Shocking. Absolutely shocking.
I don’t intend to shock, upset or offend. In some ways I think it would be totally justified if I did want to be an Offensive Shocker, to make people sit-up and listen, a bit like my rude awakening, only, without others having to have their own brain cancer. Alas, at times, I am shocking others, passers-by, strangers, fellow pub-goers, friends of friends. Double takes, pointing and staring, which, at times, is beyond rude. Babies seem fascinated, perhaps because my hair-to-face ratio is similar to theirs.
I caused two young lads, probably in their late teens or early twenties, to cry yesterday. They probably had a few beers which fuelled their emotions and muted their inhibitions, and a personal connection to cancer for one of them whose auntie “has it”, as he said. I didn’t mean to bring tears to their eyes and to dilute their beer, but a random meeting at a pub party after the Civil Partnership of friends, meant that we were wearing “CP” fancy dress. So, amongst the party-going Cowboys, Police Constables, Cycling Peloton, Call-girls and Prostitutes, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Pelican Crossing, Para Commando, Chris Patterson and so much more CP-inspired fancy dress, there was me. I went as a Cancer Patient. It could be argued that my outfit took a massive amount of preparation, my radiohead hair-do and normal dress.
Even by my own admission, my hair is quite funky: mostly about half a centimetre in length, except for the big bald patch on my right, where the radiation went in, and a semi-fluffy patch on my left where the radiation came out. The two lads were fascinated by my “really cool” hair do, so much so that they asked me about it. So I told them the truth, in brief, in very brief. But, I guess they were expecting me to tell them about a fancy hairdresser or something, and instead, they got a brief precise on the treatment for brain cancer. I didn’t mean to ruin their evening, but, moist-eyed, they couldn’t stop stroking my hair, fascinated by the scar, the baldness and fuzz, both wanting to cuddle me better. I think they were only just beyond being tucked-up in bed themselves and they were possibly still of the belief that a cuddle will make it all better.
Vix Big Shock
Vicky Galbraith April 2011