Sunday, 28 May 2017
I read recently about people who have different vision to most of the population. Instead of the bog standard two channels for conveying colour information from the eyes to the brain, tetrachromacy is the condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying color information.
This basically means you see vivid beauty and subtle nuances in everything. What may appear blue to mere mortals, would have shades of green and various hues and shadows to a tetrachromatic person.
I only found out about this recently and I was, to put it mildly, very jealous.
But then I realised that for most of my life I've never utilised the two channels I do have.
For a very long time (as regular readers of this blog will know) I have raged and seethed about the unfairness and injustice that has been in my life. My vision was usually focussed inwards, partially to try and solve the issues I found unjust and partially as a refuge from the horrors of reality.
After travelling in Australia and New Zealand for 6 months I've finally reached a point in my life where I am more at peace with reality than with fantasy. It was April the 18th when I was able to safely say, with 100% certainty that what was happening on a daily and weekly basis as more satisfying than what I could think about.
As a result of this I have a kind of Tetrachromatic Lite going on. I can see flowers and clouds and skies and fields and think they look beautiful. I can go running and say "hello" to everyone I see, whether I know them or not and not care if they reply. I can enjoy food without wondering if a better meal is around the corner. I can have sex without utilising a 'switch' image to sustain an erection (i.e. retreat into some porn fantasy as I wasn't present in the moment with whoever I was with).
I can and do, go running twice a day (morning and night) in order to keep my fitness levels high. I'm doing yoga and core work and eating healthily. I've almost completely given up sugar and touch dairy stuff rarely.
I came off beta blockers about 9 months ago and my anxiety is now virtually non existent unless I have a bad hangover.
Overall I just love being here and spending time with my wonderful Dad.
Most of all I'm finally at peace with what goes on from day to day. I don't feel the need to go out and get wasted in Joe's bar every night, now I'm back in Plakias with my Dad**. I can stay home and read a book and enjoy just being here without constantly wondering what's over the horizon.
Tetrachromatic is when you open your mind and your eyes to the beauty of life and enjoy it for what it is.
**Although I have actually had to fight to sustain this one.
Thursday, 18 May 2017
For years I've noticed that my hangovers have moved from mere physical discomfort to a more disturbing state of emotional distress.
Aged about 18 (the first time I got REALLY shitfaced in a pub as opposed to sneaking it from the parents' wine box) and I would simply have a thumping head the next morning, sleep in till lunchtime and then fuck off to the corner shop for a 4-pinter of full cream milk.
Aged about 25 onwards and my residual state of decay after a night or day on the ale was an emotional rollercoaster of almost epic proportions
I've blogged about this before and the best way to sum it up is to say "Laying in bed in a foetal position ALL DAY. Only getting up to piss and/ or drink water. Feeling guilty for things I did when I was about 7".
I never had a name for this state of misery but found out last week that it's called a shameover.
In younger souls this will possibly be who they slept with/ made out with. In older types this will every bastard thing we may or may not have said, whether people will think I'm a perv and if anyone was offended by anything I said or didn't say.
My paranoia goes through the roof and I can wander the streets or sit in front of my computer ALL DAY feeling like the last egg in the fridge on pancake day.
Having travelled for the last 9 months to Greece, Australia and New Zealand I didn't drink very much, if at all. A pint of beer in Oz is about $11 which equates to roughly 6 British pounds. Way over what even our overtaxed beverages are**.
I didn't become teetotal but I coasted on the utter freedom of doing exactly what I wanted and disciplined myself to eat what I needed to, cut out sugar and go for very long walks to see awesome stuff every day.
I arrived back in Plakias,
last week and I
met a group of young people who come and visit every year. They are part of an
organised tour party with the same two leaders as the last time I saw them in
2015, along with a new guy. We said hi, had a laugh and a joke at
the local pool bar and I got offered some Sangria (sp?). Struck up a
conversation with some of the guys, had some good chats. Later...aware of the
fact that these folk like to sometimes do their own thing without outsiders
present I asked if it was OK to hang out with them and they said that was fine.
We drank a few beers and watched the sun set over the bay and then went
drinking, playing beer pong and dancing and generally getting riotously pissed.
One young lady walked up and stuck her tongue down my throat outside the bar
and announced on several occasions that she didn't have any underwear on. I
also recall her biting me at one point and grinding her crotch up against me on several occasions. Crete,
A good time had by all.
Next night and I went to their digs to see if they were coming down to meet me and a mate for a drink. As I walked into the bar area the young lady was there and I went "Hi, you wearing any underwear tonight?"
There came a sudden silence...from her and the other ten or eleven people present.
For best effect imagine that someone was playing an old vinyl album on a turntable and the needle just skidded across and the song stopped halfway through, at exactly the same moment everyone stopped talking.
Or better still, imagine that scene in An American Werewolf In London when the backpacker says "What's that star on the wall?" which causes the bloke playing darts to miss his throw and the entire pub to stop talking.
One of the leaders then gave me a clear speech (in front of everyone) on how that wasn't appropriate, that I was substantially older than they were and while I was still welcome to hang out with them, he would appreciate if I kept my interactions at a more acceptable level. He pointed out that my language may have offended, and that I wasn't part of their group. He then suggested we move to a quieter area to chat in private where we talked a bit more (I was both extremely drunk and very embarrassed by this point so don't remember much of it), shook hands and we moved to the local bar.
In the boozer I spoke to another leader from the group about why a remark that would have been fairly mild during last night's shenanigans was now deemed so offensive. He replied "At the end of the day we're leaders and we have to look after this group. That's our job."
I spent the next two sodding days with a shameover about this.
Having got so drunk that I had apparently been smoking cigarettes (something I never do unless hammered) AND fell off my bar stool, my hangover the following day was magnificently appalling. My shameover however outlasted the hangover by a good 24 hours at least.
My emotions on the subject ranged from indignation over the perceived hypocrisy of the situation to being desperately concerned that the group now considered me a pervert. I overanalysed the exchange (which lasted a MAXIMUM of two minutes) again and again and again, comparing his change in personality upon hearing me enquire about the underwear, as similar to Bucky being turned into the Winter Soldier in Captain America: Civil War after hearing certain code phrases.
I was narked off that he'd used me as an excuse to "sell" the protective, older brother aspect of his role to the people under his care. I was also annoyed that his reaction was straight out of a training scenario role-play, right down to the vocabulary used to convey the message.
I then felt respect for how he'd handled it, noting as an ex cop that he had dealt with a spontaneous incident very well, being calm and addressing an issue while remaining level headed.
I finally realised, once my shameover finally fucked off, that none of this really mattered at the end of the day and the worst thing that could ever come of this would be him and the group not wanting to hang out with me the next time they're in town.
My brother doesn't get shameovers. He likes a drink like I do but things he does while pissed, he says sorry for and then moves on, not dwelling on the past.
I managed to turn one, drunken, silly remark into a Shakespearian tragedy to rank up there with Macbeth...all in my own head.
Glad I finally found out what this type of hangover is called.
**Although a litre of factor 50SPF suntan lotion is about £5...go figure.