I’ve spent two months mostly alone, sometimes hovering between fight-and-flight and self-evaluation, and this blog will barely scrape the surface. I’m not sure where my blogs will go from here or if I will do them every week, but for starters, I want to thank everyone for the good wishes and help before my surgery and after and give special thanks to Bill and Michelle, Ellen and Sarah, and Kathy. You all know why.
I haven’t set key to screen since early February. It would sound so poetic to say quill to parchment, but alas, I live in the age of technology, of Internet correspondence and cyber snoopers, and in a time when I can be spied on through my television or listened to through my phone. The only safe place might be in the woods, talking to the trees, but do I need to be careful around that knothole and that raccoon wearing a mask? Obviously, I also live in a world where it’s possible to become paranoid. After all, who would want to surveil me, a small unheard of blogger, living somewhere on the east coast in a tiny place called Rambling Harbor?
Have you ever been surveilled or how about that riskiest of undertakings, solo-surveilled? Well, that’s what I’ve been up to, solo-surveilling, and it’s been a trip. Hell, the 1970s had Transcendental Meditation, why not solo-surveilling today? Of course, I’m assuming everyone is on to the word surveilled, which has been used ad nauseam lately. The first known use of surveilled dates to 1884. There are multiple ways to surveil a person, depending on just how personal you intend to get with another human being without their knowledge. This has been going on for 133 years, but it was called what it Is, spying! I imagine spying died out with the quill and parchment, and I suppose it sounds much more polite to say we surveilled him rather than we spied on him.
While waiting for surgery for a new, improved part to be placed in my knee, I realized that this body, which has endured so much and has served me so well, is finally breaking down. They can replace a part here or there, but eventually they will run out of fixables, and I will follow the road that so many of my friends have passed down. I am a member of a vanishing breed, and we will be remembered. My cat Chloe is also growing old, and I watch as her leaps from floor to window ledge, which use to flow as smooth as the cheetah that in her heart she still is, now take a little more effort. Chloe is no longer a baby as she faces her 14th birthday come this September, and while she may not be a baby girl anymore, she is my little lady, and we are both at a time when we might expire before the expiration dates on our food containers.
While facing surgery, I learned something more about courage, not my own but my wife’s. I was afraid of this relatively minor operation, somewhat justified by the fact that my only other trip under the knife for a relatively minor surgery almost killed me: They sliced a major artery, and I almost didn’t make it off the operating table. At night alone with just my thoughts bouncing off the canyons inside my head, I thought about all the times that Jennifer had awaited chemotherapy, drugs that would destroy her body to hopefully save her life. There were no guarantees, and then another miracle, another 6 months, maybe? I always knew how bravely she faced those trials and how there was always a smile and hope and love, but now I have come to know better what she meant when she said she was terrified.
Recovering, I watched the world go by as King Rump traded Meals on Wheels for meals with wings as he flew back and forth to Florida. I became angrier when he said that the National Endowment for the Arts was to be no more and many forms of our educational system were being dismantled and elderly people were in the crosshairs of many of his budget cuts. But the military budget would be the biggest ever. I guess if you’re going to march men and women off to die, why educate them or let them appreciate the arts? And there’s no need to take care of the elderly if you’re going to kill off the population before they grow old.
I had a dream the other day. This was one of those trance-like sessions where you are totally awake, maybe doing some odd job around the house. Suddenly you realize the truth of it all: the world did end, we are dead, and this is the evil place. And yes, I just called King Rump the Prince of Hell!