Perforated Lines (you can't resist 'em!)

 swing setting sun
back in the swing ...
-- Saturday, September 25, 1999 --



9:50 p.m. Helloooo. I'm coming back. I'm starting to feel better ... I can't help but point out that these are flawed, leaky bodies you've given us to work with here, Lord. Things break very easily. Comfort is fleeting. Who was in charge of the design? Were there any women on that committee? I mean, these things can't even fly ...

Ok. So, I can live without coffee. I can even think without coffee. I was really having my doubts for a few days. Which would you choose? Feeling healthy or knowing what health is all about? Being able to think up and down the scale, on two levels, hum and chew gum at the same time as you operate machinery, pre-op and post-op ... or just ... hmmmm ... sit there and wonder where the mellow went?

I could make the argument that all civilization was built on caffeine. Or rather, I could have made the argument back when I was drinking coffee. Now, I'm lucky if ... if ... well, I'm just lucky the worst is over.

As part of the ongoing self-medication program for the self-employed, we went out and about this big wide city today and gathered up the supplies I would need to get better. First we went to Wild Oats, which is a newish chain of sort-of health food stores. It's a store with a wishy-washy set of values that changes all the time, but they sometimes have good fruit.

There is a massage chair and oils in one part of the store, and several aisles with enough teeny tiny bottles of elixirs and potions with rubber dropper squeezy caps to make a cranky leprechaun happy. And then there's Rain Forest cereal. I pity the poor kid. Looking up from a bowl of twig-and-bark and coloring in old issues of The Nation.

Then, to the book store to look at the Merck Manual and check up on my symptoms. I've resisted buying it in the past, just as I resist most medical shows on TV, as well as disease-of-the-week movies and books. Logically, only a few hideous things will befall each of us. Luckily, we will not know about them in advance. Logically, you should not worry yourself, therefore, with what may be or what may never be; nor should you wallow in someone else's misery, no matter how bad the actress looks without makeup.

Luckily, the Merck now comes in a cheap paperback edition. Not that I plan to start farming my symptoms to see what blooms. It's just that there's no privacy at all in a clean, well-lighted book store these days. The girl in the next aisle was eyeing me suspiciously, but maybe she was just paranoid. She was reading When In Doubt, Check Him Out, so I can only imagine.

Do you know that even dreams seem different without coffee? Every time I wake up I'm glad to be out of there, glad to be away from the boring voices and the petty problems. It feels like getting off a plane after listening to someone behind you going on and on about the troubles they had with the porter in Portugal. It's unreal how surreal these recent dreams are not.

I miss the swooping and soaring of my just-clearing-the-treetops dreams. And I ask you: Why do we dream we can fly? Weren't we underwater creatures with gills in the womb? Swimming, I can understand, but flying? For what earthly purpose do we have this memory? Why the tease, the temptation?

How long it takes: the mature acceptance of gravity. Symptoms of delusion no manual can explain away. Oh, and soy milk doesn't taste all that bad, once you get used to it.



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