Saturday, June 4, 2016

June 4, 2016

Left the house yesterday only to putter in the garden, and then to see Brief Encounters at the Magnetic. I worked on the book all day, I want to say, but the truth is I slept all day and worked on the book when I was not doing that. I was sick at a level that made activity difficult, a truth I hid from myself by avoiding activity. Going to the theater, though, was an activity, and, boy, was I sick the whole time. It was painful to sit and almost impossible to stand once I had been sitting. It was difficult to sustain conversation with the pretty girl sitting next to me, who had read for Washington Place. I have never felt such pain in my knees (except that one time when I was crippled) and as I sat I felt gout awakening in my toes, after more than a year underground. There was great tenderness above both knees, which I interpreted as infection that had settled into the tissue. A perfect storm of discomfort. As I sat watching the plays, I kneaded the soreness, and felt the infection oozing out as a remarkable heat. This, too, was sickening. I almost literally could not walk to the car (though I did) and almost literally could not get out of it in my own yard. There was a DWI patrol on Lyman Street, and I warned them telepathically, “don’t you dare stop me,” and they didn’t. Filled my mouth was pills and laid myself down to dead sleep. I feel better now. The hangover-y feeling is from the pills. But my knees work and the infection is either gone or not heavily localized, and the gout is a ghost, of which I was reminded when I stubbed my toe on the stairs. Back to the theater: there were five plays, all of them by local people. Two of them were awful; one was OK; one was good; one was a masterpiece. Are those acceptable proportions?  The mistake most made in a one-act (at least around here) is to think of it as a big sketch. Near the end I wanted to scream, “Oh, for God’s sake shut up and get off the stage.” Someday I will, but only when I’m sure it’s the play at fault, and not my bewildering variety of afflictions.

I must have planted black lilies, for a row of them bursts into bloom out back.

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