Sunday, August 08, 2004

Did I Pick Up or was it a Dream?

Hi All!

First of all, be sure to read Don Boxmeyer's piece in todays Pie-in-Ear Press ( Talk about the miracle of modern medicine ---- and why the Social Security is doomed due to life expectancy not dreamed of even 20 years ago.

Since I entered treatment on July 12th, 2004 my physical and mental conditions have veered wildly. I have never really quite "lost it" but have come close enough to be scared.

One moment, I have to negotiate steps slowly, pulling myself up by the hand rail. The next, I can bound up, rail-free, like my kids.

One moment, my thoughts are focused. The next, I am recording a John Cage-like composition on 64 tracks.

Due to modern science, I am walking around with 3 Boston Scientific stents. Great?! I think the recent problems of that company involve their heart stents, not the transportal liver to stomach ones like I have.

Even after four hospitalizations due to uncontrolled internal bleeding and two Extreme Unctions (the Catholic sacrament of "So Long, Sucker and Good Luck") I remain immortal in my warped mind. How could God take me away from my adolescent kids who need me so badly for a few more years until they get to spread their wings?

Well, I had a really bad dream last night. I remember going to one of my favorite hiding places and discovering a half-empty 750ml of cheap brandy.

I tried to pour it out, but it was one of those trick bottomless cups or baby doll bottles that used to inspire wonder and amusement to we 60's kids.

The fortified elixer would properly dispense only if the gaping maw of a fresh, ice-filled glass was expectantly poised beneath. I poured generously and drank long and deep. Straight, mixed, mixed, straight. Found some Vermouth in the fridge for a Brandy Man, Green Gatorade is a nice complement as well. Cherry Coke, Sprite, Mello Yellow, even beer. Great Mixers, all, and frequently used in the past, not to mention Pepsi products, bottled water, chocolate milk, myriad Sam's Choice Walmart knock-off carbonated beverages. Walgreen's Energy Drink and not least, Wheaties with chocolate milk: Wog's "Breakfast of Champions". I even poured it on sponge cake.

I Woke up quite agitated and yearning for brandy almost beyond reason. But it was Sunday Morning. Sane enough not to drive to Wisconsin with no driver's license in an Isuzu Trooper sporting Scarlet Letter "whiskey plates", I frantically searched for the stash. No Petri to be found. Gosh, I was SURE I left it in the hanging folder between "Taxes" and "Bills to Pay."

Went upstairs to the fridge. A bit of vermouth lurked therein, but it would not be very good sans brandy. It belongs to my wife, and if I finish it she'll know I've slipped. Well, perhaps a splash over a bit of ice...NO!!!

I turned on the demon and told him to piss off. He sneered and skulked back to his corner.

One round for the Wog.

White-knuckled, I nervously read the papers and watched the political shows. Installed a stereo in my son's car. Watched Carl Eller give one hell of a Cosbyesque speech at his Hall of Fame induction. Demon persisted, I resisted.

Now it is on to Fab Ferns for a surprise 50th birthday party for my wife's older sister.

If any of you gentrifics who live down in old SelDale see a fat guy dressed in his Goodwill best sneaking off to the bar area for a beer and a round of NTN Trivia, say hi and send him back to the table full of boring relatives ;-))

I have a great doctor, the kind of person who could tell you that you have an hour to live with such earnest ambivalence that you wouldn't believe him.

Last Monday I asked him a pointed question. At what point is it determined that I need to get a liver transplant?

"Oh, about two years ago..."

Watch Carl Eller's speech if you can. I hope the newspapers print it. Good stuff. About time that aging black role models like Cosby and Eller are stepping up and saying what need be said. Got a kick out of Carl's daughter's name: Cinder :-)

Stay well, all.



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