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UPDATE: I LOOK GREAT IN MY MAGIC JEWELRY

When you go through something like the fairly awful something that I’ve been through this year, on the far side there’s this feeling that you will somehow eventually be able to completely reinvent yourself. You’ll arrive at a moment when you’ll be able to pave over the old, marginally successful life, which is what I had, and start living the nonstop mardi gras that your life was always supposed to be. I saw hyperbolic headlines like STROKE BOY MAKES AMAZING RECOVERY and MIRACLE STROKE BOY KICKS ASS, TAKES NAMES. I’m not sure why I referred to myself as “STROKE BOY.” I suppose it sounds more lighthearted and less pathetic than “MIDDLE-AGED STROKE MAN.” More…

PROBLEMS: PART 2

UPDATE: Welp, I just got off the phone with Yahoo again. Long, painful phone call with a man who I believe was somewhere in India. As usual, he asked me about a hundred “security questions,” most of which I could not answer. (Him: “Who was your first crush?” Me: “…”) Also had a dodgy wireless connection during the call, further complicating matters. Between the two of us, I was able to gain access to the site again, which I am—with each successive Yahoo phone call—becoming more and more resentful towards.

Anyway, I have access, so writing is imminent. Wishing this wasn’t such a dice-roll. -Scott

PROBLEMS

As some of you have likely already realized, I’m having website woes due to an internal problem at WordPress and Yahoo Small Business. I’m trying to address it. I’m frustrated that I can’t update (or revise) right now. Thanks for your patience. Hoping to resolve this ASAP.

Scott

THE LITTLE ALIEN BABY

[Apologies for not writing sooner, folks. Been trying to get back to work, and trying to get back to work has taken a toll on me. I’m getting stronger, and getting stronger means that I’ll be writing regularly again soon. Thanks for your patience.]

I woke up in a room which, for some inexplicable reason, I thought was the garage of my surgeon’s private home. I don’t know exactly what sorts of drugs the doctors had given me. Whatever they were, they were obviously potent enough to convince me that I’d woken up in the garage of my surgeon’s private home. More…

THE RUN-DOWN DEPARTMENT STORE

A warning: What’s ahead is probably the very darkest part of this miserable, goddamn, already-dark story. Turn back, if you like; I won’t blame you. My brain, at this point in my illness, was about as useful as a lobster forgotten in a steam pot. Then one of the imaginary cooks would say: “WHO LEFT THIS LOBSTER IN THE STEAM POT? BECAUSE IT’S COMPLETELY USELESS NOW. GREAT.” And he’d be right. In fact, instead of reading this section I suggest finding a quiet ice cream parlor and treating yourself to a bowl of strawberry ice cream. Strawberry ice cream never tastes better than it does in October for some reason. And the creepy guy who works the counter could really use some company this time of year.

Things lighten up considerably after this, promise. Last chance for strawberry ice cream.

Here we go. More…

LOST & FOUND

There was a bit in the last section that I’d like to reclaim. I used the word “frightened” to describe myself in the moment when I saw my mom and dad’s faces for the first time and subsequently interpreted their appearance as a symbol of how dire things were for me. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t believe that I ever felt scared, or frightened, or sad, or angry, or anything that a healthy person would probably have been feeling throughout this. Inside me, there was only this: a static indifference. It was like a white noise, like a box fan being run at higher and higher speeds, and swallowing everything up. No, I was never genuinely “frightened” at the beginning, not really, not even when things turned grim as they soon would. More…

UNDER THE SEA

Everything around me in the hospital was cast in a kind of perpetual, shimmering twilight. Sounds fruity to say that, but it’s true. It would be twilight as I was falling asleep; I’d wake up and it would somehow still be twilight. No matter what time of day it was, the shadows were always long and dramatic in St. Paul’s, the sun outside always seemingly close to going down. I didn’t understand it then, but I was becoming more and more untethered to time. I was leaving behind the things that normally bound me to the world—clocks and calendars and the Internet and so on. I didn’t care if it was Monday, Friday or Wednesday; if it was the middle of the night or lunchtime; or if it was my birthday even, which it really was during the early days of my hospital stay. Because up ahead there was always more of that seductive, delicate twilight. And more twilight always meant more sleep for me. More…

MR. ZERO ONE ONE

My third visit to the Emergency Room at St. Paul’s was even more of a blur than my two blurry earlier visits had been. Jason, my friend, as his wife Ali who is a medical doctor had instructed him to do, shepherded me there, though I have no memory of him doing so. I don’t remember many tangibles from this visit—no faces, names or anything like that. I remember sitting in a small curtained-off room by myself for awhile. I remember doctors and nurses wheeling a series of odd-looking machines through the curtains, as if these were prizes I’d won on a dour gameshow. They cheerily hooked me up to the machines one after another. Once a machine got the information it needed, they would wheel it away again. What the doctors saw, either via these machines or the way I was behaving at the time (i.e. zero, one, one), definitively told them what I had been trying to tell them for the last two weeks: that something strange was going on inside me.

More…

STATUS UPDATE: STILL HERE

That’s right, folks—I’m still here. My still here-ness is something that apparently continues to impress a fairly large portion of the medical community here in the Vancouver, BC area. Every few days I’ll arrive for a routine follow-up exam, as one must do in the aftermath of a thing like this. I’ve probably seen 45 different doctors or so in the last four months. When I see a doctor for the first time, he’ll spend a few minutes paging through my records in a formal, doctorly fashion. Then he’ll usually say, “You know, you’re lucky to be alive.”

You are lucky to be alive. I never know how I’m supposed to respond to this. Thanks? Yes, that seems to be true, doctor? My, that’s an extremely flattering necktie? If anyone can make paisleys work, it’s you? I’m an American living in Canada, so I’m always certain that this will be the moment that Canada has decided to present me with a super-sized medical bill that includes a kajillion-dollar fee for bring me back from “the mist-filled abyss of the nether-world.” Though I haven’t been yet. More…

Christmas Vacation: Part 5

[Read the first installment here. -Scott]

When I was a boy—yes, another post that begins with those dreaded five words—I realized at a young age that I was blessed with two main talents. Talent One was my gift for committing the weekly TV Guide listings to memory. Talent Two was the ability to turn the smallest of concerns into insomnia-inducing, hand-wringing worries. In short, I was a prematurely anxious child who could reliably tell you when 60 Minutes was on (Sunday, 7 p.m., channel 5).

Yes, I was quite a piece of work. More…