My left shoulder is blocked. Maybe I would have continued to ignore it had it not been for the pain. So my doctor sent me to a physiatrist who said heavy duty physical therapy was needed unless I preferred an operation. And that’s how I met Marco the Physical Therapist. At our first encounter we barked at one another. No big deal just establishing territorial domain as most animals do.
My mom told me that when you grow old, no one pays attention to you. So to make sure that I got the attention that I needed, I’d always wear a bright violet gym suit.
Marco and I soon became a team and after a few weeks of therapy, I regained much mobility and felt less pain. When I was finally able to touch my head again with my left hand, I cried—it was the first time I’d been able to do so in months and the joy was immense.
Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.
Last December the British writer Hanif Kureishi and his wife were vacationing in Rome. On the day after Christmas, the couple took a walk around Piazza del Popolo and Villa Borghese. It was a fabulously beautiful day but Kureishi was feeling dizzy so they went home. Here Kureishi blacked out and fell down with a thump. When he came to, Kureishi found himself in a pool of blood, his neck grotesquely twisted and his wife kneeling next to him.
Kureishi was taken to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital where he learned that he couldn’t use his arms and legs. Despite spinal surgery, the British writer was no longer autonomous.
Kureishi was born in London. His dad was Pakistani and his mom English. In his early twenties, he earned a living as a pornography writer (using pseudonyms of course) before writing screenplays. I learned about Kureishi from my friend, Mona who spent much time in London.
The only Kureishi book I’ve read is The Buddha of Suburbia. As with other Kureishi stories, the book focuses on the experience of being Pakistani in London. Constantly dealing with racial discrimination and cultural confusion can make life fatiguing. So “we must find an entirely new way of being alive” writes the author.
Now, despite being unable to physically write on his own, Kureishi uses a dictation machine that allows him to post on Twitter. Here he documents his entirely new way of living. Despite the tragedy, the author writes that he hasn’t “lost the one thing that was most valuable to me, that is my ability to express myself.”
Kureishi is not the first to practice Twitterature using tweets as a literary devise. I follow the author c.c. o’hanlon, an Australian writer married to an American. Using the minimalism of Twitter’s limit of 140 characters, O’Hanlon describes the odyssey he must endure searching for a new home.
Related: A Writer Collapses. As He Recovers, His Dispatches Captivate Readers + Death was chattering to me, says writer Hanif Kureishi + He’s Tweeting for His Life + Hanif Kureishi’s TWITTER + Nurse! My pen! Hanif Kureishi’s hospital musings and the art of sickbed writing + My friend David Bowie by Hanif Kureishi +
Hanif Kureishi: “Che umiliazione dipendere dagli altri. Sogno di andare a comprare dolci a mia moglie e di diventare italiano” + THE KUREISHI CHRONICLES +