“My blood is too thick for California: I have never been able to properly explain myself in this climate.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Doctor could have written the same thing about New Hampshire this week.
Even back at the starting line I didn’t have high hopes for this last chunk of the calendar. Sure, my brain had concluded its far-ranging nomadic drift from fiction to non-fiction, but I was still circling the proximal terrain like an indecisive cat looking for a place to take a nap. I started the week bouncing between half-drafts of a half-dozen different pieces, and ran into a wall of synapse-crushing heat and humidity around the third turn.
It’s been nothing but bad, sweat-pouring nights ever since–and all that with a back still way left of right.
I really just don’t know what in the hell I did to it at this point. None of the usual theories seem to hold. There’s no memory of obvious injury, no too-long periods of overuse or disuse I can point to. Nothing at all which would or should have foreshadowed what’s gotta be a solid month of pain.
And it’s weird pain at that.
It hurts to remain immobile, whereas walking and even racquetball–back a few weeks ago when I last dared try it–make it fit as a fiddle. For a little while, anyway.
That goddamned phone.
That’s the fifth time in the last two hours it’s rung and the Caller ID showed some far-flug, godforsaken armpit of America. Places with names like Wickdipper, WI. I’m expecting a call and–since I’m the only one in the house with eyes reliable enough to read the display on the phone before the third ring–the task of pre-screening the calls before the answering machine gets its hooks into them falls to me.
They’ve all been scammy telemarketers whenever we answer: digital-age highwaymen looking for numbers instead of hard coin. Credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers–whatever they can con out of you and either use themselves or sell on the black market.
Or maybe they’re half-legit “credit councilors.” Either way, they’re not who I want to talk to and they keep making me do the up-and-down dance with my rock-hard desk chair.
Jesus, I’m distractible today. And short-tempered. Four or five nights of unsleep spent drowning in your own sweat will do that. Every little sound, every momentary wrinkle of the sheet under you, sends hot spikes of wakefulness up your spine.
The worst of those sounds are the mind sounds. Noise from deep in the gray matter that hooks your ringing brain like an answering machine, just a second before you could lay your hands on the receiver and connect with the sleep that’s on the other end of the line.
But that’s all so much miserable moaning. Things weren’t all bad this week. I’ve used the excess horizontal time to read myself cross-eyed: Henry David Thoreau, Noam Chomsky, Emma Goldman.
And Doctor Thompson, of course, as well as a smattering of articles and papers I’m going through under the auspices of “research” for whenever I finally stop circling and sniffing and just hold my broken ass in the Throne of Pain for ten or fifteen hours to crank out something I might be able to sell.
Until then, this present babbling shit stream is about all I can manage.