Saturday, October 27, 2007

a fever of words

Do you write when you're sick?
I find it depends on what kind of disease I have. Writing is perfectly possible with a low nausea or a pain in the knee, but anything that involves the head is right out for me. Whatever is wrong with my head--sinus troubles, aches of the ear or head or teeth, dizziness--fills up all the space in my brain and nothing much can go on up there besides.
Writing when there's something else going on inside your head is asking for trouble. If you manage to squeeze out anything at all, the words will be crabbed and misshapen, the sentences warped, which will make you imagine the inside of your head, the lumps and misshapes of your brain, which even when everything is fine is a squeamish-looking object. Who wants to know how the bones of the inner ear are misaligned when you've had a bout of vertigo? A game of pick-up sticks that no one has bothered to pick up.
All of which is to say that I have a bad cold, with a kind of sinusy feeling of my head being swollen 50% beyond its happy norm, and some disquiet in my ears, and so I am not writing today.
I had my hair done instead, and listened to the phone conversation of the woman who was sitting near me while our various dyes and streaks were being timed. She got 3 calls on her cell, which she stacked up with call waiting, and she told each of them the same thing: "I am so pissed off," which was because she had had $600 stolen "plus other things" which she perhaps didn't want to mention in front of a staid-looking middle-aged woman having her roots dyed golden-brown (me), but which which this woman (me) thought might be drugs.

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