Category Management in Cowley

Oof. It’s so cool to hang out with Steven when the world around you feels like it’s taken leave of its senses. Yesterday was shit. A stupid pointless Twitter spat that I should never have got involved in; irritation at the personal trainer in the cardiac circuits class and my ongoing struggle to accept having to use a catheter for a fortnight. Five minutes in Steven’s company and all that evaporates like a fragrant fart.

We watched the Paul Heaton documentary. I thought Steven was going to go pop with excitement when Norman Cook pitched up. “All Paul’s old friends are back again. Happy now”. Despite a deep resistance to any change whatsoever, Steven really embraces the concept of a cover version so was dead excited to hear Paul and Jacqui singing A Little Time rather than Dave and Briana.

After our viewing Steven got around to planning this evening’s DVD viewing. For weeks he’s been working his way through his enormous collection of music DVDs. I’m fascinated by how he categorises his viewing. On the shelves, they are all in meticulous alphabetical order. When it comes to watching them he has, what is to me, a perfectly logical viewing order. For example, on Thursday he watched Slade. On Friday it was T Rex. On Saturday, Sunday and yesterday, it was the three disc boxed set of The Sweet. Steven tells you the question he wants you to ask him, so this morning he said, “What you going to watch later Steve?” I asked him and he pulled out his Sparks Dvd – “Steven Neary’s going to watch Sparks with Ron with his cross face”.

I’m mightily impressed with this running order. It’s basically all the glam rock videos back to back. This isn’t a one off. Over four days a couple of weeks back, he selected: Spandau Ballet, The Human League, Duran Duran and Soft Cell. We also had a week of: Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie and Barry White. There’s a method at work here. But I’m fascinated how he’s got the categories spot on. How does he know? In discussion, any song prior to 1990 was made “when Steven Neary was a tiny seed in mummy’s belly”. That could apply to Blockbuster (1973) and True (1983). Somewhere along the way he’s identified the difference between the glam rock era and the new romantic era. I’d love to ask him but he wouldn’t be able to verbalise how he knows.

And somehow that’s both a shame and magical at the same time.

1 thought on “Category Management in Cowley”

  1. Mark isn’t it wonderful that Steven is now comfortable with his life. A life that only you knew he was capable of and comfortable with. What an awful time you have had getting to this point in your lives. Not listened to, not respected an not even recognised as the most important person in Steven’s life, but bullied by the people who thought they knew best.

    I watched the BBC Breakfast programme this morning when Jayne McCubbin ended the debate by reading out your text. Wonderful stuff. You nailed it on the head as always.

    I hope the next year brings you better health.

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