like I’m getting old. 27 isn’t young anymore, but in that grey area between youth and mid-life crisis. Incidentally, I don’t know how my mid-life crisis might manifest itself. I mean, I could end up on top of a mountain in Italy having embraced Buddhism, but equally, all the things that are supposed to happen during a mid-life crisis have already happened to me. On numerous occasions. I don’t know, maybe I’m immune. Or maybe I’m in the middle of it. I have started listening to folk music recently, for no apparent reason. If that isn’t a symptom of a mid-life crisis…

When do you give up on youth? In the last couple of months, if I kneel down I stand back up again with a grunt or two and lots of cracking bones. I’m out of breath walking up the stairs. Now my shin has exploded on me. Remember that time I fell through the shed roof? That would probably kill me now.

Some would argue that this is nature’s comeuppance for my inactive lifestyle of homemade triple stacked bacon cheeseburgers and exercise being a leisurely stroll down the stairs as little as possible, and you may be right. I’ve often said that a lifetime of hedonism is preferable to a lifetime of salad because at the end of said lifetime of salad I’d be far more miserable than at the end of said lifetime of hedonism, regardless of whether or not said hedonism kills me a couple decades before said salad. I still feel that way, largely, so I’m certainly no role model, although if you haven’t figured that out after six years of this blog’s existence, you never will. But maybe I’ll have an apple a week, instead of that sixth bacon sandwich. I mean, I’m a hefty ten stone, readers. For my age and height, I should weigh around 9.8. And you know how anal I am. That .7 is keeping me awake at night…

I’ve tried my best, however, to stay as healthy as I can this week. Trying to avoid the migraines and praying to whoever is listening that this sniffle is just a sniffle and not a full blown flu. I’m also praying that this leg will sort itself out sooner rather than later and, while I’m at this whole praying game, I’m also praying for a triple stacked bacon cheeseburger to appear at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. Don’t worry, I’ll have a slice of apple with it.


Next Saturday, all being well, I’m off for my laser eye surgery. I am apocalyptically terrified and fearful it won’t work or it’ll go wrong, which happens about once in every 3000 operations. So it’s unlikely I’ll be able to get a new post up next Saturday, but I’ll be thinking of you. The closest people I have to friends, strangers on the internet. If there’s no new post up by Tuesday, assume the surgery has gone horribly, horribly wrong and I’ve died a horrible, horrible death by laser.

Don’t worry, that’s a cool death. I’d be happy with that. I’ve had a fun 27 years.

All I ask is that you bury me in a bacon coffin…

Irish playwright, critic and polemicist, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), once said: “Youth is wasted on the young.”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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