Denial is an interesting word with many guises.
It can work in your favour. It can save you pain. It can delay the inevitable and it can block a memory. But it can work against you. The inevitable remains assured and memories can resurface.
While denial can be born from ignorance or stupidity, it is also about self-preservation and I maintain my belief in its optimism. It serves to protect us a little longer from harsh realities or inconveniences until our minds are better ready to deal with them. As we can’t seem to remove this filter (and certainly, some people possess bigger denial-filters than others – and indeed some never reach awareness), we’ll never know if this system is in place for better or worse, but it is optimism nevertheless.
There’s a video somewhere on the internet. It’s grainy CCTV store footage of people shopping and/or browsing and a fire starts. A light-fitting gets too hot and ignites some fabric. Customers continue to shop. More people walk into the store to browse. The whole video is quite surreal.
This brings me to ice skating last evening.
It was my idea. Neither my friend or I had been for ages so I thought we’d have an evenly matched skill level. I was wrong. Apparently she used to roller skate in her childhood so she was better from the outset. She pulled me a long for a few laps and we watched professionals casually spinning and skating backwards with such grace that when their phones received text messages they answered them without losing rhythm while skating. As time went on I began to get some confidence back, I stopped clinging to my friend or the handrail and my toes stopped gripping the inside of my shoes (which my brain obviously felt would help me grip the ice). After a time my friend and I began to skate a little more equally and we started to chat. And laugh, we laughed a lot. And my friend fell over. She laughed herself off her skates. It wasn’t a sliding fall, she flailed forward, over-corrected, flailed backwards with skates spinning cartoon-style and took a solid fall to the ground.
I gave her ten points for execution, but first I asked her if she was okay.
Sure. I’m Fine. I reckon I’ll be sore tomorrow. So we skated a couple more laps and I asked her again. Yeah, I’ll be fine – I’m such a klutz. After a few more laps I asked her if she wanted to go. My elbow is hurting a bit.
We headed back to her place, got some ice onto her arm and got out a board game. We played a couple of rounds with our conversation drifting back to her injury from time to time. I’ll be fine. I can still move my fingers. It’s just a sprain.
As I went to leave, she went to stand. Ow, ow, ow. Wow, it really hurts.
I said it couldn’t be broken because everyone who’d I known to break a bone felt sick and thought they’d faint.
Um. Actually, initially, I thought I might.
I drove her to Emergency. She’d broken her elbow.
We’re blogging every day in the month of November! I think I’m actually getting the hang of this.