15 april 1999  

blues in the night

For those of you who’ve been reading since the old days, back when this journal was in black and white and performed live on the Dumont network, you may have noticed that I strayed from my standard of civilized demeanor in the last entry. I was feeling pretty tense. I even used cuss words. They're convenient tools for expression, n'est-ce pas? Naughty words allow venting without having to be precise, and venting is a good thing for folks who spend so much time up in their heads. After years of struggle, I’ve established a modest residence in my intellect, and when the circuits upstairs start to overload, I go to my spleen for vacation. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

One of my favorite things not to do is to go on and on about my parents and their gift for toxic cluelessness. Old story, but hey, it’s a train wreck over there, and, as evidenced in the post-Easter unpleasantness, it’s impossible to come away unaffected by the strewn baggage and the twisted track. So everybody got to see the decline in my mood this week.

On top of that train wreck let’s sprinkle some of the usual isolation I keep so handy here and then blend in the latest ingredient – a raging prostate infection. That’s a direct quote from the urologist, "raging prostate infection."

So, with the elements of this mixed metaphor sitting in my gut like a tummy full of mustard and milk, my outlook on the future’s bright promise has been a tad negative over the last several days.

The Prostate. Let me start off here by saying I’m aware of the repellent qualities inherent in old folk talking about their health problems. I’ve sat through many a dinner among the blue-haired where the diseases were flying as fast as the fruitcup. I too care very little about Millie Dingle’s hysterectomy or Uncle Bob’s lumbago, but this is me, kids. I'm special. Unlike a lot of retired people, ailment chat is a new language for me. For you young whippersnappers out there who’ve stumbled upon this through a web search on "cuss words", feel free to go now. But remember, you’re gonna get old, you’re gonna get sick, and you’re gonna bore the hell out of the folks in line behind you, just like I am about to.

Here’s the deal. Y’know how there’s this imaginary line, a threshold for pain or illness that, when crossed, is a clear signal to submit to its irrevocable demands? Well, I got that message early Tuesday morning. When the prostate of a forty-two-year-old man says howdy, he oughta listen. And when that howdy guess againcomes in the wee small hours, it’s a howdy with a sinister grin. It knows he's gonna spin all kinds of scenarios ‘cause it woke him up and pert near nothing wakes him up unless’n it be serious.

So at 3:15 this past Tuesday morning I’m imagining the bad news. I close my eyes and roll the little movie wherein I go in for the check up, get the closed-door talk from the specialist (the shot is MOS through a tiny window in the door, we see furled brows, some nodding), and then make plans to be Ben Gazzara in RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

A day-and-a-half later I’m in the urologist’s office for realsies and I’m turning my head and coughing, receiving greetings from the monkey paw, all the guy stuff, and the verdict so far is "raging prostate infection." I’m on the latest space-age antibiotic superpill now. In two weeks I go in for more tests. They will have me demonstrate things. Measurements will be taken, blood drawn, more peeing, more fingers.

When I asked the doc what the cause of the infection might be he said, "Could be a virus. Could be too much sex. Could be not enough sex."

For a middle-aged male this is good information. For a husband, that last one is some serious happytime leverage. Oh yes, we must use the tools at our disposal to fight the menace of disease.

The dark news is that nothing is completely ruled out yet. I have a family history of prostate cancer. But then there’s also an apparent genetic predisposition for stupidity, and I think I’ve dodged that bullet. That’s what my Psychic Phone Friend keeps telling me, anyway.

today's music:

"Flying Jelly Attack" -- Shonen Knife -- LET'S KNIFE


today's wisdom:

"When sex is good, it's 10 percent of the relationship. When it's bad, it's 90 percent."

- Charles Muir


today's excuse:



today's symptom: