Saturday, August 25, 2018

"Help Me!"



I walked like a corkscrew all day yesterday, the right side of my lower back seized with some insane degenerative injury.  Tired of everything, I decided upon my weekend plans.  I would drink and take muscle relaxers until things were right again.

I haven't woken yet this morning.  I forgot what muscle relaxers do.  I will be a wreck for the rest of the day, I think.  Muscle relaxers are not a good idea.  They just aren't.

A change of plans, then.  Milk teas.  Little food.  Just a constant flow of buttery, tea flavored liquid to my gut and brain.  Hippie food, maybe, with exotic sounding names.  Green tea, too, if someone else makes it.  Mine is always way too bitter and strong.  I've been told the water I use is too hot.  I need to learn more gentleness and moderation.  Water doesn't have to boil in the cup.  I go to extremes most of the time.

"I don't know if you should take that.  You've been drinking."

No problem, mom.  I've got this.

What is a muscle relaxer?  I still have bunches of them.  I was supposed to take three a day.  Are they kidding?

I think of walking to the kitchen to get more coffee.  Even thinking of it takes more energy than I have.

For the record, the muscle relaxer did nothing for the pain in my lower back.  I am worse off this morning than I was last night.  This is what my relatives call a pinched nerve.  I should have taken anti-inlfamatories instead.

Today will be ice, heat, ice, heat.

While I lie about, other photographers will be taking all the good pictures.  There won't be any left.  There are only so many, I am convinced.

Anti-inflamatories and nerve pills.  Green and milk teas.  I don't know.  I'm in a fog.

I think I'll go to my own house and lie on my own couch.  Mom will be fine.  My nerves are shot.  I can put on some music and maybe read.  Maybe, if I can focus.  I don't want any responsibilities.  I don't want to talk.

But that's enough about me.  Let's talk about Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.  I should go. . . about 100 years ago.  I am reading Edith Wharton's "Morocco."  She has a wonderful vocabulary, and she sure can make a phrase.

"One is tempted to say that Morocco is Tunisia seen by moonlight."

and

"Everything that the reader of the Arabian Nights expects to find is here: the whitewashed niches wherein pale youths sit weaving the fine mattings for which the town is still famous; the tunnelled passages where indolent merchants with bare feet crouch in their little kennels hung with richly ornamented saddlery and arms, or with slippers of pale citron leather and bright embroidered babouches, the stalls with fruit, olives, tunny-fish, vague syrupy sweets, candles for saints' tombs, Mantegnesque garlands of red and green peppers, griddle-cakes sizzling on red-hot pans, and all the varied wares and cakes and condiments that the lady in the tale of the Three Calanders went out to buy, that memorable morning in the market of Bagdad."

The exotic!  The far away!  The hard to reach!  

Good old Wharton.  She went in 1917.  Can you imagine?  Such a thing.  I'm sure that Bartle Bull read this and other such travelogues before he wrote his adventure novels (link).  

You can't read these, though, unless you are a misogynist who subscribes to sexualization and rape culture.  Is Bull still alive?  Have they gotten him yet?  

You can't read Wharton, either, really.  She is a racist.  She loves the artifacts of the culture without loving the people.  She takes a high-toned, Waspy approach to traveling in Moslem country.  I'm o.k. to read it, though.  I'm different and immune.  I grew up one way and was trained another.  I am special. I understand.  

O.K.  Mother is up.  It seems like ten people are in the house, the washer and drier and dish washer running, pots banging, noise, noise, noise.  And she is chatty.  Even the turning of the pages of the paper she reads is supernaturally loud.  

I feel like that man trapped in the web of the original version of "The Fly."  Remember?  

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