Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autumn of Doom Redux

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. Saturday was strange. When I take my glut of morning pills, I always down them with a Trader Joe’s Breakfast Bar. I don’t know why, but I had no stomach for that bar or any food item that morning. I wasn’t sick to my stomach. Yes, hormones were raging as it seems is their wont, but they’ve never impinged on my ability to eat.

I had Tamar, the greatest P.T. on the planet coming over later in the afternoon, so I had to eat something. Good lord, I had a Zone bar. I think the last time I had one of those was a lifetime ago. But at least I some energy to burn for the beloved Tamar, the greatest P.T. on the planet.

In the afternoon, computer activities that require no thought at all suddenly became difficult. Puzzling. Scary. Chip came and made all better, and I breathed a sigh of relief. But what the fuck is going on?

Saturday night, I started to go through about double the number of oxygen tanks than the usual. (I didn’t notice. Chip told me this today. He had the gall to say to me, “You had the mask on most of the night.” Like I’m supposed to put two and two together when I’m no longer able to handle basic computer function. (Do you remember when we were elementary school kids, and I guess in an attempt to teach us beauties higher math skills, they used “The Function Machine.” Except no one really ever bothered to put the damned thing into context. All I know is one number went in, and another number came out.. Why? Don’t ask me, I didn’t get it then, and I would like to think I’d get it now without outside help.)

Another thing in life where context would have been everything. Hey kids, back in ancient times they had what they called “The Seven Wonders of the World.” One was this humongous statue of a man. I mean so seriously humongous that it made the list. He was called the Colossus of Rhodes. Stay with me kids. This poem “Give me your tired your poor/your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”and so on. Does anyone know the name of that poem? (No, off course we didn’t.) It’s called The New Colossus, and the woman (Emma Lazarus) who wrote the poem was writing about the Statue of Liberty. America as a haven for immigrants. Now let’s talk about immigration…

Wouldn’t that teensy bit of context been helpful? And I just found out that the damned poem doesn’t even begin with “Give me your tired your poor…” The first part explains exactly what the fuck Emma was talking about. So you understand the goddamned poem and title without even knowing dong about the Colossus of Rhodes. Aren’t teachers blithering idiots? Or are we too stupid to get the big picture even though the little one just floats in the ether, attached to nothing or no one.

Goddamn, I’m one pissed off human being tonight. I remember in fourth grade learning the names of three very important “statesmen.” Not a surprise, they were Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun. I don’t ever recall knowing what made them “statesmen.” I don’t ever recall know what a “statesman” was. I knew these dudes were American. That’s about it. I had no idea what they did for this country except that it must have been very important. So, it’s good to be a “statesman,” and these three were particularly good at being “statesmen” because the teacher is bothering to tell us about them. Do we have any other “statesmen?” Besides this three who have names? (And why is only one allowed a middle initial?)

I sure knew nothing about our system of government back then. C’mon everybody, you can do it quick and dirty: You know the president, right kids? The statesmen are people who are elected from every state, and they write the laws. There is a third part, the judiciary, but let’s save that for another class, shall we?

Oh, and by the way, Emma Lazarus died at the age of thirty-eight of Hodgkin’s Disease.

Back to Saturday night. I think I may have felt a little under the weather, but I was really perturbed that walking my usual laps in the hallway were near impossible. The first is always the hardest, but number two was pretty rough too. I have never, ever done this: “That’s it for tonight. No lap number three. I can’t do it.”

So off to bed I go. Chip, as usual, wakes me up for glut of morning pills. I take the pills. I tell Chip to get me a thermometer. I have 100.4 fever. Not a big deal except when you know there’s an infection in your body and your lungs have only quarter capacity. Chip gets the pulmonologist on call, (my wee pulmonologist’s big macher partner.) I’m prescribed a combo of steroids and antibiotics. (The only treatment to try and keep the lungs out of this.) Good news, the infection has not gotten into my lungs. If it had been, we might really be saying farewell.

I should only be so lucky. No more fever. I’m using a lot less oxygen than I was before, but it’s still more than it had been before all this crap started. I have zero strength. Until it all actually comes back, I’m making no assumptions.

Now it’s a new day! I’ve been awake for a nanosecond today and already, I need to nap. I’m not sure why this was so important last night, but I’ll see if I can figure out why. Ah, we have a lithograph that we bought on a whim at a gallery that only sells surrealist art. The thing is fucking ginormous. The only wall space large enough to accommodate it was in Lydon’s room. We hung the thing. And boy, does it freak him out! He insists it’s a representation of death, which I suppose is totally possible. Even though it lacks the typical death accoutrements (no cowl, no scythe). But this is surreal, so it shouldn’t include the usual death symbols, right?

Okay, he’s a young man, dressed up in green robes (plus maybe, just maybe, a medieval version of a back pack). He carries a brightly-lit staff and is standing be a cube of space that appears to continue on for all eternity or at least as far as we can see. I really relate to this guy. The lithograph has a name. And it isn’t “Death“ which would certainly be a dead giveaway. (Stupid pun not intended. I don’t have time for stupid puns.) No, it’s more subtle than that: “…nè in cielo nè in terra…” Neither heaven nor earth? Neither sky nor earth?

Yes, it’s Limboland! That’s where I live. I’m totally young and spry except I have a quarter lung capacity (and that’s when I’m healthy). It must be less- at least until I fully recover from this piece of nonsense. I’m disabled, but everything except one vital organ works perfectly. So, I like that guy. If by keeping that damned staff lit, he saves some poor schmuck from falling down that really nasty abyss, then I’m all for him and the whole lithograph. He’s stuck in the miasma just like me. Wait a minute he is me.

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