Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Pox on Both Your Houses!

Yes, another title that has nothing to do with the subject of the post it heads. But I like that phrase (I think it's from Romeo & Juliet), and it's my blog, so there.

I have a head-cold. One would think that I would be used to having head-colds by now, considering how frequently I get them. But no, each one is its own little surprise from Hell. I suppose it's the periods of wellness in between head-colds that unsuits me for having them... a sustained misery is easier to get used to than an occasional misery. You don't miss what you never have, so I suppose if I never could breathe properly I would just adapt somehow, and I'd be accustomed to all the extra little aches and pains of illness just as I'm accustomed to all the little aches and pains attendant on the human condition.

Three years ago, I had a tooth extracted, and the dentist gave me ten days' worth of Vicodin for the (not inconsiderable) pain. I'd never taken anything stronger than Tylenol Codeine before, so the Vicodin was something of a surprise... I really liked it! It didn't make me woozy or nauseated or anything, it just erased all the pain in my entire body. It was also mildly euphoric, so I felt mellow and happy, and it knocked out my Editor-in-Chief, that little voice in my head that reviews everything I say before I say it; the most bizarre things came spouting out of my mouth, but it was always something pleasant.

But the revelation of Vicodin (and the point of my telling the story) was how many strange little pains I discovered in my body when I stopped taking it... all these little day-to-day discomforts that had been turned off along with the major pain in my jaw were once again noticeable, and it amazed me how many strange little pains there were. I mean, after ten days of no pain whatsoever, the hair on my legs hurt when I put on my pants, and my fingertips hurt when I typed, and my skin hurt when I moved. My joints hurt, my innards hurt, my feet were an absulute symphony of pain when I put my shoes on, between the stretched arches and the pressed-upon toenails; defecation was simply shocking, I had to wonder if that's what child-birth is like.

I could see why Vicodin can be addictive... aside from the euphoric properties, if stopping the pills heralds in a new age of unexpected pains, and the first undrugged crap I took was enough to make me wish I had a couple more pills left in the bottle, it would be very easy (if I had the kind of doctor who prescribes things capriciously, and there are a lot of them) to keep taking the little beauties. But these were not pains caused by withdrawal from the drug, it was just the little sensations that we deal with every day which had been deadened or masked by the Vicodin. If I'd never taken the Vicodin, I may never have realized how many tiny pains I had become accustomed to over the years of being alive.


And speaking of tiny pains: What do you call that pain you experience when you leave a phone message on the answering machine of a boy you like, and you sound like a total psychopath on that message? I called up Gus this afternoon, and after babbling incoherently for a minute and a half, I giggled in a manner that reminded me of one of Batman's more bizarre nemeses... like the Mad Hatter or the Timer, someone really unstable and kind of sad.

Nevertheless, in between the inane babbling and the insane giggle, I did manage to spit out an invitation to dinner and a movie, suggesting Friday for said outing but indicating my flexibility in suiting his schedule rather than mine. Hopefully I can recoup the dignity I lost with that stupid little giggle by being deliciously suave and urbane over a pleasant meal. I mean, it's not like he doesn't already know me, not like he doesn't know what I sound like when I'm not talking into answering machines. But the sound of that demented giggle is echoing around in my poor phlegmmy head, haunting and taunting (to borrow a lyric from "Limehouse Blues") and just kind of wild.

Me and my poor dignity. It's amazing how fearful I am of losing face, and yet how often I do things that result in losing face. Like the colds and the pains, you'd think I'd've just gotten used to it by now.

But then, life wouldn't be quite so much fun if we just adapted to things without getting our panties in a twist about them. I certainly wouldn't have as much to write about here, would I?


Finally, speaking of writing, I am still hard at work on Worst Luck, though I am not getting very far very fast. I have managed to write at least one paragraph every day, but it's not flowing out as fast as I'd like. Perhaps I started the second chapter off on the wrong foot... I am trying to distance the narrator from the action a little bit in the second chapter, discussing things about Danny's character at greater length than the descriptions of what exactly he's doing at the moment. Perhaps I shouldn't?

Well, my darlings, the little clock at the bottom of my monitor is telling me that I can go home now (I've been jotting at this while finishing up a set of minutes and suffering from a cloudy head), and so I think I'll close up and go about my business... drink some tea, have some soup, moan and cry a little, and otherwise milk this cold for as much sympathy as I can get (which won't be much... head-colds are so dreadfully common).

Have a lovely day!

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