Monday, April 7, 2014



3/ 7/ 14

Nausea, headache, dizziness—they are the celebrity brain cancer complaints, the who's who on the multiform red carpet; for me, currently and thankfully, those are infrequent. Fatigue: that's my pet complaint these days. And I can't help but feel a little chippy like my lay-about fatigue might be perceived as a snub to their preeminence.

Then again, they are not so special really--nothing nearly so special as human celebrities (and here I'm
thinking, say, Kirk Cameron . . . uh . . . Shannon Doherty and uh  . . . now I'm drawing a blank) --it's not as if these symptoms are exclusive to the tumorous; anyone can wake-up on any given day (as long as one has five or eleven items on ones to-do list critical to the successful completion of the whole week ahead) feeling yucksome on some level.

So I am tired all the time. Tired like I've been looking at this pulsing cursor for 30 seconds with only just now something to show for it, tired. Tired like I can nod off over a meal like a suckling infant, tired. Tired like I would get out of bed to relieve myself of this impending cataclysm of bladder eruption but it's cold and everyone knows that cold air is denser than warm air which means a veritable wall of carob syrup to push through on my way so I'll just wait until noon, tired.

Nausea, headache, dizziness. I get those too. In fact, I have one of my most faithful headaches right now; it begins in the afternoons behind my right eye until joined in a neighborly fashion behind my right temple; its a weak not even cursor pulsing headache, but it's my headache and I'll complain if I want to. Ditto my other Lesser Maladies. If not debilitating, they are certainly foreboding.

For now, I am tired all the time. You may not know it to look at me unless you saw me doze off to my son's electronic compositions set at 11 a-la Spinal Tap on a just underway "trip" to the Publix down a pot-holey, neglected state highway. Unless you catch a glimpse of me chin to chest in the bread aisle. Or espy me here in bed propped against my armchair pillow slipping just-a-quick-nap-ward, about to stymie this hypnotic cursor. Good afternoon. Sweet dreams. See you at bedtime.


3/ 8/ 14

If gambling on baseball park concessions, would the following Texas Hold 'em/ suspect ingestion scenario be considered cheating?

You contribute an ante of a Coke, fizzy if over-iced but you think "I shouldn't even be here, I've been off syrupy soda and midday caffeine for months, why risk it?"

Too late now. The flop. Your son (because, unlike you in your wheelchair, he can see over the counter) is ordering a bag of popcorn. Ugh. You've played this hand before, before it played you, that is. You've already decided to muck when the action comes around but when all that comes is the concessionaire  announcing a temporary outage of this selection. "But, if you'll wait," she says to my son with a wink. A tell?  "Fresh corn is popping." A promising turn. The stakes are a little high but the others in line have checked around to you. And what about that wink? You raise. Some call. The pot is chopped.

No blood.

But sometime during the chute-and-bag and the butter-drizzle and the concession lady's hand-off to
your son, the popcorn goes stale. You'll need your soda to hold up but your soda has flattened while you were away. Nonetheless, you feel committed by virtue of the brash popcorn contribution. You wisely check around until you feel it’s time to pull the trigger. You came to play, you came to win. You knew all along what you were willing to lose; you know every time brimming with perverse anticipation. Come what may.

But first you sneak a peek at your pocketed pair of chemo-strength anti-nausea pills. You swallow one. Your son might have seen you but the river comes in the top of the eighth. You stretch nonchalantly, sorely regretting  having forgotten all about both peanuts and cracker jacks, you push all in . . . first inning’s hot dog, last week’s bun, last year’s mustard. You came to win. Come what may. But the question remains did you cheat? And will it be worth it, that asterisk blighting your son's memory?

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