“What is wrong with me, please?”



MUS-y words


  • To help. I find it easier to share in someone’s pain than someone’s joy. I just do. And it makes me feel less alone. If that is also you, reader, then I hope this helps.
  • To make meaning out of pain. To get one-up on pain. I’m going to get back at this pain if it’s the last thing I do. I’m going to … to put it on some paper and charge as much for it as hand cream from the White Company, see how it likes that.
  • To leave something behind. I realised that if this illness kills me, or if I end up killing myself, this earth will only know me through my Twitter feed and my Spotify playlists. Better delete all the Vanessa Carlton and download some more Libertines and The National’s new album so people know that I was cool then and, goddamn, I’m still cool now.
  • To entertain. If I’m going to be in pain forever, you will laugh at my jokes.
  • To document the big epiphany. But there isn’t always one, actually. I love Miriam Engelberg’s Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person. Listen to this: ‘Yeah, I know I should be meditating and journaling and reflecting … but I don’t feel like it. I’m still waiting for some kind of epiphany so that I can use illness to turn my life around. But in the meantime, I’m just going to watch Judge Judy and read a magazine.’ Isn’t she great? I have a few mini epiphanies which you’ll read all about, but if they annoy you as much as they’d make me want to punch someone and yell, ‘SANCTIMONIOUS KNOBHEAD!’ then fair play, really.
  • To make money. This is the last one, because it is less important than the others, but basically I want your money because I want to make a living doing the thing I love, and because I want to make a living. I want your pound notes, your five-pound notes, your dirty tens, twenties, and I want your fifties — all authors do, that’s their trade, but especially me. I want to dance in and under your money. I want to put your money in my hair. I want to rub it on my face like Maybelline, maybe she’s born with it. I want to buy quinoa and spelt flour with your money, just to annoy you. I want to buy a pony with your money.





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Valley Press

Valley Press

First-class publishing on the Yorkshire coast since 2009 — fiction, non-fiction, poetry and more. Excerpts and articles here, more info at valleypressuk.com