DAY 2.3 About me.

September 14th, 2019 § 0 comments

I must apologise for, at this point in this rambling narrative, shifting the focus of attention to my own body and how well it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. What is that, you may ask; my days of hoping to make it into the Olympic surfing team (say) are long gone, and I need to survey the pieces of equipment I have left to see what evidence they can supply

My body (not mine, and not to scale)

on my limited functioning and whether it can be improved. On surveying my functions, such as they are, in the wee wee hours, I’m not clear about which bit lately took a knock, and how serious it was; e.g. two days ago (was it then?) (when?), I fell over around 7 a.m. and had to be helped up. We’ve already arrived at two unrelated disabilities:

  1. Falling over
  2. Not remembering when I did.

I obviously need to waste the time of two specialists (and my own) to diagnose these problems. But this morning, the carer (John) gave me such a wealth of information about Lou Reed, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Tilda Swinton, and others (which I shall probably not retain), that enabling my body on top of all that seems redundant, or is that the wrong way of looking at it? What’s the point of enabling rather ropey pieces of equipment as compared with that of gaining access to a new world of learning? ‘Seek knowledge, even if you have to go to China’, the Hadith tells us; compared with that, getting information from the carer is simple and could be more informative. And indeed going to China isn’t a likely option the way things are.

I could, or should, enter into the various aspects of my body which are more ore less OK, if only because I’m being constantly asked about them. My heart, lungs and liver seem to be in reasonable working order, never mind my ears, nose and throat. I used to be a martyr to hay fever every summer, but that’s passed off, and frankly there are worse things to be a martyr to. Every time I go through one of those doctor’s checklists, I get a clean bill on everything except epilepsy, which is rarely a killer however badly Caesar (who was after all stabbed in the Capitol) and Prince Myshkin suffered from them. The surgeon prods my knees, dictates a letter to someone in Bangalore who emails it back; once the mistakes have been corrected, the hospital sends me something which begins ‘I examined this pleasant 80 year old genleman’. Is this a universal formula, I wonder, which would be applied to anyone with a bad knee from Lou Reed to Charles Manson; or does the surgeon have some boxes marked ‘pleasant’ and ‘gentleman’ which have to be ticked for this particular letter to go off? More questions whose answers will remain a mystery.

Does Jorie Graham (who is beginning to get old by now) know about it?

We write. We would like to live somewhere. We wish to take down

what will continue in all events to rise. We wish to not be erased from the

picture. We wish to picture the erasure. The human earth and its appearance.

The human and its disappearance. What do you think I’ve been about all this long time?

half-crazed, pen-in-hand, looking up, looking back down, taking it down,

taking it all down. Look it is a burning really. See, the smoke

rises from the altar.

I may have previously drawn on Pete Seeger’s optimistic description of old age; if so, I apologise, but it bears repeating.


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