Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Devil You Know

In my self-deluded rantings about yesterday's telethon, I skipped over the two photos at the Cook County clinics, right there between the burn ward and the Lighthouse For The Blind. A rainbow coalition of freaks. A brotherhood of the disfigured. First, I'd go into Room 13. I'd be asked questions, be told to draw a happy picture, then get grilled on why I drew Martian tripods in a burning landscape. (Let's just say I'm not good with portraits, OK?) Then Room 18, the place where the clinical psychologists sat behind a one way mirror, watching me do tasks in a room with white walls and no windows. Empty walls, just the one way glass thing. A mirror so I could see how fucked I was. Being timed on climbing stairs. On picking up round things like St. Joseph's Children's Aspirin and putting them into a bottle with a thin neck and opening at the top. Left handed was fine, but right handed was burning agony. I wanted to smash that mirror, not knowing in 1967 that there were people jotting notes (for possible case studies to put in print) on my miserable progress. Three days a week until I was 14. Fifteen years later I was hit by the car. Every few months I have to make my nose bleed out to ease the pressure in my head, I have a thing that gives a 64-watt jolt to the left of the bridge of my nose. So proud of how my left side worked, even as they wrote of the dismal failure of my right...thing. What would they think of that ridiculously twisted left arm, how I destroyed all their work by carelessly walking into a car? The entire CD of THREE DOG NIGHT's Greats Hits have played as I've typed this. Fuck it all, I'm getting voice activation for this computer. Then DSL if I can afford it. Let the Unabomber shit his pants if he finds out. Voice activation is not the devil I know. That bastard is the one that lives in the thalamus of my brain, pushing images and sentences further and further ahead of my one finger typing until I think back to 1967 and how, if I had any sense at all in those Martian tripod-sketching days, I should have run full throttle and fuck it into that goddamn mirror and sliced my face off, let the damn therapists get a real good piece for whatever paganistic journals they wrote for. Publish or perish...Wayne