Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Altered Fates

I'm actually in pretty good shape today, and, as always when I feel this way, part of me gets royally pissed off. Just like my left and right sides of my body are off by anywhere from 1 to 3 seconds in brain/reaction time, just as I have a love/hate relationship with Chicago because I follow Nelson Algren's doctrine, I also despise myself when I have a pain free day. All day, clear headed, no wincing or hidden moans, just like in my dreams. And I FUCKING HATE IT. Mostly because when I am not hurting--and this happens every few months, just as my nosedives into a crater of despair occur--I feel guilty. Yes. Today, I woke up feeling the usual stiffness, and now, as I type this, I am channeling that same stiffness through the toothpick in my mouth, but for most of the day I kept feeling the way a normal person does. Which I should not do at all, make comparisons. I long ago accepted that my days would be stop and start, memories and moments shredded depending on the day, but regardless, I am moving FORWARD. Now. The photo above. Philip Baker suffers from Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, another form of cerebral palsy. A terrible one. It is a self-destructive disease, and, as seen in the photo, the afflicted (and how I DESPISE that word!) must have their wrists restrained. Mr. Baker's face looks puckered because many of his teeth have been removed. If they weren't, he would literally chew pieces of his flesh and lips off, his hands, if free, would tear gouges in his torso. He would not be aware, because everyone with Lesch-Nyhan is mentally retarded (not challenged, for Christ's sake.) I had planned to write about a current project involving crippled children and super powers, but I feel (and fear) that I've done enough simply by talking about Philip Baker, who will be a Wikipedia poster child for the immediate future, who cannot move forward with his life Not one bit. I wrote about someone with this disease in THE HOLY TERROR and almost returned to it for my new project. But it will not fit the parameters of a comic book aimed for 5th-7th Graders. Even I am aware of that. Just by taking a fresh toothpick for my mouth, a simple act as that, I am moving forward. When I am in those craters of despair that I mentioned above, I often think of taking that Greyhound to Portland and hanging myself from the Willimantic Bridge, but if I stumble further down into that crater's darkness, I start thinking of putting a drill bit into my ear, because if I was too cowardly to kill myself, at the very least I could join the crippled mindless and I'd never compare myself to anyone again. I'd just stare and not have a toothpick in my mouth. I still feel perfectly fine, yet anger burns into my brain with each blink of my good eye....Wayne


HemlockMan said...

I don't know whether the anger is good for you, or bad. It doesn't seem to fuel much of your work--save for the hints of Judaic vengeance that pop up here and there in your fiction, or in the case of Every Mother's Son. But I can understand it and sympathize with your feelings of rage. Just not sure if it's all that good for you.

Charles Gramlich said...

I suppose only if I had lived your life would I understand these feelings. It's so easy for many of us to take good days for granted.

Lana Gramlich said...

Don't guilt yourself out for feeling good, man--just enjoy it! Best of the New Year, Wayne.