Thursday, March 4, 2010

a doctor's visit can be debilitating

not because he/she finds anything wrong. simply the whole process - weight, blood-pressure, temperature. my god we're so dependant on this body we know so little about. whenever i ponder it deeply, i can hardly walk down the street.

maybe it's the memories. in junior high i contracted rheumatic fever. my left knee turned into a baseball and my big toe into a malformed root. i stayed in the hospital a week, blood drawn twice a day. at home i lay around a lot. suddenly, i'd been thrown into a singular orbit, class a fourteen mile bus-ride away in the sagebrush desert of utah. school felt distant and strange.

i think it was king lear who said, 'my hand smells of mortality.' that's the bigger issue, of course. the other day i wished i were made of plastic. that might have it's drawbacks, but the robots are becoming more human.

maybe waiting did it. i asked several other students if they were in line for this particular doctor. yes, as i expected. he takes time with us. one girl seeing him for a chronic illness, cheerful and talkative. another to ask him about a problem with her dog. after being a drug-addict and trying to kill herself on anti-depressants, she'd been advised to get a pet, which she did. now she has something to live for, something that pulls her out of the room. unfortunately, a new apartment complex needs a medical reason for harboring a canine.

we discussed caring, the need for. otherwise we withdraw and contemplate dark clouds. my sister at fifty-four adopted two children to fight back the shadows. it worked, but at a price, children an extension of your nervous system you can't control. she'd morphed into three complicated bodies.

and for most of the rest of the day, i couldn't get interested in anything. the women in the african art history class lacked mana. nothing aroused me. i realized i'd just have to tough it out. at barnes and noble i found photo books nauseating. i looked through a book on f. scott fitzgerald. may be literature would help. i wandered the fiction section.

eventually, i stumbled across the stories of italo calvino - and finally something lit sparks. his

got my imagination functioning. everything around me in store became vibrant. and it's true, that's the key. at the doctor's office i couldn't use my normal fantasy. that's the trouble with too much reality. we're way too complex to live as simply physical beings.