Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Interview 2

ME: So let’s see…where did we end the previous interview?
BLOODY BRAIN: Oh who cares. Just get on with it.
ME: Okay, here goes. What if I hadn’t been able to manage it all?
BB: Good question. Would I have messed with you then? I’m not sure. Maybe not quite as much as I did (do). Though it is a moot point. You’re a strong lass. You managed, and continue to manage fine.
ME: I’m not sure I’d say fine. I’ve had my moments… And I’ll probably have some more. You can’t seem to let go and leave me alone…
BB: Well, duh. You know that brain injury is forever. I can’t leave you alone even if I wanted to. I’ve got a taste for attention and I’m not giving it up.
ME: It seems that for me it’s a no win situation. Let’s move on to something else.
BB: Thank God.
ME: Got any future plans of causing bleeds?
BB: Look. First of all, it wasn’t about planning. Everything I did was more or less on the spur of the moment. As to the future… I’m not one to plan ahead.
ME: I just have this feeling I just can’t get rid of. A niggling little voice in the background…
BB: Okay. What are you trying to say? Out with it.
ME: It’s just I have this feeling that… I guess lately, I’ve been… Well, not just lately, for the last few months or so, maybe year. Well, I’ve been thinking about my mortality…
BB: So, basically you’re asking me about death.
ME: Well, yeah. For some reason I can’t fathom, I’ve had this feeling that I may die in the foreseeable future. My initial reaction was that it had something to do with you, but then it occurred to me that it might not. After all, it could be anything. Cancer, a heart attack… But I can’t seem to shake the feeling that it’s about you. Any thoughts?
BB: Not really. As I said, I’m not much of a planner.
ME: It doesn’t feel like suicide either. I don’t know. When the thought comes up, you come to mind. Maybe it’s a seizure that causes me to fall. Or a balance thing. I don’t know. There’s something.
BB: So what’s your question?

ME: I guess I’ve already asked it. And you don’t really know. Certainly you’re not claiming responsibility for it. Okay, okay, moving on. How about them Steelers? Just kidding. Let’s talk about life now.

BB: What about it?
ME: For instance, I feel as if I’m finally pacing myself, that I’ve slowed way down. I’m doing less. But I’m still exhausted much of the time. Still getting bad headaches. Still having the odd balance issues. My short term memory goes down the toilet. I have trouble accessing vocabulary. I don’t feel as if I’ve made any real headway. What gives? If I slow down anymore, I wouldn’t be living.
BB: You feel as if you’ve slowed down? Don’t make me laugh. Yes, you have a reduction in teaching, but ultimately, I think you’re doing more. I mean, just look at what went on a couple of weeks ago. You gave a test, which meant that on Thursday you had an evening review session, which always exhausts you, us. Friday you stayed late to finish grading. The following week you were conducting interviews, etc. etc. Need I go on?
ME: Okay, okay you made your point. I guess I’ve learnt to pace myself better, but still have a long way to go. Also, I guess getting older doesn’t help.
BB: Oh yeah, you’re what? Fifty five? Practically dead. Whatever. Can we take a break? Just talking about your exhausting week has exhausted me.
ME: Sure.
BB: Wait. How about next time I interview you?
ME: Hmmm… that could be interesting. Sure, let’s go for it.