—From EF—

OK, I’m now embarked on the road to hip replacements, and counting the days. My surgeon-to-be is very good, hence much in demand, and I need to wait until May 17 for an evaluation appointment. After that it’s up to the “surgery scheduler” to get me a hospital date. The sooner the better, I say, because the current state of affairs sucks.

I went to my primary care doc to get a referral to a surgeon, and at the end of our conversation he was about to order a lab test (lipid panel), and asked if I had any family history of . . . At which point I interrupted and said “No way. I’m a Brooklyn bastard and don’t have any information on medical history.” So he didn’t order the lab test. Medicare has rules about what screenings are covered, and for whatever reason, this would be denied.

I called the office later and asked if the lack of family history was the entire problem, and was told no, but yes, it was a factor. Whatever information exists is filed in an office in Brooklyn NY, sealed to me.

Meanwhile, I can’t tell our kids what to be extra-aware of in managing their health. Well, not entirely true. Once I succumb to something myself, there will be family history. This was just one more jolt on my Indignation Meter, finding that one bureaucrat’s rules are hampering my interaction with another bureaucrat’s rules. Dammit, I should have just lied and said that both my parents were overweight and that my dad died of heart disease, conveniently avoiding the word “adoptive.” Ethics R Us.

—From the Fool—

You learn things from guys who are really drunk. Maybe because if you’re getting drunk the same time as them, whatever they say sounds believable.

This was from a big hairy guy named Turk. Or maybe Tuck or Took or Tk—he didn’t go in for lots of voice and diction. I don’t usually do this with big hairy guys, but I asked him what candidate he liked.

Turns out he hasn’t decided. “I’m following it close,” he said. “I wanna see who’ll crash the whole fuckin economy.” Meaning, he explained, that that’s who he’d vote for. “It’s the only way to stop the packaging.”

He traced it back to the guy who put poison in some bottles of Tylenol. “It’s a known fact,” he said, “that was a put-up job. Whole new market for bottles you couldn’t unscrew.”

“What you got now? Coconuts wrapped in cellophane. Knives in plastic you can’t rip through without the knife that’s inside it. Peeled bananas in germ-free kryptonite pods. Packaging so secure you’ll starve trying to open a loaf of bread. Goes on like this, we’ll all need chainsaws to open a box of cornflakes.”

I wondered if we couldn’t do it some other way than cause a Great Depression. Like label the package Can’t Be Opened. He looked like he had the answer to that, but then he fell off the bar stool. Up to that point, he almost had me convinced.

—From CB—

A delayed trip to the ocean today. Elizabeth was away for the weekend, so our Sunday sabbath moved to Tuesday. Warm and clear, which meant that the sandflies were out in force—hey, nothing’s perfect, and in Heaven, if you can afford the admission price, there may not even be an ocean. Yet still beautiful, rife with the surf of enlightenments.

It even, for a time, swept clear the soot of following the campaign, where I feel that once again my candidates are destroying themselves. How can so much money be raised and so little of it spent on wisdom? I doubt that I personally will suffer, on a day-to-day basis, from the results of the election, but that’s not to consider my kids or a couple of billion other human souls. Granted, my own eggshell of security comes from expecting the worst, so that if anything better happens, it’s gravy. It doesn’t make my day-to-day reading of the news any more blissful, but it keeps my focus tied to the richness of the ocean’s depths.

So now to pick up some wood chips for our garden yard and then continue editing for our DVD of King Lear, and then to have dinner with a friend who’s telling us about Iceland, where we’ll spend a week and a half this fall, and then to bed. Last night I dreamed we were being lodged in a weird old Victorian house and summoned forth the ghost of Aleister Crowley. I know not where that came from: we haven’t seen friends from the Thelemic tradition for many years. I guess Aleister was just feeling blue and looking around for somebody whose dream was standing ajar.

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© Bishop & Fuller 2016

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