Thursday, October 04, 2007

project 365 #274: theo at bent creek

Okay, I've decided I'm not actually sick. I feel more or less the same, but fuck it: there's nothing really wrong with me. I have remembered the last time in my life when I had these symptoms, which was about 20 years ago. I was living in (on?) a commune of sorts, a group house full of artists and dogs way the hell out in the Maryland countryside. My stomach hurt, horribly, for 4 days and then I decided I needed to go to a doctor. I looked in the yellow pages and selected the only doctor in the area; I called him; I went in - to a horse farm that didn't seem to have anything resembling a doctor's office. He received me in his study and told me a lot of weird political theories, peculiar personal theories and also that I should go back to school. I got a little huffy and surprised him by pointing out that I was in fact IN school at the time, working on my 2nd BA. I think he thought I was a high school dropout (actually, I was, but it was private school and anyway I got into college just fine) since I was naturally dressed in rags and accompanied by my small daughter, also no doubt dressed in rags. We were artists, man!

Finally he deigned to examine me and then told me that it was my appendix, but not to worry, some people just have chronic appendices that flare up now and then and it would go away. The medical establishment, he said, was threatened by this fact, which is why noone knew about chronic exploding appendices. It would go away faster if I fasted, he said, but that was up to me. The whole experience was so strange that I went home and told my housemates all about him and they were so intrigued that they went, one by one, to consult him themselves and had equally bizarre experiences, which we all dissected at length. I wondered then and I wonder now just what the hell this doctor who was what, retired? Insane? Debarred? A psychiatrist from one of those really weird schools of psychiatric thought? thought about the stream of raggedly dressed art students coming in to his horse farm with a variety of imagined symptoms. When I moved back to the area some 10 years later, he was long gone, replaced by a normal doctor in a normal new office building and the horse farm had become a subdivision.

Well, okay. Here we are 20 years later, same symptoms: clearly it is my chronic appendix, dormant all this time and now malevolently awake again like a James Bond villain. Soon it will return to sleep, no doubt, and I can revisit this whole thing in 20 years. Also, it occurs to me that maybe everyone my age and older just feels like shit all the time. Maybe I will feel like this for the rest of my life. It's doing a good job of combating the PMS that's just coming on, anyway. Yesterday, in the car, I started into my usual self pity whine: I like this neighborhood. .. but I will never get to live here. . . I will never own a house. . . I will never have a husband . . . I will spend the rest of my life alone in a rented slum. . . wait. The rest of my life is probably only about a week! A rented house and lack of partner are the least of my problems! Huh! I feel better!

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