oct 2004 -
I have taken to my bed with a cold I caught at a hospital. I've identified the source of the virus through triangulation, soothsaying, looking closely at Neptune, and talking to my mother who acquired the same cold while we visited her brother in the critical care wing of unsaid hospital.
Because I have an ego the size of Jupiter, I'll first describe my condition.
It started with a minor sore throat, the kind that stays mild and makes you question whether or not you really have a cold coming on. My will opted for "it's nothing" so yesterday I ventured out into the afternoon and night to photograph more of the happenings in Oxnard. While shooting a concert by Alfonso Maya at the "Cafe on A," the blanket of illness hit me in the face, wrestled me to the ground, called me a pussy and then crawled into my chest. Within minutes my conversations were punctuated by little coughs. This morning they are big coughs, half of which end with a sound not unlike the Love Boat leaving port -- whoooooooooop. It's exciting and new.
My uncle, on the other hand, is not so lucky. His heart has been stopping recently. As an alcoholic diabetic John Wayne type of fellow he likes to remain the captain of his ship that has run aground. His doctors have seen this as unproductive and relaxed him with a pharmacy of options. I'm sure he's dreaming of beer and cigarettes right now. I'll bet the tube down his throat feels like one helluva giant toke. He's been intubated for over a week now. Medicine Itself has taken the wheel. Tomorrow, it is rumored, a tiny machine will be implanted somewhere in his thorax to make his heart behave correctly.
Keeping watch over these proceedings is a boatload of blended family. I visited the hospital on Thursday primarily to see two of my cousins, Arnie and Debbie, who were essentially my older brother and sister when I was growing up. So I saw them. There was some brief small talk and that is all one should expect when an uncle, father, husband, brother, is close to death.
The negotiations among this blended family were hushed yet fragmented. No one knew everything. Bits and pieces of information were culled from various members present in the waiting room to form a Rorschach of the situation and paste together an agenda. My uncle's newer family, making up most of the quorum, was a wasp's nest of urgency, opinion and upset. My two cousins, the blood relatives, were more sanguine. Quiet in comparison, they carried just as much opinion, but one tempered since observing Dad's New Life, one that began in the early 1970's.
I hope my uncle comes out healthier.
"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" -- The Beatles -- (SINGLE w/ "I SAW HER STANDING THERE")
"For fourteen years I have not had a day's real health. I have wakened sick and gone to bed weary."
- Robert Louis Stevenson