Mar 13 2010
As a young man I read Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Convenent series. Convenant, a leprosy victim, experiences brief, periodic meetings with a character he refers to as the harbinger. These events always presage his transition from an ill, socially isolated man in the mundane world into a healthy anti-hero catapulted into The Land, a place of magic and mystery.
I’ve seen these creatures in my own life; the shapes of men, silent and strange. The harbinger, he’s an outsider’s outsider, alone on the path, even when in a crowd.
I encountered another one today and the experience has left me a bit shaken.
Feb 15 2010
I got a new doctor at the end of September and in 72 hours flat I was ready to go back to work full time. I’m thrilled by that, but I am still dangerously sick, so much so that a small mistake can tip me from seemingly normal into a dangerous place where I am physically and mentally disinclined to care for myself.
I have a regimen of several antibiotics which change about once a month. I fumbled the switchover mid February, losing a big chunk of Valentines day. I’m writing this after a three day antibiotic break to see how I feel, having just started a mixture of clarithromycin and plaquenil moments ago.
So … here’s a peak into what life is like with chronic Lyme. And a deeper look at what it could mean for health care reform.
Oct 06 2009
I don’t know what DocuDharma’s purpose is. I mean, I see the site name, and I know the dharma a bit; in fact I might just be a genuine dharma bum. Only time will tell.
I reached the ripe old age of forty with some bouts of roaming the country behind me, but I’d picked up neither Kerouac nor Theoreau. 2008 was the road – Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, a sliver of West Virginia. Pennsylvania was forest and time to stop and think, then the wonderland of Massachusetts before me. Somewhere in there I snuck into Maryland; it’s all a bit foggy, so I’m glad I diaried the heck out of it. Vermont and New Hampshire garnered some attention, New York was near, Minnesota called on our summer road trip, and I think I met an elderly bear chasing house cat in Virginia, but I’ll have to check my photos to be sure.
The Last Time I Committed Suicide is playing, and before that is was Dead Man with Johnny Depp. There’s road under there, road in both of them, and the surrealism I need to feel as if I belong here, even if only a little.
I caught a little of the road today – U.S. 45 southbound, right up against the Illinois/Indiana border. Vehicles zooming by; SUV? Check. New? Check. Christian fish? Check and mate – that sort never stops, not even if you’re clean cut. Thirteen miles I had to go and I walked five of it before a fellow in a new little pickup stopped, a school bus driver. I guess it was just a habit for him.
I see the ease of the 1950s in this movie and it’s there in Kerouac’s writing – one could just get a job, and lose it, and move on to the next with no real concerns, unless the search for employment were symbolic in some sense. The easy sexuality? I guess the fifties were the seeds of the sixties. There’s none of that to be found when you’ve broken loose from polite society as I did. Even so 2008 was a magical time – in the depths of it all I met someone wonderful, but with the same neurological flaw I have.
The winds blew and when they stopped I glided to a halt a few hundred yards short of a thousand miles from her doorstep. We talked tonight, she and I. Time and distance give perspective; we all have our pluses and minuses.
The happy go go GO world of Cassady and Kerouac? They’re our heritage, just as Thoreau before them and I suspect Chris McCandless will, having been given voice by Jon Krakauer, be joining them. The yawning chasm of economic collapse can’t help but open beneath a third of our housing inventory, spilling people and possessions about. Let the unemployment benefits hold until spring; it wouldn’t do to go through that with winter coming on. I might wish for Dharma Bums, but I fear Grapes of Wrath was the Reader’s Digest version of what we’ll get.
Sep 30 2009
It’s 2:46 as I begin typing. I should arise no later than four hours from now and return to work for the first time after a number of days off due to a miserable cold, but that is dependent on actually being able to get some sleep.
I want it all to stop; breathing out long, one last time, and then no respiration again of any sort, not here, not there, not as a bear, not under a chair, just no more. As a consolation prize I would like either a cloak of invisibility or the bus ticket object from The Lost Room. Annoying folk falling out of the sky near an abandoned hotel in Gallup, New Mexico? Better than that, how about I go to Gallup and annoying people go elsewhere, or just remain where they are, finding someone else to annoy?
The annoyance is, of course, in my head. The one person who calculatedly annoys me I actually really like; this unintended under foot getting, unsolicited opinion having, and making off with things I create which the maker off with does not fully understand? The last bit requires action, intention, but seldom results in completion; running off with something I conceive and build that wasn’t done with others in mind is like breaking into someone’s house and stealing the junk drawer in the kitchen. Yeah, you’ve got it, but all of the loose screws, small knobs, and curious brackets in there are meant for the stuff in my house. All one can accomplish with such loot is making a variety of rattling, clanking noises, gaining my attention and displeasure in the process.
I’ve had no fewer than three junk drawer burglaries in a row. In one direction the agents of a Fortune 1000 company sell something I half completed, to Google no less, without disclosing the source. A telecommunications morsel that simply wouldn’t work without someone with my background behind it has gone off like a large firecracker in the hands of the would be firecracker fence, ruining the possibility that I might make a living running it and leaving them sniveling to anyone who will listen about the product liability I face for them having gotten all ten digits in the mousetraps I store loaded in that particular drawer, having had prior experience with junk drawer stealers. The third one, well, I signed an NDA so restrictive I can’t even so much as write a humorous sidewise reference to it all, but, HA HA HA, I have experience with telecom project junk drawer stealers and I thoroughly trapped that one at the front end.
Is it really so hard to agree to do something and then actually follow through? If you get a $100k grant because of something I did and you can’t even bring yourself to recognize the work, let alone share the proceeds do you think that won’t simply explode in your face? If you have an opportunity just sitting in front of you but you didn’t realize it do you honestly think you can ignore the guiding principle behind it, despite my clearly elucidating it, and not have it simply explode in your face? The last one is, alas, far more muddled, and seeing what I have wrought I wish to take it all back, but this is not to be. Intention, action, completion, and my own silent fourth estate – embarrassment at having facilitated it all in the first place.
Before I thought to get between the human race and the three headed dragon of climate chance, fossil fuel depletion, and economic collapse I would at times amuse myself by posting mediocre erotica in various places are the internet in between games of Civilization II. Perhaps I should have stuck to stimulated admirers and simulated conquest?