Jul 23, 2006

Illness as metaphor. Really.

Everyone is ill. Many are in therapy. One was talking the other day about being in "crazy school" and how you sit there with the shards of your personality lying on the floor around you. She is on permanent disability. Someone else is taking a month off to see a therapist 3 times a week. She is temporarily disabled. These are women, but men are equally run down with sickness. The other day a man crossing a four lane avenue was caught on the island. Traffic was heavy and fast. He coudn't take it and got down on his haunches and put his face in his arms. When the light changed, and he heard the cars stopping, he walked quickly across to safety, found a bench and sat down. Another man, also chinese, ran across the street with his hands about his head, the way someone might do if they had a great idea or they were thinking, 'wow that blows my mind.' But this man was in pain. For some reason I thought he might be a painter. I thought maybe he'd been affected by the smell of turpentine. He began galloping down the sidewalk until he was out of sight.

Others are ill but they don't know it. On the cover of Parade Magazine the cover line reads "Could you have a rare disease?" If you're not afraid what with all the bad the news, the war, the economy; and you're maybe not yet afraid of old age or the fact that vitamins don't work, then here's something just for you. You might be one of 25 million Americans that have a rare disease.

And then one of B's old boyfriends is dying emphysema. From years of smoking. And all along he was told he was in danger, but he went right on. Still, death seems to have less currency these days. Everyone is doing it. So really, how bad can it be? You're here, you're there. No more taxes. Take a walk on the wild side. The biggest worry is if you have to come back and as whom or what?

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