Friday, October 19, 2012

Burt


Seen at the Fullerton station waiting for the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:30 a.m. 

“What walks on three legs at night?” asked the Sphinx.

I do! I do!

Only my hellish night lasts all day, every day. It’s night in the morning, and night at noon. The darkest, most painful night happens when I crawl into my bed, and the mattress springs jab the small of my back and behind my knees. My body constantly betrays me—my spine curves forward, my shoulders rise up to meet my ears. My neck and elbows and hips grow stiff and frail. I am always hurting.

My night has lasted longer than Oedipus’ ever did. Even if he had lived to a ripe old age, at least he never had to see the horror that was his decaying body. And his daughter Antigone surely made a sweeter, softer cane than my cold, metal one. My night has lasted longer than Sophocles’ ever did. They say he lived until he was 90, but at least he was celebrated and honored his whole life. I have been forgotten.

I wonder how the Greeks felt about euthanasia. It is a Greek word, you know. “An easy or happy death.” That sounds nice. I wish somebody would just put me down, like a crippled dog. 

Today I am very thankful for smart phones. My Droid helped me double check the etymology of "euthanasia," and bone up on my Oedipus mythology, all while I was on the train. I love living in the future.

The Mary Shelley Story-Telling party last night was delightful. We had stories about leaking radiators, old people, dumping bodies, eating bodies, and sketchy special sauce, among other things. I think I'll post some of my stories closer to Halloween.

Tonight Gena and I are going to see Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Because when somebody asks me if I want to see a rock opera about our seventh President, I say, "WHAT DUH OF COURSE HOW IS THAT EVEN A QUESTION?"

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