Movements, and sounds.
Regular readers will know that I am not religious. I actually forgot that last Friday was Good Friday, and I was surprised that the supermarket is closed today. For those of you that celebrate this season in that way, I wish you a Happy Easter, and a peaceful weekend.
But this morning I woke up hearing a noise. It took a while for me to realise that I had made that noise, something resembling a strangled cry, as I turned over in bed. My body was telling me that I had been in one position too long, and that it also didn’t like the amount of effort required to change direction.
I can’t really remember the first time I started to make noises associated with the simple process of moving around. But I do remember my Mum having to make some sort of ‘grunt’ to assist her to get out of an armchair. And when she sat back down in one, she would let out a sound something like a long “Oooff”, as she rested back against the cushion. At the time, I used to find this amusing. Little did I know that those sounds would soon be coming from my own mouth.
It seems that I can no longer rise from the sofa, or sit back on one, without associating the movement with an audible groan or strange cry. I have actually tried to stop it happening, but with no success. And it is not restricted to sitting and standing. Scratching a particularly itchy insect bite last year, I was shocked to hear myself letting out some kind of high-pitched wail as I did so. At first, I didn’t even realise it was me making the noise.
Settling down in bed unleashes a repertoire of sighs that could well be set to music. Stretching out under the duvet has to be attempted carefully, in case of attracting a bout of muscle cramp in one leg. If that happens, it will be accompanied by cries of pain that are something like those heard on a Maternity Labour Ward. If I escape that, then cat-like purs of contentment issue from my lips, followed by expulsions of breath that can rustle the pages of a magazine, inflating my cheeks until I resemble the jazz trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie.
Getting into my low corner bath is easy enough, but climbing back out after bathing is another matter entirely. I have to adopt the tried and tested ‘extrication’ method. Hands grasp the sides, legs and feet drawn up to get purchase on the bottom of the bath, then up in a single movement, accompanied by my personal bath grunt, sounding something like ‘Aaargh’. Without that grunt, I am convinced I would never emerge from the bath water.
Outside the home, I cannot avoid my new ‘language’. Climbing into the driving seat of my car doesn’t appear to require much effort, but it is always accompanied by a distinct ‘Oooff’, which makes me remember my Mum, every time I set off to drive somewhere. After a drive of less than thirty minutes, getting out of that same seat usually necessitates a few ‘Ows’, before I am on solid ground.
When you reach the age that you begin to hear unfamiliar and unnecessary sounds coming from you, try to remember this post.
Read it again, and realise that it is all just part of getting old.