Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fear and Moaning in Falcon Heights - The Final Cut

Hi All!

I'm due to reach 49 on May 9. As events unfold, I'll probably get beaned by a meteorite or a falling bank safe before then. I've survived too many health problems to die of any old mundane, pedestrian, garden-variety malady.

Maybe God has kept me alive just short of getting my driver's license back, now that I've already paid for it and finally “took a good picture.” Nice smile, nice hair, nice shirt. For six-hundred, ninety-five and 50/100 bucks, I made sure I looked pretty.

Allow me to recap. I have/had end stage liver disease, two near-fatal blood infections, 4 near-fatal bleeds, a couple of inches of Boston Scientific stent (BS is a good stock to invest in, btw). I had a cancer scare in my late teens when a lymph node in my neck grew to golf ball size (well, ping-pong ball size almost) and had to be removed, a messed-up root canal and probably some other stuff I don't remember.

I've twice received the Holy Sacrament of Extreme Unction. "Anointing of the Sick" is one of those wimpy Vatican II euphemisms that I never bought into. I have faith that my twice-confirmed reservation is inked-in on the schedule at St. Peter's desk and I’ll have a complete set of sacraments on my resume', save Holy Orders which is optional for Holy Matrimony.

Suffer me to proceed to the present. My tongue has been bothering me increasingly for a few months. It developed a little crater on the right-rear underside which became so irksome that I started having a hard time talking and eating (many would say that those are GOOD problems for me to have).

I'm supposed to be avoiding sodium. This has not been a particular problem of late. Dearly have I paid for daring the sneak of a Wavy Lay's chip or a jalapeno-imbued Tostito past that little sentinel on duty at my heretofore taken-for-granted taste organ.

My family G.P. could detect no infection (how could he as I have been mainlining powerful antibiotic straight into my heart for weeks?). He referred me to a renowned otolaryngologist who took one look at my complaint and asked if I am/was a heavy tobacco user (never) and/or a heavy drinker (bingo!).

Doc Okner determined that a needle biopsy was in order. He administered a particularly slow and painful novocaine injection. Based on the sight and dull sensation of the fatter, longer, blunter needle that went in next -- a LONG way in -- in addition to a rather disturbing sucking sound as the sample flesh core was extracted, I became appreciative of the relative comfort of the searing procaine hydrochloride "prick". A bit of cauterization and I was good to go.

The esteemed specialist lied that it "might be a bit sore" for a few days as he shooed me out the door before the anesthetic started ebbing, which occurred during the elevator ride to the lobby of Central Medical. With each passing second I felt hopefully certain that the pain could get no worse, but it eventually took the better part of an hour to stabilize at a plateau of unbearable agony.

It can best be described as the instant stab of pain from a generous tongue chomp, stuck in an endless loop.

Incidentally, I recently learned that I will need oral surgery to attempt to save the tooth with the root canal, so that has been tormenting the OTHER side of my mouth.

By the time number one son Alex picked me up in front of Central Medical, I was swept up in a "perfect storm" of hurt.

***

It is at times like this that I am sorely inclined to draw what is unarguably the most versatile and attention-grabbing arrow in the quiver of the English language in order to make a bullseye point.

When "the troubles" came last year I was admonished by well-meaning family members to bowdlerize future posts, as they felt that my past jottings smelt of late-night inebriation.

Sometimes it WAS the booze talking, but I have in any case been fascinated by the word since I first read an ancient finger etching preserved in the sidewalk upon which I trod to and fro St. Mark's grade school. I read it right-side and upside down countless times before curiosity got the best of me.

One day I cornered dad in his closet has he was changing after a hard day at the office. I shall never forget his mortified reaction when I innocently inquired as to what "f--k" meant. I got away with it that first time due to the blissfully ignorant innocence of youth and I still needed to go to Confession to be on the safe side, but the very next informed utterance guaranteed me a tight spot in the hottest SRO corner of Hell, confession be damned.

I still hadn’t learned its meaning at the time, only that once warned it would be mortally sinful and unforgivable should ever I pollute the air or deface a written leaf with it again. Cyberspace wasn't around yet, but I'm betting that word processing would also apply. I believe that Vatican II downsized that sin from Mortal to Venal, and I got to make a blanket confession from a presumed deathbed, so maybe I still have a shot at the Pearly Gates.

I have been reading Steven King's book about writing. He has no compunction whatever about liberally sprinkling The Word and other lesser vulgarities in the seasoning of his work. I guess it's okay if it helps make one a gajillionaire author. You'd think that getting rearranged by a stray minivan would have been a wake up call for him! At least Steve might be able to afford an air-conditioned suite at Satan's Spa. As far as Hell is concerned, you probably CAN take it with you. He had best bring cash, as I doubt that they’ll accept credit cards, what with the vendor fees and all.

Maybe he should convert to Islam, blow himself up and get the virgins (Swell -- now I've got Allah pissed at me too).

Suffice it to say that at this hour my mouth sikmek'n smarts. I'm still waiting for the nurbat'n Vicodin to kick in, but what I really need is a baszik'n belt. When I think of all the cheap off-sale painkiller I wasted in ruining my rzinal'n liver, it makes me "sick" to have to abstain when I could really take advantage of the fouzhaii'n mental and physical medicinal benefits which God intended when he inspired the ancients to distill the orginal batch of hooch.

Where would we be today had not a besotted cavemen got the goofy notion to rub a couple of dry sticks together. Atiduaa'n A, I don't know how he managed to remember how he did it when he came to. Maybe it was his blistered palms or the still-smoking denuded flora and roasted fauna he awoke to find himself surrounded by.

Further tempting me to chance sin is the fact that this is about the 5th and a 7/8 rewrite of this literary gem, thanks to my demonically possessed PC and the failure of the blogspot.com online editor to save complete drafts and to perform its highly touted new "recover post" feature. Alas and alack, what shiny pearls did I cast back to an ocean of bottomless depths?

My short-term electro-bio-chemical memory cell repository is generally no match for the AC/DC saving of my ones and zeroes by my faithful technological servants (could Ben Franklin not have been ale-soaked when he got the idea to fly a kite in a storm?). When the latter go, I am truly, um, dare I say...ska-rewd?

***

I'll learn my latest health prognosis soon. It just CAN'T be tongue cancer. Too predictable. Too obviously scripted. Too poetically just.

Upon hearing my news, mom informed me that grampa died of tongue cancer, not lung cancer as I was always given to believe. He got mustard gassed on a European jaunt to engage in the War to End All Wars and I can't remember ever having seen him without a chain-smoked self-rolled unfiltered coffin nail dangling from his lips, so I'm not too concerned about heredity in this case. Besides, Charlie lived to 70, which sounds pretty sweet to me and I am living proof of the advance of medical science since 1962.

I surely have a surprise ending in store. Almost wrote it a few weeks ago when I mis-timed a frantic jaywalk across University Avenue to catch an approaching 16A and nearly kissed the tail end of a passing flatbed. At least I caught the bus but since then I have chosen to live long enough to cross at the light and wait for the next one.

Yep, it surely will be my noggin breaking the fall of a meteorite...or at least a piece of a Northworst Airliner. That's my story and I'm sticking to it as I gaze up at the heavens and wonder how I'll ever get there.

Cheers!

Footnote: Greek, Hungarian, Turkamen, Turkish, Dutch, Polish and Breton dictionaries were consulted in the research for this post. An error code from the utterly useless diagnostic message that was displayed during one of the computer crashes was also employed. Still and all, it just don't feel the same as a strategically placed good, old-fashioned effenheimer.

Footprint: Blogger.com gets real futzy when it gets all trafficky. Management had better convince ownership to plow some profits into more gear. I can remember when eBay used to get like that, but they caught up with their growth long ago. I started composing this at 5pm. It is now hard by 11, oops, One-oh-seven the next day. What went into this was one-tenth inspiration and nine-tenths trying to get a final version posted.

F-F-F-F---Fa fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa....

Footfungus: Comcast went down....yet AGAIN! I have no idea if my next-to final product ever got published, but I make it my goal to grasp the opportunity presented by inopportune events, so I am now re-re-re-editing this with the a version I wisely presciently saved to Wordpad. There's more than one way to skin a cat (there I go about cats again) so hopefully this will eventually get blogged as soon as the computer gods cut me some well-deserved slack.

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