Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
Albert Einstein

"Time is on my side...oh yes it is."
Jerry Ragovoy for The Rollingstones

My guess is that neither Al or Jerry never had a piece of candy corn in their spinal column.

I mean they both had their own stuff to deal with, I guess. Jerry has the whole "Who the Hell is Jerry Ragavoy?" thing and Al...well...Al was absent-minded and had possibly the worst hair in history. Next to Phil Spector during his murder trial, that is. I don't know what it is about geniuses and their hair but do they not know how to use a comb? Don't they care that people have to look at their ugly hair?

I just realized. I have pretty good hair and I manage it fairly well.

I'm not a very patient person to begin with, you know. Lord knows I try to be. This time, however, I feel totally justified in my impatience. To me...right now...June, and my next MRI session, seems like a million years away.

And I can't help but wonder.

What is Orville up to?

I mean, I get bored on long car rides. When you're a kid its easy enough to sleep or torment a sibling or play The License Plate Game or, better yet, start 100 Bottles of Beer at somewhere near 1000.

I can only imagine what that little bastard is up to. Is he making friends? Is he playing I Spy with the parts of my neck? Is he twiddling his thumbs? Hell. Does he have thumbs by now? Which raises the question...

Is he getting any bigger?

I hope not because that would mean bad things are brewing. Part of me, I have to say, wishes that Orville has packed on some weight. Only because that growth would give the doctors a little more to work with. Then they would have a better idea of what they are dealing with...strike that...what they have to work with and what I have to deal with. Yeah. That's more like it.

Shit. I don't know. I just don't know any more.

I haven't written in a few weeks for several reasons. I knew you were wondering, so I thought I would go ahead and address my lapse in posts.

Well, for one. I was busier than a one-armed paper hanger. At least that is what everyone says when they are really busy. I've never seen a one-armed paper hanger. Hell, I've never seen a two-armed paper hanger. So, like you, I am just going to have to imagine that a guy with one arm is going to stay very busy hanging that paper.

I have been trying the whole "Stay Busy-Stay Distracted-Stay Well" tact. And for a little bit of the last couple of weeks, that idea seemed like a good one. But then the end of the day would roll around and I would lose all feeling in my hands and forearms and the reality of everything would come rocketing back towards me.

I've been painting panels for a mural I created for the Va. Discovery Museum in Charlottesville, Virginia. It's my interpretation of an undersea world. It is intended for the Toddler Room in the museum and it is colorful and full of plenty of things for little eyes to discover. It is the biggest project I have ever undertaken and it was a challenge. It's very hard to paint when you can't feel your hands or your brain is being rocked by a Keith Moon drum solo.

The mural, more or less, is done. There are just a few final touches to be added to the room.

I'm tired. I feel like I've been hit by a truck. But I feel great in knowing that I've created something that could potentially hang for 20 years.

I've stopped taking one of the medicines I was on. I hated the side-effects. My arms would jerk and spasm uncontrollably, and when you're an artist, you would much rather put up with the pain. Stuttering was another little habit I've picked up. Yes. I was real attractive the last few weeks. Arms jerking. Stuttering. Little cotton balls taped to my forearm from so many IV needles. I know I looked like a junkie. I wondered why people kept handing me their spare change. I won't complain. The last time I went Downtown, I made $3.17.

Of course the headaches are ever present. Sometimes there is an anaconda wrapping itself slowly around the base of my skull. Like today. Sometimes there is an icepick between my eyes and at the back of my head. Sometimes the light is too bright and sounds are way too loud and I wish the whole world was wrapped in down pillows.

Sometimes I can't shut out the screaming pain in my head. It is hard to stay focused when my body won't cooperate.

If I have realized anything in the last two weeks it is that I don't know what I would do if I couldn't draw or paint.

The one thing I have not gotten used to is Orville and the fact that he is getting bigger and fatter and might have to come out which would mean surgery on my spinal column which could potentially be very dangerous and could result in paralysis and well all that would suck.

So, that, dear reader, is where I am at right now.


Waiting for June and all the while trying to be productive and stay positive and work towards my future and smile and be happy.

I think it was the poet McFerrin who said "Don't worry. Be happy."

Easy for a guy who made a gazillion bucks off that little ditty to say.

and that is Jody with a "y"


  1. I think your doctor should read your blog.

    And I am glad for all the people who get to see your mural in person!

    Praying for you,

  2. I used to hate waiting. It always took too long. Then I got old, and time started zipping past like the Enterprise in the opening credits of the tv show. Whooosh! Where'd the time go? So the kids are looking at the calendar and saying, "Only seven more weeks of school!" How can they say that? Seven weeks is an eternity for a kid! One hour in a particularly unloved classroom can be an eternity! On the flip side, summer vacation disappears in a vaporous cloud before you get a chance to take a second breath. So it must be a matter of perspective, like when you watch a pot of water on the stove and it just sits there, silent and still and unbubbly. Or when you've been looking forward to that Weird Al concert for six months, and the day finally arrives and you go to the concert and it's so wonderfully hilarious and then suddenly it's over and you're standing in the parking lot wondering What Happened? How could it be over already? Or when you wake up one morning after dreaming about being back in high school singing a Spring Concert song, and as you wipe the sleep out of your eyes, the realization hits that it's been nearly thirty years gone by and you're sitting in a house in another state with a wife and kids in a body that's definitely seen better days and you just can't quite get your head around the concept that time is a river that just won't stop flowing no matter how hard you try. Then you go downstairs and take your morning meds and wait patiently for the fog to clear out of your brain so you can get on with your day, hoping there will be more good things that happen than bad, and whisper a quiet prayer for all your friends who are waiting for resolution.