HOW TO KILL A DJ – CHAPTER 9
2016 swings in with a bang …
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 6TH
WORD OF THE DAY
- Informal (especially of a book or periodical) so interesting or suspenseful as to compel reading.
Oh the irony.
My last effort at writing a book was sent to an early grave by Frank Broughton’s gentle critique that if I couldn’t name drop or inject something ‘rock n roll’ into the content then my life was ‘not that interesting really’. I’ll name drop you right there then. Om. And fuck you very much.
Music day. SEND JOB APPPLICATION TO SPARKLESTREET then pack for a weekend away. Everyone in my family, including my mum, is miserable with gastric flu or Norovirus. I am glad I am going to London so that they can all have it without me.
MONDAY JANUARY 18TH
WORD OF THE DAY
- eternal; everlasting.
Current situation – It’s 09.30am and I am sitting with my mum in the bathroom. She has graduated from projectile vomiting everything including the contents of her past lives to projectile vomiting blood into an empty, translucent dustbin that I grabbed just in the nick of time. She thinks what she has produced is the beetroot she ate this weekend, I say we didn’t have any beetroot, and try to remain calm but am freaking out inside. I know it’s blood. All my Dexter, CSI, Casualty, Holby City, Gray’s Anatomy, ER, Dr House binge-watching has prepared me for this, but this is my mum and this is real and there’s no pause button. I can’t change the channel or leave the room until the extreme blood letting is over and there’s no comic relief, romance, kittens or wacky sound effect to lighten the tone. No. Just lots of blood.
The Paramedics arrive at 10.45am. I have been keeping Mum calm and conscious although she is starting to wane now, waffling randomly after having dressed herself bizarrely. She is stubbornly refusing to change her clothes whilst lying on her bed cradling a bucket: every time she tries to speak it’s like a scene from The Exorcist with a bit of Carrie thrown in for good measure. Every time she does this my heart sinks a little lower. I wish it would stop. I haven’t showered or brushed my teeth since waking up.
Am I the next of kin?
As traumatic as this is, I’m glad I’m here. My sisters’ phones are not answering. Elicia has had flu all weekend and her phone is off. Elizabeth and Audrey are both out of the city on their way back from conferences. Paula is already into her school day in Blackpool. Rhonda is sick. Robert is at work. My decision to waive my 30 December return ticket to Ibiza was correct. I have been home and living in my mother’s house for twenty eight days and the question of life and death has suddenly reared its head. I am the next of kin.
Rochdale Royal is miles away from our house. I hastily pack an overnight bag not really knowing what my mum will need. I put her medication, slippers and her bible in my rucksack (the essentials) and pack my phone, my charger and my purse. I leave the house wearing my wet running clothes and have not packed a cardigan or a coat or any warm clothes for myself.
Blue lights, sirens, mum on a gurney hooked up to the portable stats machine, an ‘everyone move out of our way’ motorway journey at high speed and a fast track ticket to Rochdale Royal Resuscitation Department follows.
When she is booked in her stats are poor. She is so dehydrated that not one doctor can get a line in so she has to have an minor surgical operation to put the IV line in to the vein in her neck. I remember looking at the drips, the lines, the machines which are not making a healthy bip bip noise, being told that we could lose her and to call the family. I said ‘ok’, looked at mum blankly then left the room to cry in the corridor.
I had planned to spend my first month whirling around on the ‘go see’ merry-go-round in Manchester, reconnecting with the friends I knew well, making new contacts and looking for new dj, bar, club and work opportunities. Now today’s ‘starting from scratch’ plan is put on hold until a vague tomorrow.
Elicia arrived and we set about gathering the family together, making life-saving decisions about a three hour intervention that Mum might not have survived and wondering what the hell has happened. Before mum goes into surgery she has to have five units of blood transfused. None of us sleep until we get the news at 5,30 that the intervention had been successful.
The next four weeks are spent making twice a day trips to Rochdale Royal and praying for a miracle. The first two weeks of which are spent in the ICU, reading the bible and holding the hand of a mother who does not respond or speak and whom the doctors were afraid might be brain damaged after the surgery.
Twenty years of dj’ing and three cities have brought me to this place. I do not know what I am doing and I am not trained for this but that was the first time that I saved my mother’s life. That’s my ‘something you have never done before and something that scares you’ rolled into one and all done for today. I came back to the UK to look after my mum and here was that golden opportunity.
Feel the fear and do it anyway, right?
TUESDAY JANUARY 26TH
WORD OF THE DAY
- excess; overabundance: nimiety of mere niceties in conversation.
- An instance of this
something I remember.
Titanosaurus – David Attenborough and The Big Dinosaur. Amazing find in Patagonia. There is still so much that we don’t know and so much that we haven’t discovered about the world. There is still so much that we have still to discover about ourselves.
Things I remember:
THURSDAY JANUARY 28TH
Seeing FIVE PLANETS IN THE SKY ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT
LA DOME MARSEILLE VIRGIN
LA PALAIS MAYOR MARSEILLE
AIRSTRIKES LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE
TAXI STRIKES IN FRANCE
FRIDAY 29th JANUARY
EARLY FLIGHT BACK
GO TO HOSPITAL FROM AIRPORT
DUNBAR’s NUMBER – you don’t have time in every day life to sustain relationships and friendships on a grand level. https://ed.ted.com/on/SuXNvTzp#review
AFFLECK’S PLAQUE: ‘On the seventh day, God created MADchester’.
SATURDAY 30TH JANUARY
WORD OF THE DAY
- Preferring or thriving at low temperatures.
The Total Fitness SWIMMING POOL is my joy.
In all the madness, I have completely missed the deadline for my tax return.
Great Expectations keeps cropping up. Dickens is sending me messages from beyond the grave.
“In 1860, when he began this novel, Dickens was becoming depressed by the society around him. He was nearing 50 but he seems never to have lost his capacity, as he put it, for “accumulating young feelings in short pauses”. However sobering his portrait of his middle-aged narrator, however darkened by loss and loneliness, the book is a rejuvenating read.”
Besides the reality of my family placing as the last of eight bundles of fun, and despite everything that has happened, being home makes me feel younger. I figure, if I can find a way to bottle and trademark it, I will be rich.