Calm down

If one more person tells me to calm down I shall scream; in the same way when I was battling with cancer those who’ve been lucky to escape it told me I was brave.  No far from it I’m a coward what you don’t realise is actually there is no choice.  Well, strictly speaking, there is a choice, there is always a choice.  You can choose to ignore it and eventually die.  Or you can confront it head on, do whatever is required and hope for the best.  Since I had a 5 year old the first time I opted for the latter.  Then it came back with a vengeance when she was 14, still too young to be motherless so I endured, again.

This time not so ‘brave’ and dignified.  Ranting, raving, manic from cocktail of steroids to prevent nausea from chemo and anti-depressants (too much of a good thing, it turned out) but would the all knowing oncologist listen, no.  It’s cos you can’t accept the recurrence Mrs B this is psychological not physical, yeah right.  I know when I am acting ‘crazy’, real ‘crazy’ not pretend.  Made me hell to live with and no doubt hammered that final nail in the coffin labelled ‘our marriage.

I’ve been called ‘an inspiration’, not sure what that means exactly.  I did what I had to do to survive, to stay alive so that there was a chance of seeing better days.  I stayed alive for me and my baby.  Cos I was too young to die.  I hadn’t seen her graduate from uni, fall in love, marry, become a mother and I a granny.  I wanted to hold my newborn grandchild and spoil him/her.  There were loads of places I hadn’t seen, people I needed to make up with, things unsaid, my life story to write …  All those places that you must see before you die like New Zealand or South America.

A traffic warden told me to calm down when I complained he wasn’t doing his job.  I had hobbled painfully with my broken ankle on crutches fresh from the hospital to my front door because the driver had spotted the warden and was afraid of getting a fine on the double yellow lines.  Yet another minicab had been outside my door for the last five minutes; I know cos that is how long it took me to struggle the short distance.

I thought he was picking you up, madame.  Ah. no, he isn’t.

No madam I can’t give him a ticket because he is allowed two minutes for pick up.

But it has been more than two minutes.

No madam he is allowed two minutes for pick up.

It is more than two minutes and her friends have just come running.

Calm down madam.

Don’t tell me to calm down.

Warden walks away knowing I can’t follow on my crutches while making the sign that I’m not right in the head.  I was almost tempted to chase him down the road but thought better of it cos the pain was excruciating and he wasn’t worth it. 

But now I have been fitted with the walking boot and can limp my way round more easily I am on the lookout for said warden and he won’t know what has hit him.

Flashback to first time in Soho I was told to calm down.  This was after the clerk at Queens Theatre told me I had to give 24 hours notice to change the date of my ticket for Les Miserables. 

Well I didn’t plan on breaking my ankle.

Please calm down madam.

Skip forward to yesterday evening.  It was a balmy warm evening despite it being officially Autumn so I fancied sitting out watching the world go by at my favourite Soho bar next to Les Miserables.  The barmaid, the one who had been really nice to me for the past two days, was on her own and it was getting busy.  I made some gestures from the door for her to come out and serve me.  I hadn’t meant straight away. 

No I’m not going to serve you outside.

So me and my broken ankle can only be served outside when it isn’t busy?  Otherwise we can take a running jump.  Discrimination against the mobile challenged?  Naturally it was unreasonable and yes once again I complained to the manager. 

Please calm down madam.

Miraculously another barista materialised and took my order.

If one more person tells me to calm down I shall scream.


About cho wan yau

Teacher by day poet/writer by night. Words have been my first love and will be my last. As a child I locked myself into the toilet devouring books which transported me to distant lands. Poetry shared penned from 2009-2010 in a titanic struggle to stay sane at Heartbreak Hotel. Please check it out on Any comments or feedback welcome. Why not share your story with me, because we all have one, don't we?

Posted on September 26, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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