Friday, July 21, 2006

7.21.06, Stifling Heat and Schedule

More lyrical ways to say it must exist somewhere, sometime not now, but today I'm mainly pissed off and disappointed. The heat is also pretty good, which in another city would be all right but this is a town with almost no AC. Ninety-six degrees here translates into 110 or so where heat is the norm. Enough to slow you down, and I feel like I already have enough to do that. People cross the streets in slow motion, until they border shade, then slink in and walk there, skirting buildings courting shade. Sitting on the second floor of Caffe Vita, only one other soul will dare the second floor, where there is a bank of windows to possibly help you air out, a hint of breeze, maybe just now and then. Iced coffee, another small comfort. Today's air, though, is metaphorically heavy, of the worst kind, or most effective kind of metaphor where the the reality and what is suggested, the vehicle and the tenor shall we say, are both concrete and slip within and without each other. Not just oppressive heat, but oppressive news about my future and fucking harsh heat to boot, not only literary.

There's not a hell of a lot to be done about yesterday, on the other hand, about the news that this schedule is inflexible. The news will not cool off in two days to a pleasant "high of 70." My calendar, "mine" I say, and shedule will not be moving for anyone — or rather it will keep moving and you can either come along, or you can come along. Some choice. Rather, it moves and I can follow along, or follow along. It's not even somebody else's schedule that feels stifling today, it's my own, asked for or not, this ineluctable movement across time, into the dark.

Feeling depressed today, that might be the gist of it, probably a more legitimate use of that word to describe a psychological state than most ever else. (Please no over-reaction, worry, or the like, it's perfectly natural and healthy to feel shitty with bad news, it is not cause for any alarm.) To top it off, I missed my head shrinking today too, ten a.m. and I wasn’t there. Slept through it, missed it, didn’t even fucking come to my mind until about 10:20 when Sylvie (Melfi, whatever) called and tried to shrink me over the phone for about 15 minutes or so. For some reason, she recommended I read Jeffrey Eugenides, just "Jeff Somebody" at first, “the author of The Virgin Suicides,” at the title of which I couldn't recall who she meant, but then Middlesex was mentioned and I got her the name. My odd chemo brain function, and odd reading cartography. And so it goes. She did mention, however — and even though she's supposed to be shrinking me — that she's in search of a metaphor. Hmph. I've got a metaphor.

Sam, the Building Man, brought up to my door my chemo drugs, arrived in the mail in their oversized FedEx box — kind of red, white, and blue, or white, blue, and oragne-red — oversized like to say "Hey, Really Important!" but who the hell knows when they arrived? All I know is they came with his knocking on my door well before I'd had my coffee. Yesterday was their due date, so they might have come and sat in his little work room down in the basement the whole time. The basement and room where they film Saw. But I did get them in the end, which is what matters — the drugs that my body, fuck it, not my body — it's the cancer that’s in my body that has started to resist. Resistent, progressive, disease, you can have a progressive disease which you don't want, unlike politics. Stay away from conservative, but here in the medical world.

In my excessively good mood then, I'm going to give a couple of awards, let's call them something artful, let' say, the Pile of Shit award. If you win, you get a pile of shit. First one goes to Condy Rice (Condi?) and the unbelievable anti-reason and anti-humanitarian approach with which she is so dutifully towing the conservative political line. No cease-fire, etc. You go, Condy. Second Pile of Shit award goes to a hometown boy, Michael Leavitt, former Utah Governor, current Health and Human Services monkey boy, and now scandal center. Did you know that he and his family have been getting tax write-off's for millions and millions for all their "charity donations"? Great, huh? (Just like Gates, I'll save him for another time...) Funny thing is that for the past three or four years of the lovely Leavitt family charity, they haven't given anything away! It's brilliant. Except that the Washington Post exposed them today. It cracks me up. Millions of dollars you "give" to your own charity, which then doesn't give charity to anyone. Their actual give-out rate was less than 1% of all the money put in for three consecutive years, they give loans to Leavitt's "business" interest free, etc. It's good to be king, huh?

I could give another award to pancreatic cancer, but what an empty gesture. I'd do nothing but deliver shit every day then. A waste of time. So, Franky Scale, hm. Physically I feel pretty good, near 7ish and this is the last day of no chemo drugs. Tomorrow morning it begins again. Psychologically, around a 5, just that resignation feeling and it's too soon to be actively in denial or just productively forgetting it all. On the other, there is a dark corner next to an antique coffee roaster downstairs where it might only be 90 or even 87, where I might slip, go and hold on to each slow moment passing, reading Carlos Fuentes' Terra Nostra, not Eugenides, and for some time substituting that world for this.


tossing salads said...

oh fuck it all. sorry i cant be more word - ly acceptable. i HATE that you any of this. but that you can articulate, congnatively be aware of this, what a mind. even with all that is going on in the head of yours you gave out excellent awards. brother keep it up, please.

madame x said...

mr j and I ate some food in the midday heat. hearty eatin' despite the heavy air. day to day continues.

I would like to give a Pile of Shit award to yesterday.

love to mr j and all followers,

mme x

Mr. Jones said...

t.s.: words are only words, they are always short, or else too long and too expensive. the feeling behind them, yours, is what's excellent. that we keep up.

mme x: hearty eating in thick heat and unforgiving sun, circumstances be damned it's those moments stolen or planned. i think this, crantz thinks this too on my keyboard, and icarus thinks this too sprawled out too thickly padded on my bed.

between dreams and waking, with clarity before forgetting.
-mr. j.