It shouldn’t have been so surprising to me, so confounding….but given my circumstances, it was more than understandable that I would have had no idea whatsoever who Davide Zappacosta was and why he was playing for Chelsea.
I perhaps should mention that I should have had no idea who or what Chelsea was because given my circumstances, I had no business being alive, let alone being aware of anything involving Premier League football.
On August 20th, 2017 I collapsed in my bedroom while doing some laundry. I hit me head on the window sill evidently and when I came to 20-30 minutes later my head was bleeding. My wife, Emily, was was out of town at her parent’s house down in St. Louis so I wrapped my bleeding head together and stubbornly drove myself to the ER at Upland Hills Hospital in Dodgeville WI thinking it was not much more serious than a head wound.
I was very very grievously wrong about that. Within hours an ambulance was taking me to St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison for emergency open-heart surgery. As I’ve had it explained to me, I was bleeding around my aorta and would have died the following day or sooner without the surgery. I survived the surgery. I now have an artificial aorta. But then I had a stroke. And for the entire 3 weeks while was at St. Mary’s I don’t remember a goddamn thing which is probably just as well.
The horror of me never being the same person again was tearing my wife apart but she was determined to ensure that whatever small part of me could recover was able to, no matter how grim the prognosis was at the time. As I said, for 3 weeks I was completely unaware. It’s probably just as well. Emily tried prodding me with things that would fire up a state of recognition. One day she brought me my Chelsea team calendar and I started recognizing and naming players. But not Davide Zappacosta, obviously. I have to remember to remind myself that I had no actual awareness of any of this since all of this had been related to me by my wife.
One Saturday, Emily had a Premier League match on TV for me to watch. It Manchester United vs somebody, and I immediately recognized Wayne Rooney and latched on to his presence to the point that when I had to pee, and to be honest I needed some help with that evidently, my wife was enlisted to help. Rooney also became part of the process.
I don’t remember any of this, thank god. But J have it on the good authority of my wife that this unfortunately actually happened.
That along with the sad forlorn swearing at my nurses and my wife about how they should give me my goddamned ice chips right NOW even though they couldn’t.
Because Wayne Rooney needs to PEE after all and how can he pee if he doesn’t have his goddamn ice chips.
I had some therapy sessions at St. Mary’s which consisted evidently of me scribbling and colouring on some horrible drawings of people; drawing clocks with far less charm and character and accuracy than anything drawn by Salvador Dali; and finally being totally mystified by pictures of chickens, giraffes, and dinosaurs.
When I transferred from St Mary’s to Finley Hospital in Dubuque, I almost immediately started recovering my memory, cognition and awareness. I was actually remembering things from the Therapy sessions. It was still tricky to draw a clock, but I began properly identifying animals, days of the week. totaling up a shopping trip, and making change.
Now I’m back at home. My therapy sessions are at Southwest Hospital in Platteville WI and have been a rousing success. I have had to relearn how to use the Internet. Use email. Search Google. All that atff I used to take for granted and could do in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back now takes a bit of more effort. But its gradually coming back to me. I’ve downloaded the latest version of WordPress. My Gimp image software has been up dated. And I’m starting to remember a lot that had been forgotten.
Except for the 3 weeks at St. Mary’s. That can stay forgotten.
And now finally have an answer regarding Davide Zappacosta.
When I had my stroke and my open-heart surgery, I was missing a lot in the Sporting World.
Davide Zappacosta was signed by Chelsea on August 30th, the final day of the transfer window. So I kind of missed that meeting.
But when I think of how many wonderful things my wife & I could be missing out on, like each other, like our two little dogs Stitch and Sophie. I’ll take missing out on the Sporting World anytime.
This is a Magic World, after all. Always has been. Always will be one.
So in that spirit, I’ve tried a little bit. Decided that I’m going to keep writing and so I have. Also figured on trying some music again, even though y’all should know again by now that I HATE music. It’s got too many notes.
And with that thought mind….Great Googah Moogah, it’s Ral Donner!!