|yellow ochre pigment|
I hope not to have lost too many of you with that sorry instance of wonder-wacky. I delete, delete, and delete but it keeps coming back. The lesson? Don't even start with the wonder-wacky. Wonder-wacky, it's a monkey on the back.
We've launched a Graduated Memo Series to the New Haddock Corporate Division, infinitely approaching an opinion -- such that the Captain may think himself Author to the Gentle Thought: Fun and wacky, who doesn't love fun and wacky but we also aspire to centered and pertinent. [Damn it!]
That Damn it! is a refrain, nothing more, something we say just to ourselves. You know, bracketed.
I cannot explain exactly what happened to me during the night but my last recollected thought before unconsciousness was to wonder if I might be dying. Violent spasms -- body-wide! -- complemented by cold shivers and perverted neurological perceptions, light-twirling batons skimming the skin of my eyes. It was the severe, very localized pain that made me wager against impending death, an estimate made even stronger by the evidence of waking up.
Nothing, nothing, nothing is as it seems.
That's what I'm hoping, anyway.
I feel skeletal, in that I see bones -- backlit -- when I close my eyes, and feel them, stretched, broken, rotting. Also tenacious, in clay's yellow ochre, not oatmeal, stone or pebble, not ecru. The pigment of my better bones is duplicitous, good for reds and browns as well as yellows, but also tendentious, tending toward a glaze despite the world's opaque demands.
We decided it was not worth another trip to the MDVIP Go-To-Guy's office to get the material leaking from the fistula cultured. The gazillionth follow-up visit for that shoulder is coming up next Thursday, anyway, and ShoulderMan can either send me down the street to my old Infectious Disease Dood or across it to the hospital to have it done. I've also decided to beg for, rather than defer to, a surgical option, and for its rapid execution.
I used the word untenable four times today in communications.
Yesterday, though, I spent over 10 hours researching tablecloths for the screened-in porch that Fred and I, together, recuperated. I hate damask but even fine linens and knobby cottons repulsed; The only suitable fabric came from a shop in the UK which promised to make "to order" my tablecloth needs, requiring only three weeks for the effort, and some money. It wasn't a fugue state, it was an osteomyelitis state, a necrotic state, and my skull dripped a desalinated sea.
A few moments ago, I raced to one of our twelve Personal Linen Closets and without any effort whatsoever placed my extended grabber-thingy on a perfectly-sized antique Army Navy tablecloth that really belonged to one of my antiqued relatives, a woman named Mabel. I know this because someone wrote her name in permanent marker in one of the corners. We've never used it. It's lain, folded carefully, protected by acid-free paper, breathable muslin, and air-conditioning from light, temperature extremes, humidity, H1N1, cat dander, moths, and stray Crayolas. A fine heavy weight, it should do well out by the moat, next to the mooring site for miniature subs, there where it is cold and dry, wet and hot, in a world of swirling particulate matter and coffee mugs. Thank you, Mabel!
I'm eating kosher dill after kosher dill, hoping to sweat pickle juice by morning. I salted the already-salted microwave popcorn. I'm salt crazed. My new mantra, picked up from a recent recipe involving complicated layers of flavors, is "cook with kosher salt, finish with sea salt." My salt obsession just unmasked itself as part and parcel of adrenal insufficiency, and I popped an extra Cortef.
This is untenable, this craziness. During a very brief sleep, I dreamt of Benjamin Raspail. The Benjamin Raspail of Silence of the Lambs, not that uniquely French creation, the painter-politician of the 19th century. I would have sworn that my waking self had no knowledge of either, but my malicious sleeping self cried Murder and Cannibalism (and Suicide, the aggregate!).
I'm all set to give this sleeping business another go, though. Soft jammies and the last fifty pages of Lehane's The Given Day. I've no right to judge it successful, but I do think his black voice succeeds. I can't think of another writer who liberally scatters nigger through the pages without that act, itself, becoming the focal point or requiring some sort of textual defense. It's not brilliant but it is, as one reviewer said, "a big American novel."
I want to lose myself in "big," so if the room begins to swirl, the toes point in spasm, and the pain cuts and cuts, I can lose myself in saga and generations instead of wondering if Fred will be able to keep a clean and orderly Manor when I die, and eat his vegetables.
My favorite line thus far:
"Dee-fine avar-iss" she said once.
It's all wonder-wacky.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
"Move along," I said.