I’ve no recollection of being the way I am now before I had Cancer. I’m sure I’m not alone in this but I do find myself adopting the most ridiculous superstitions for coping with the uncertainties in my life.
The irony is that I will repeat the same actions each time I go to hospital in case if I don’t it will bring me bad luck. “How’s that luck working for me now?” I ask myself but even though it’s clearly not working I always, always rationalise my compulsions with the mental queue that it could be worse and if I weren’t doing these things then it would be. Yes I’m trying to manufacture luck and frankly given my track record thus far I’m not very good at it but God does love a trier.
Now before you think I have to turn the light of thirteen times my compulsions are far more mundane and prosaic than that.
There’s a wive’s tail about the Devil sitting on your left shoulder and if you spill some Salt then you should throw it over that shoulder into his eye. I can never remember that so when I spill salt or even just see some spilt salt I throw it over my left and my right with both hands over both shoulders. So frenetic and fervent am I in this that I look like I’m at Heathrow trying to direct a plane.
I’m not even sure what you’re supposed to do this but I have to salute every magpie I see, even if it’s the same bloody magpie that’s moved and it could be a different one. In the house or office it’s not too bad but driving a car it’s a miracle that I haven’t had an accident with the amount of saluting and on a golf course I end up looking like I’m being attacked by a swarm of Bees.
For 5 years every time I have gone near a hospital or a treatment I have listened to Kanye West – Stronger . If I’m interrupted whilst listening then I have to start again. I’ve even had to stop to download it from iTunes when the CD jammed in the car. I simply cannot imagine going in to an appointment without having heard it (i’m not even sure I like the song, just one lyric)
Parking and this is my weirdest – I have parked in the same 4 bays at hospital for 5 years, even writing this now the thought of not being able to park in one of those spaces fills me with dread. I’ve even waited for 40 minutes to get one of those bays and all I know is that I feel something bad will happen if I don’t get the bay or more specifically and more positively things won’t be as good as they could be if I don’t.
I know these are massively inconsequential and I know that they have no material role in my treatment regimen. However I think to myself that they can’t hurt either and potentially only help and it’s not like they’re ruling my life, much!
I would like to be without them though for no other reasons than safety and timekeeping so after this treatment I will try my best to live superstition free or less at least and hopefully reclaim a little bit of control.
Knock on wood.