The book starts in early 2010 and I wake up in hospital with 11 broken ribs, a punctured lung and liver, a broken foot and collar bone and a very serious brain injury. I have to learn how to do EVERYTHING again but because I am “suffering” from euphoria I find it all (the grumpy old stroke victims, the catheter, the gorgeous bottom wiping nurses) strangely hilarious.
And to top things off my memory is broken too and I have no idea why and how I got there … and nobody else seems to know either. Or maybe they do and they’re just not telling me.
As I piece things together all sorts of dark secrets emerge. A past of unrequited love, discovering the piano, a lost album of pain and recovery … I slowly remember the other way my brain has been broken and how it has blackened my life but shaped me as a man and an artist.
Out of the hospital and staying with my long suffering parents, I continue my recovery and am struck by the wonders and simplicities of life anew. The sky, not spilling a cup of tea, the trees in the wind, learning how to swim again, all seem incredible to me in my euphoric state. As I put the final pieces of the jigsaw together (what exactly happened with Ruth and what was the nature of the “accident”?) I realise something else.
I have been given an incredible second chance and I am not going to waste it.
A funny, conversational, moving and poetic memoir about the pitfalls and brilliance of the human brain and how, sometimes, being broken is our only salvation.
“To be born, you have to come from a pretty dark place.”