Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Problem with Not Writing

When I write for a living it interferes with the writing for the venting of my soul.

Then what happens. My soul fills up. It brims, overflows, floods. And there is nothing but this constant pouring with no abatement. And I want it to stop and I think I can dam the tide with writing but the writing won't come because I spend all my writing time getting paid for it.

Vicious cycle.

And what I want now is to escape the cycle.

So here I sit and wonder about this. Having gone through maladies and tumbled through hereditary bruising yet again here I am. And what do I want to express.

I sit. But there is no enlightenment.

I work but it's only for the money.

I see people but so few of them see me.

I need to paint. I need creation I need to move, I need something something something.

Palliative whining is all I have.

It will come back. Two weeks ago I painted and then fell deathly ill. I've consoled myself in the arms of lovers, pretty girls with white thighs and longing, others with a stretch of arm and will and passion. But there is no consoling. I do not feel stilled. I do not feel passions wane, only more fire more need more desire.

Korea is stifling and I'm lost.

What will I be tomorrow?


Saturday, March 21, 2009

On Almost Dying

I got very very ill this week. It started on Sunday night with a small tickle at the base of my throat. I thought little of it.

On Monday morning I had a mild sort throat. I figured I'd be fine but I was a little worried. I was a little worried it might be a big sore throat because it was affecting my desire for coffee. General a little temperamental touch of sore throat will not make me switch my coffee routine, but this drove me to tea. Not a good sign.

I went to work anyway. It started to hurt a bit more on the train so I bought some hydrogen peroxide to gargle with. A little H2O2 in a larger amount of water makes a good gargle just don't swallow. I figured I'd be fine. Half way through my first class I knew I wasn't going to be fine.

I went to the bathroom to check. White spots all over the back of my throat. I had strep. End story. I never for a moment though it was anything else I knew. I'm seriously prone to strep and have had it a lot more than I like to think about. I knew it. I taught my second class, told my head teacher I had to go to the doctor immediately and there was a good chance I would not be able to work again until Thursday and went to get on a bus. I should have just taken a cab downtown but I figured the bus was a better option. And hour later I was walking around and getting to my doctors office a nice ENT I visited two years ago when I had my last round of strep.

He took one look at it, said it was Strep, gave me some antibiotics and sent me home. That should have been it. I'd write a blog about the pain and end of story. But it's not.

The pain this time was bad. It was miserable bad. I've never had strep like this before. There was pain in every part of my body. On top of that I couldn't sleep. Two hours I might pass out and then I would wake up crying. It was awful. I expect that the first day. But not the second. This time it went on for four days like that. I was taking the medicine but I couldn't eat. And I was nauseous. I've never had that with strep before. After three days of being confined to me home, having increasing difficulty talking, still massive body pains, nausea and fever I decided I needed to go back to the doctor. I was to have a check up on Friday but when I woke up Thursday morning I just knew I had to go.

If I'd been living in the states I might have toughed it out longer, waited until I finished my run if antibiotics. Had I done that I'd be dead. End story. But I'm very luck that I'm in the land of cheap and affordable universal health care. I could afford to go and I did. I got to the office waited for my turn and was in to see the doctor in about a half hour. He's good so he's always pretty busy. He took one look at me and looked worried.

"How is it?"

I tried to talk to to him but it mostly came out "imm ot eter n ct alk uch. pain. so uch pain."

"Okay, open up."

He looked in my mouth and sat back and looked even worse at me.

"Okay, this is bad. You illness has abscessed. It's gone into your deep throat. I'm going to need to do a little surgery, put a drain in to get it out. Okay?"

I heard the words abscessed and throat and I froze up. I know how bad that can be. People die from not having that treated. All the symptoms all the pain I'd been having came back to me and I thought of how close I was to being in real trouble.

I just nodded at him.

He sent me to wait so he could prepare the surgery. He'd do this in the doctors chair in a few minutes. He saw a few more patients to steel himself for it. I didn't even begin to know what to expect. When he called me back he told me he'd give me a local anesthetic to help with the pain and I said yes. He poked me a bit then told me it was going to hurt a little.

It did not hurt a little.

It hurt more than I can describe. And what's worse is that I was also choking. I won't go into all the details but this is something everyone sort of knows. You get a bump or a boil, it hurts, what do you do, lance it and drain it. It heals in a couple of days. That's what he was doing. In my mouth.

He had to do it three times.

After choking it all out I sat there crying spitting blood and puss into tissue with tears in my eyes. He looks at me and pats me on the back. "Don't you feel better now?"

"No. I don't" I said to him clearly. He sonogramed my throat to see if he had gotten all the stuff there was to get and then sent me on my way with more antibiotics and a not to report again in the morning.

I got home and cried. Then I slept for about two hours. Then I had to admit. I did feel better. I could talk a bit more and actually enunciate. I could eat, which was nice since I hadn't done that in almost a week. Granted I couldn't eat much but I could eat semi solid food.

I went back the next day and he did it all again.

This morning when I went back he told me I was on my way and I'd be okay by Monday he thought.

I feel better now. Much better. I'm still getting dizzy, getting a lot of headaches but he says that's all from the abscess. That happens. Either way I'm not dead. And I'm pretty happy about that. I keep thinking about that. What I worried about most while being seriously ill was work.

I've decided a priority shift is in order.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Here is Time

I was going to meet an entirely different friend. The lovely Traveler who has most recently returned to Korea and will probably be traveling on again before I even realize he has gone. It was arranged to meet for a late dinner on Thursday and determined that I should head to the Lonely Hearts and wait for his arrival around 8 pm.

It was a raining that night, the city in the pitch between winter and spring. There is warm mist coming in from storm drains as chill misty rain swirls in the air. I bring an umbrella and hope for the best as I walk trying to keep from being wet on the chilly streets on me ten minute walk to the bar. I will be early, I think, it will be quiet. A moment of solitude. I'm fine with that. Sometimes it is nice to be alone in your favorite home away from home. I like the quiet of it. It's a comfort.

Down the stairs I go and push up the swing doors so much like an old western saloon and what do I see but an ex-girlfriend sitting at the bar. She is lovely, hair recently permed, I can smell her perfume as soon as I walk in. She is sitting with a beer and a book and a lot of notes, studying for a class. I am happy to see her, I am sad to see her.

She says hello and smiles and we take a moment to hug each other, trade a few quiet questions. How are you, what are you doing, how is work/school, how is life? Polite conversations. Polite conversations. The conversations you have when you have nothing else to talk about. The conversations that come to mind when what you are thinking about is how the person sitting across from you looks nude in soft lights, the sounds we make when we are entwined, the touch of flesh under hands, the inspiration of a close press of bodies. We make polite conversations while our brains sort through a mix of awkward feelings and returns of sentiments that we have mutually agreed will not be shared again.

The polite questions come to an end being only so many that you can ask in a small space of time. I sit at the bar with her, a chair between us, her bag on the chair. The bag is a great wall it cuts us off. I sit and I am turned away from her toward the wall and she angles herself away from me. Now there is just silence with the light music that plays over it. Silence and the thick growing well of a past that flicks in and out under the surface. I read a book, she reads her notes. She lights a cigarette and the smoke curls into the air, wisps upwards. I watch her neck as she exhales a stream of acrid vapors into the room, she looks at me. We smile at each other. Make eye contact, avoid eye contact, look at our books.

The traveler arrives and breaks the silence. We talk and eventually move on to another venue for dinner, drinking, and different company. As the night wears on I move away from the silence and yet now, days later, the past lingers.

Monday, March 02, 2009

It's Creepily Accurate

I think this combines for me all elements of what runs through my mind on a day when I really just wish I were in a different field.

It's the honesty people.

To fix this we drink, sleep, smoke, and get up and do it again with our faith in humanity restored by the bright shining faces of our students.

Until the manage to kill that joy in like thirty minutes.