So the Iron Curtain has fallen. John Lennon is murdered. Ozzy has a sitcom. Disco, punk, new wave and grunge.. come and gone. We have a woman Prime Minister. Rugby is professional. A pack of cigarettes costs ten dollars. Telephones don’t have cords. Binary is the universal language. Money has gone all plastic-esoteric. Muhammad Ali has Parkinson’s. Swearing is allowed on the radio. Aborted foetuses are the key to the new medicine. We no longer travel to the moon. A hamburger joint has become a multinational company.

I ask Mum for one good thing that has happened since I went into the coma and she says “Nelson Mandela got let out of jail so he could be president of South Africa.” People don’t often focus enough on the good things. Like Mummy Puss and Blackie, at some risk of being trodden on, coming up with the concept of ‘following in front.’ Or a machine to calibrate turtles. The laser-guided bunker-buster bomb which can read street names, turn corners and press door buzzers. A human ear growing on a rat. Pictures from outer space.

My counselor is moving to Mexico. He’s a short guy who plays the bongos. At our last meeting he tells me I’ll be fine. I’ll learn to cope. Drugs will soon be a thing of the past. “Think of it like the buzzing in your ears,” he says. “Most of the time you don’t know it’s there. You’re concentrating on something else. Every now and then you remember there’s supposed to be a buzzing in your ears, and you hear it. If you couldn’t remember the supposed fact of your buzzing ears, you would never hear it. Even when you do hear it you know it’s not for long. Soon you will have forgotten, happy as anyone in a no-buzz world. Are you with me?”

He speaks very quickly.

I wont need a replacement counselor. I’m sweet. Off I go.

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