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What has changed over the years is the tax my ill-advised activity levies; the older I become— I am now 72 — the more dominant my distress, the more it affects most aspects of my life. Most times this load is more difficult to shed than the psychic baggage provided by the cancer that creeps daily toward my bones and brain, making its unstoppable way to my control center to capture the rudder, and steer me to a nasty berth.

I’m usually able to ignore my cancer predicament at this point in the progress of the disease, the exception being when I lie awake in the middle of the night, the dark and quiet of my surroundings in Siberia With a View nudging me past fantasies of polyamorous bliss, puppies, and the wisdom-packed acceptance speeches I will never deliver at award ceremonies, leading me to the reality of what squats in the shadows, not far ahead. Once I finally sleep, then wake, I can put thoughts of metastasis aside, and immediately fill the void with needless agonies.

If I were a politician, the ramifications of my ridiculous behavior would slide off me like fried eggs from a non-stick pan. electricity magnetism and light Regardless of the degree of my foolery, as a politician I could remain blameless, washed by the adulation of the internet-, “news” network-, and talk radio-blasted mooncalves who support me, relieved by the money and inauthentic self-esteem that come of my calling.

Similarly, were I a Wall Street banker, a real estate developer, an executive at an oil company, I would feel no pain of the sort that dogs me now. I’d surge brusquely forward, swept clear of troublesome mnemonic debris and kept confident by an eraser located next to the amygdala in my small brain, encouraged by my distorted aspirations and bloated self-regard, a rabid greedhound careening on, never colliding with barricades of my own making or suffering blowback provoked by my folly.

Politicians and mavens of finance and industry excel at avoidance behavior; they are masters of bullshit and deceit, willing and eager to spew their bile and blather, impervious to remorse so long as cash flows and they continue to suck at the tit of power, casually dismissing fact, even when caught with a hand in the intern’s pants, or when their untaxed riches are discovered stashed in accounts in the Cayman Islands.

In my latest excursion to the Planet Half-Wit, I suffer neither the physical upset resulting from an overdose of extra-hot Hatch green chile, pork, garlic, Bolito beans, and cheese, nor the agitation experienced after hefting a weighty load of mind- and mood-altering substances. Despite a verifiable lack of stability, I’m not tormented by the anguish of mental illness — tumbling to the center of a black hole of depression, rocketed into manic orbit by a flood of hot brain juice, or made jittery by voices in the closet.

(The square is among my favorite spots in Rome. The piazza is beautiful in its way, shadows amplifying architecture at most times of the day, the dark statue of the great man atop the site of his torture and immolation. There is a porchetta sandwich available at a nearby shop — a treat so tasty it requires that a gourmand order at least two for a midday snack. With a glass or three of wine to help the pig on its way.)

Like politicians and bankers in one respect only, I’m a slave to reward, in my case held captive by acclaim. Severely limited acclaim, for sure, but I absorb appreciation like a dry sponge takes in warm water. A smattering of attention causes me to swell more than if I gulp Piper-Heidsieck and devour a dozen or more Shogoku. I crave attention; in turn, attention brainfucks me, and I stumble headlong into the next ditch.

The play I wrote a year ago had a fine run at a regional theater; the run sold out, and was extended. I received six cents per hour for my efforts, and was showered with at least three encouraging remarks delivered by residents of the area whom I met in the produce section of our supermarket. These were as gold to me: gifts offered and received during a shared examination of organic beets and tainted romaine lettuce.

I find it difficult to plan anything; planning irritates me. I suppose my aversion has its roots in the years I spent in the rock and roll biz, and as a denizen of Art Land, and is somehow related to substances I indulged during that time, and since. My ability to plan, much less plan well, never developed. My few complete plans are limited to shopping lists penciled once I determine what I’ll cook for dinner — lists I then forget to take to the store.

The Sylph visits to assist the patient in a recall and review of experiences needed so the dying woman can make an informed choice prior to her demise. gasco abu dhabi location That choice is a rendition of Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, totally absent any Judeo-Christian fantasy. The script includes but one extended reference to the prime Western religious tradition: a story based on an experience I had decades ago when I wrote a newspaper piece about a bozo who made a cross-country “pilgrimage,” toting a large cross made out of leftover redwood deck posts.

His pilgrimage involved riding in a rusted Econoline van in which he transported the cross, his wife, a cooler and a Coleman stove, a portable toilet, and a three-legged French bulldog. He pulled over outside the small towns on his route, shouldered the wood and suffered his way to the parking lot of a church where he yammered, passed the hat, and enjoyed a free lunch provided by glossolalia-dazed zealots. gas and water socialism He offered profuse thanks to his god for the Vienna sausages and store-bought potato salad, wolfed down the repast, then hefted the redwood and struggled out of sight to the other side of town where his wife and dog met him with the van, and they were off to the next stop, pockets bulging with coins of the faithful.

The Sylph mixes a cocktail comprising the drained fluid, a stout load of vodka, and a spritz of vermouth. She calls the drink a “Cerebrotini,“ claiming it improves the patient’s memory and attitude. The two get very drunk, and partake of a considerable amount of morphine as the play progresses. There are comments made regarding Michael Jackson, Propanol, and the ill effects of repeated colonoscopies on both Jeffery Dahmer and Donald Trump. It seems the Sylph has met Russell and Whitehead, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Max Planck, among others.

In order to appease local theatergoers, the patient recalls a life spent in a town very much like Siberia with a View, relating stories about characters she knew during thirty years of operating the town’s premiere dive bar, The Throwback. She relates a story about her debate with a Thomas Jefferson impersonator in front of several hundred inebriated librarians. Chuckles might abound.

A very few audience members will recognize some of the characters and stories, though all elements have been modified. Newcomers in the crowd (this includes everyone who moved to Siberia with a View during the last 30 years) will pretend they know the characters and stories in order to one-up fellow culturati during the intermission. electricity in water pipes Some of the culturati attend Republican Party Central Committee meetings, others play pickleball. All are vital and important.

“I have your lab results. Knowing what you do on a regular basis, things look good. Liver and kidney function are OK, much to my surprise. In fact, I’m totally stunned. Cholesterol is a bit high, and I don’t want it to get higher. Since your brother recently suffered at least two heart attacks, didn’t pay attention to them, and suffered heart failure, I want you to take a stress test. I’ll make the appointment for you, since your attention span is pretty limited, too.”

“I have a bottle of 2000 Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas in the cellar,” I say. “I’ll break it out in celebration of my extraordinary lab results. It’s the kind of wine I won’t insult by leaving any overnight — it must be finished before I turn in. hp gas online booking no I’ll skip cheese in order to tend to the cholesterol sitch. If you leave work in time, you’re welcome to join me.”

“Well, how about a double hit of Ketamine three times weekly? That could lift my load, and I’ll be able to push through with writing this fucking play in short order. I once took a huge load of Ketamine back in the old days. I got it from an assistant to a veterinarian at a zoo. Rough flight, that one: I woke up behind the wheel of a 1948 Willys Overlander in the middle of a Denver intersection, and was told I was forcibly ejected from a restaurant following a loud argument about Milan Kundera with a calzone. 93 gas near me I hear manufacturers have ironed out K’s creases, and the dosages have been calibrated. I’ll come to your office, and you can administer it in a quiet space. I’ll bring my iPod and headphones, and listen to Mozart. I won’t bother a soul, I promise.”

I drink a glass or two while I cook dinner: seared beef tenderloin, heavily peppered. I reconstitute a batch of dried Morels sent to me from Oregon by my sister, Karen, and her husband, Greg — fungus hunters par excellence. After I sear and remove the seasoned meat from the pan, I sauté these puppies with some shallots, microplaned garlic, and fresh rosemary and thyme from the planter. I deglaze the pan with a splash of cognac, add a gurgle of the Gigondas, some of the morel soaking liquid, a bit of beef glace. I reduce the liquid, re-season, add a bit each of heavy cream and coarse Dijon, a smidge more chopped parsley, cook a couple minutes to combine and tighten, add the meat, swirl in a couple tablespoons of unsalted butter, and turn off the heat.

Whenever my brother and I communicate, we first update our Deathwatch reports, each trying to best the other with descriptions of the doom that waits, then Kurt makes useful suggestions regarding everything. He is, by his own estimation, an expert, and his suggestions occasionally find the mark — though I find both his recent explanation of String Theory and his plan for developing a cold fusion reactor using a refrigerator and the pump from an old fish tank, lacking in useful details.