Tuesday, October 27, 2009
PER FRETUM FEBRIS
my mother wouldn't drive under the 17th ave train overpass. she wouldn't be driven under the 17th ave train overpass either. for 30 years, bobo was compelled to drive "the long way" into downtown p'cola from east hill. mother had decided that at any moment a train could come tumbling down off that overpass & crush any & all cars passing underneath. in matters such as these, my mother was possessed by an apocalyptic viewpoint that was unwavering & totally resolute in its demands. in matters such as these, i believed & still do that my mother was utterly socio-pathic.
after 35 years, a train did in fact tumble down off the overpass & crush a car that was passing underneath. as far as my mother was concerned, this event elevated her visions to the level of a jean dixon or nostradamus. this event swept away all the other myriad crazy or unlikely assertions & predictions she'd made over the years. if you're right once, her thinking went, then regardless of being wrong any other time, you are right THIS time. it can not be denied. in that simple equation is the source of a kind of mulish self-satisfaction.
if i were looking at this as a "glass half full" scenario, i'd say that my mother's looniness prepared me for similiar, tho less adamant, ideas. my gypsy gf in college, diane, took what i called the "scattershot" approach to cheating accusations. basically, she thought i was fucking everyone so that was how she approached those wonderful moments of unhinged accusation i've known throughout my life. the idea seemed to be that if you suspected everyone, someone was probably guilty. for the most part, it worked but caused endless denials & explanations & wasted energy. hell, under those conditions, everyone IS guilty soon or later, eventually, even diane herself.
so when ann got off the plane from back east complaining about the woman w/the cold sitting next to her the entire flight, i just shrugged. i'm not saying ann is a hypochondriac but i will say she's had most every disease known to man in her mind. she's just cute that way. it's true, she had a horrifyingly painful bladder infection early on in our relationship but for the most part, she's been sickness-free as i've stumbled along w/crippling bone problems & gall bladder issues & cold after cold after cold. i didn't expect anything to come of it.
naturally, ann got the cold &, just as naturally, gave it to me. this was nothing like her brush w/the swine flu but it was just debilitating enough to be a real drag for her & now for me. i was able to make the cure-all chicken soup for her before i went under. she ate it morning, noon, & night & got over the main symptoms of the cold in 3 days. me? i get take-out & i'm still fighting the damn thing after 5 days. we have discussed karma here, haven't we?