Sticky Business

Life is full of embarrassing moments.

Like when my son was three, and we were standing in a checkout line.  I was standing, rather, and he was sitting in the cart, getting an eye-full of the other shoppers.

He pointed at the lady behind us in line, and shouted,

“Mama!  Look at that lady’s ENORMOUS breasties!”

I withered away to a mortified crisp, but the lady with the enormous breasties laughed it off, saying she heard that all the time.  (?)

So this time it’s my RV toilet.

RV toilets work differently than regular toilets.  Instead of “things” flushing into a city sewer system or a septic tank, RV human waste gets flushed into a PVC holding tank, where it mingles with whatever chemicals or enzymes one puts down there to digest things into a nasty black liquid.  When your tank gets near full, you dump it down a campsite sewer connection or a dump station.  Yes, your RV also takes a dump!

Well now.  Regular readers will know that I have bleeding guts from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  One of the annoying things about bloody poop is that it’s “difficult to flush away.”

That is to say, it sticks to the toilet.

Unfortunately, it not only sticks to the toilet bowl–I have a much more intimate relationship with my toilet brush than I ever anticipated or wanted–it sticks to the walls of the holding tank as well.  I found that out today.

I’ve been noticing of late that my holding tank has not been dumping very well.  I thought maybe it might be my macerator pump–the thing that grinds up any “solids” that are still hanging around after the chemical treatment.  The macerator grinds everything up and spits it out into the dump hose, to be pumped down the sewer drain.

Yes, lately it has seemed that when I go to dump my tank, not much comes out.  I can’t tell for certain-sure, because the sensors that are supposed to measure the level of gunk in the tank quit working the week after I bought this brand-new unit.  But I’ve noticed that the tank gets full more quickly than it used to, and it takes almost no time to dump before the macerator pump starts making the noises it makes when it’s finished with its job.  Er, duty.  Business.

So I took it to the repair shop, thinking the pump was bad.

As ill luck would have it, the RV repair guys who pulled the unfortunate job of working on my rig had an odious–and no doubt odorous–task to do.

Turns out the macerator pump was fine, but my holding tank was lined with layer after layer of…shit.  My sticky shit.

They washed it and washed it and washed it, but were never able to get the tank clean.  Yes, it’s supposed to get clean!

They quizzed me, with accusing eyes, about chemicals.  Was I one of those crunchy types who thinks all chemicals are bad?

They postulated that perhaps the previous owner had let the tank dry out.  I filled them in: it’s a brand-new RV, I’m the original owner, and I certainly do put the approved chemicals in at the approved times.

I couldn’t make myself explain that I have sticky shit because I have bleeding guts.  It was too much to ask.  I was already shriveling up from embarrassment….no doubt my face looked like a fire-engine-red prune.

So I just prevailed upon them to clean it really well.  I bought a special RV toilet cleaner-outer wand that you attach to a hose, then you stick it down the toilet and it goes whirr, whirr, and allegedly cleans the inside of the tank.

Of all the embarrassing things that have happened so far with this ass problem of mine, I think this one rises to the top.  After this, shitting my drawers in Wal-Mart was not half as mortifying as it was before the Encrusted Crapper fiasco.  A bright side!

Bloody Hell.

It started up again last night.  My guts have been low-grade bleeding for…a long time.  It’s become kind of a fact of life.  I’ve come to accept it.  I do get mad that it wrecks my RV holding tank sensors, so I can’t tell how full the tank is.  I have my work-arounds for that, but still.

I get frustrated that I have absolutely no energy to do the things I love doing: hiking, dancing (my spine gets in the way of that too), dog sports, or anything that requires being up and around and away from a toilet for more than an hour.  Shopping leaves me exhausted for days.  I put off going out until I’m out of absolutely everything.

Apart from my holding tank sensors, the part I resent most is my hair.  It’s falling out.  I’ve got a bald spot in front, right above my hairline.  I really should see someone about this, but I’m just so damned tired.

Last evening just about sundown I went to take a crap, and whaddyaknow, a big blob of bloody mucus came out.  Ugh.  Well, thought I, I hope that’s the end of that!

It wasn’t.  

True that even a teaspoon of blood looks like a lot when it’s on toilet paper.  It is quite the shock.  

My first impulse with things like that is to find some alternate explanation.  Toddlers, for example, often ended up in my office, accompanied by a red diaper and a panic-stricken parent.  Most of the time the culprit was that awful red dye they put in Jello and “red” Koolaid.  Excellent teaching opportunity: don’t feed your kids anything you don’t want to see in their diaper!  Beets will also cause red diapers, but not as shocking.

I have eaten nothing red of late.  Not beets, or red Jello, or even the lovely rare steak I’ve been plotting to burn on the grill.

There’s a bit of dullish pain in my gut, nothing I can’t ignore; and a characteristic tinkling bowel sound that only occurs when I bleed.  I once recorded it to play for a doctor, but erased it after my last horror show encounter with the bozos they now call “physicians.”  I can’t wait for the robot docs.  At least they will hopefully be more objective.

When I started getting frank blood coming out of my poor ass, I considered packing up and heading for the local ER.  Then I considered what would happen.  Procedures.  Possibly admission.  A tube in my nose.  Antibiotics.  Colonoscopy.

You know what?  I’ve been there and done that.  My body can’t tolerate the steroids they shove at me.  I don’t want to get C. Diff.  In fact, I want nothing to do with the medical establishment.  At all.

I had plans for today: there is a knitting club at the RV park where I’m staying.  I wanted to pick the brains of the people who actually know what they’re doing.  I’m too damned tired.  I don’t seem to have bled enough acutely to bring my hemoglobin down, but I didn’t have to take my blood pressure pill this morning.

I’m tired.  I’m grieving the loss of my son.  I’m grieving the fact that I never had a real mother, even though I tried desperately to make her into one in my mind.  I feel like I lost my family in a fire.  But they’re still alive.  

Susan Sontag’s book Illness As Metaphor has provided me with a paradigm in which to understand my in illnesses, but not the one she herself offers.  Sontag was more about the way society stigmatizes  certain illnesses.  To my way of thinking, my illnesses are loud metaphors for my inner ecological disasters.

Bleeding Guts= I’m torn up inside

Asthma= I’m suffocated by the people and circumstances I live with

Spine disease= no support

Bipolar= No stability

Etc.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve worked with these metaphors for decades, trying to find some modicum of healing in therapy, NLP, hypnotherapy, support groups, even witchcraft!  I went to India to work with an Ayurvedic guru.  I’ve worked with healers from every continent on the globe.  

And although I can say that the metaphors do help in terms of putting sets of symptoms into a context, I cannot say that I’ve derived one iota of benefit from all this omphalospection.

If not for the Biggess Doggess, I would certainly pack it in.  It seems odd that I would stay alive and suffer for a wolfish beastie.  Somehow I just can’t let her down.  She has been through so much!  A victim of trafficking, quite literally, used and thrown away.  With love and care, she’s flourishing.  I can’t bear the thought of her going through any more trauma.  She totally freaks if I leave her sight.  I’ve committed to staying alive as long as she lives, if I can.  

We’ll just have to see what happens.

Oh, No, Not Again!

So my very good friend met this guy, and he thought that this guy and I might like to be in touch, because this guy and I have some things in common, and all this and that.

So I said fine, tell him he can call me, but if you think you’re matchmaking, well, don’t.  He said he didn’t.  Emphatically.

The guy calls.  He seems nice.  He seems interesting.  We do have stuff in common, and we jabber away for a couple of hours.

Now, this guy doesn’t use computers.  He has a smartphone, but no idea how to use it.  So no exchanges of ideas beyond voice calling.  And he lives far away.  And although he has a camper, he’s not so much into traveling.

Fine, no problem.  I’m not in the market.  I can’t even have sex due to the physical ravages of chronic illness, so even considering a regular relationship is silly.  Thankfully, my sex drive drove off without me some years back, so it’s just not an issue.  And even more thankfully, I’m not lonely.  The opposite: I can’t stand people in my space for long periods of time.  Like, for instance, five minutes would be too long.  I would like to have a friend who actually wants to know me, not a lover who only wants to know my booty.

So a few days ago we have our third phone conversation.

He gets right down to it:

“Where do we stand?  I need to know.”

I explained to him all of the above.  I told him that I’m totally up for meetings along the trail, circling up of wagons (Wild West reference, for you who were not raised on Spaghetti Westerns), serenading the coyotes, and other friendly activities.

Just.  Not.  Sex.  OK?

Judging by his chilly tone of voice, it seemed probable that it was not OK.

You know what?

I don’t give a shit.

Rain On The Brain

It’s raining again in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I left my precious Arizona, hot but at least high and dry, to trade in my trusty Jenny the Chevy camper for the 24 foot house on wheels that I ordered back in November. 

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I’ve been sick ever since my arrival last Thursday.  Stress is a bitch!  And for me there is nothing more stressful than moving, even if it’s from one mobile dwelling to another.  I get completely disoriented with all my personal shit strewn around.  Disorder breeds more disorder. 

Speaking of disorder, my dear doggy is completely discombobulated.  All her two favorite hangout places in our previous van are gone.  Like moi, she’s having to adjust to this new space and new lifestyle, all of a sudden. There’s lots more room for her to stretch out in the aisle, but I’ve configured the bed in a way that is unacceptable to her, so she is sleeping in the driver’s seat in protest.

I’ve been in awful, unremitting pain ever since I left the lovely dry Southwest.  Humidity kills me.  My spine is screaming; likewise my shoulders, hands, and hips: all the arthritic places.  And wouldn’t you know it, I had a Crohn’s flare-up start the day I moved my stuff from Jenny into my new rig (whose name might be Betsy).  I finally got the blood stains out of my brand new plastic toilet this morning.  That’s one of the lovely things that come with a Crohn’s flare: shitting blood.  I’ve got a sore throat, headache, and spent last night alternately chilling and sweating.  Fucking immune system, where are you when I need you?  Either running hot or on vacation, and sometimes both at the same time.

My sweet doggie came to see me about dawn.  She must have been listening to me shifting uncomfortably around in the bed, trying unsuccessfully to find a pain-free position.  She tried to worm her way into bed with me, but she is still a puppy, albeit a large one; and in the process of her thrashing around trying to cuddle up with me, she accidentally slashed my throat with one of her claws, and razored me up pretty good. 

My sleep deprived, paining self overflowed and I began to wail.  Poor Atina fled to the driver’s seat, and required a great deal of comforting for the rest of the morning.  She feels terrible when she hurts me.  She knows I am fragile, and tries her best to take care of me. But she is large and ungainly.  Accidents are bound to happen.

After applying first aid to my gashed and bleeding throat, I sat down with my new vaporizer and medicated.  I felt better.  I started the day.

Yesterday it rained.  Today it rained.  I’ve grown accustomed to places that don’t steam all the time.  I intend to make my way back West, where I feel good.  A friend called me a little while ago, from Glacier National Park.  He is not a formally religious man, but he said that Glacier felt to him like knowing God.

God and I have been on the outs for some time, so I think I’ll head over to Glacier and see what my friend is talking about.  I wouldn’t mind having a God experience.  My mind needs a jump start.

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This far corner of Montana is 1,713 miles from where I currently sit.  And that doesn’t take account of my planned side trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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The arrow is supposed to point to the Upper Peninsula.  The little blue dot at the bottom is where I am now. So the whole trip will be a big adventure with my new motorhome as I learn its ins and outs. 

I’m glad I temporarily have the ability to do this kind of gypsying.  I won’t always.  Finances and ill health will eventually clip my wings; but I’ll keep on as long as life lets me.  I’ll go as long and as hard as I can, and be gentle with myself too.

That’s my spiritual discipline now: giving myself permission not to do, but to be.  I get depressed.  I say, OK, I’m depressed.  It will pass.  I use cannabis as part of my medication regimen.  It works.  It helps me get through the depressions.  It helps me feel better.  Isn’t that the point of medication?

None of the meds we take for brain pain are “disease modifying.”  They don’t work unless we take them.  If we stop taking them, they stop working.

Cannabis will break me out of a suicidal depression.  It helps me engage with the world, with my environment.  I feel creative.  I can cook and clean up, take a shower, talk to people.  I don’t lie around crying all day.  I’m still depressed, but I’m more functional and less likely to hole up isolated.

Sometimes I’m just too sick though, like last night when I couldn’t even think well enough to pick up the vaporizer till my dog broke me out of it by slashing my throat.  Well, it was over the top, but it changed my state, so I guess it was all right.  Hope the wound heals.  The skin right there is awfully thin.

I hate it that I’m too disabled to work.  All I want to do is to be in my own office, healing the sick.  But I’m too sick to heal anyone, not even myself.  This mobile lifestyle helps me to not go crazy mourning my lost calling.  It’s a distraction, true, and that’s what I need.

It’s interesting to see how campgrounds are places of refuge for the mentally ill and physically disabled.  Of course no one you meet will say, “My name is Doris, and I’m mentally ill.”  Nope, she will say she has a bad knee, or something legit like that.  All the talk about getting rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness has done absolutely nothing compared to the speculation about the “mental health” of the various recent shooters.  Hell, if I were to tell some campground owner that I’m bipolar, you can bet they would be fresh out of campsites.  Mental cases not welcome anywhere…not openly, anyway.  But we’re here.  We are transient; we float from place to place.  We keep quiet and don’t cause trouble.  But we don’t disclose. 

When will the Mentally Ill Matter? 

Maybe never.  We’re the Invisible Minority.

Already This Morning

I woke up with a shart.

Not exactly woke up with, but soon after.

…In the middle of the first cup of coffee I’ve had in days.

Lying in bed, dallying with my 35 year old, much loved, many times broken and repaired porcelain coffee cup, made special for me by my dear departed daddy-o, sipping strong Cafe Bustelo made in my simple Melita single cup red plastic drip cone.  Very strong.

It began the way most farts begin.  But it didn’t stop there.

Fortunate that I had my favorite lounge pants on, and that they are black, and that I have a handy clothes pole in my rig where they now hang, dripping dry after a wash-out in the bathroom sink.

I am disappointed.  This morning bulges with plans unfulfilled.  It was to be the second in a series of unparalleled good days. 

Yesterday, I wasted about two weeks worth of energy that I didn’t have, but took a mortgage on my future and went ahead with something wasteful in every way.

I have held off writing about this whole balagan (Hebrew for “wretched mess”) with the cardiologist, simply because it’s too boring to think about, and certainly too boring to write about.  I’m feeling sleepy.

B’kitsur (in short): I have been experiencing episodes of inflammation in my veins, on and off for a year.  Since I must have the torn cartilage in my left wrist surgically repaired, it is now relevant to discover whether this vein issue presents any additional surgical risk.  I was sent to a cardiologist who supposedly specializes in veins, to find out.

This cardiologist did not seem at all interested in my veins or anything else.  Oh yes: he is interested in tests.  Every kind of test that is high tech and expensive, he is interested in.  I believe he might be a little bit interested in money, too.

Last week I endured three kinds of cardiac echo tests, performed by a male technologist whose pinky finger seemed to be using my bare left nipple as a place marker as he worked the echo probe on my heart; at least I hope that is what he was doing.  It hugely triggered my rape survivor PTSD, and I dissociated, leaving him alone with my left nipple.

The next part of the balagan was a stress echo, where they do a regular echocardiogram, then hook you up to a 12-lead EKG (they hook you up real good: instead of merely slapping the sticky EKG leads on, they first scrub you down with alcohol and then sandpaper your skin without asking first whether it’s OK or whether you have any skin conditions, then they stick the leads on your abraded skin without looking to see whether you’re already bleeding) and put you on a treadmill.  You take two or three steps at a normal pace, then suddenly and without warning, they turn up both the pace and the angle, so that you have to trot to keep up; and suddenly your legs feel like they’re going to fall right off and you tell them that; so instead of simply slowing the treadmill down, they stop it suddenly, so you DO fall down.  Then they drag you bodily onto the echo table and do the “post exercise” scan, which of course is invalid because your heart rate didn’t reach the target 85% of maximum.  Shit, I could have told them that.

Now, you must understand that this represents all of what I hate in modern medicine.  Not all.  That comes later.  Most.

Thing One:  This test should have been scuttled.  Medicare should never have been billed for an inadequate exam.  It’s like billing for a blood test where the quantity was not sufficient to test.  And yet it was billed.  Is this fraud, or merely bad practice?  I’m thinking.

Thing two:  When I saw the cardiologist in follow-up for this inadequate test, he never really questioned why I was unable to exercise, even though I have been complaining and complaining and complaining of exercise intolerance to anyone and EVERYONE, including himself. 

Instead of talking this through with me, he went ahead and ordered a NUCLEAR stress test.  NUCLEAR!

How effing much are they billing Medicare for that one?  Cheeziz K. Reist** on a bicycle, I can’t even imagine.  4K?  At least.  With whipped cream and a cherry on top.  No nuts, thank you, they get in my teeth.

The nuclear balagan began yesterday afternoon, following the first decent morning I’ve had in weeks.  The heat has killed my already overheated constitution.  My weight is plummeting, since anything heavier than clear liquids leads to hours of belly pain and retching.

So it stands to reason that on the first morning that I pop out of bed at 0630 feeling rested and ready to engage with the world, I must fast, because fast I must if I am to get this nuclear test behind me.

So I fritter the day away drinking sugary liquids so I won’t get any more hypoglycemic than I already am.  I check my pup into an air conditioned kennel at the vet for the afternoon, and check myself into the diagnostic cardiology lab again.

I am relieved to find that the tech with the heat-seeking pinky has been replaced with a robot who scores very high on the Spectrum, but behaves well and doesn’t give me any shit about using the special tape I brought to secure the IV: special tape that does not rip my skin off.  He gets the IV in on the first try, painlessly, in my only good vein.  I love him.

I’m injected with Technetium 99, the radioactive isotope that the gamma camera will read, to make pictures of my heart at rest.  I’m given my first Chinese Water Torture huge cup of water to gulp, which expands my circulating blood volume.  They want to get the isotope into my heart muscle and cardiac vessels.

The gamma camera scanner is claustrophobic and cold.  I dissociate.

Next thing is the injection through the IV of some stuff that dilates all of my blood vessels very suddenly.  It’s a good thing I’m lying down already, since my blood pressure plummets from 130/85 to 90/60, which is officially the territory of circulatory shock.  It felt very weird.  I decided not to dissociate for a bit, knowing that I could at any time.  I kind of dug feeling how it felt, the weirdness of it all.  I stayed present for it.

Now they wanted me to eat a high fat snack, to help open up my circulation and get things running.  Fortunately I had just such a thing in my backpack.  They did have snacks there, but all of them contained gluten.  That’s why I always bring my own food, anywhere and everywhere.  You can never tell.

After another giant cup of water and two radioactive trips to the bathroom, I went back into the scanner, this time with leads on.  The EKG would coordinate the camera to pick up on the various phases of contraction and relaxation of my heart. Cool.

So that’s done.  Very nice.  Except for the couple of PVC’s (Premature Ventricular Contractions) that I had, which are nonspecific and most likely benign, I am sure that this will be a normal study.

And I think I remember signing a “Medicare balance billing” agreement, which means that anything Medicare doesn’t pay for, I get to pay for. 

Worse, this whole balagan has snowballed from: why does this person have recurrent vein inflammation? into a whole high tech cardiac workup.

Medicine has got itself into a very sad situation. 

I’m crushed to see my formerly noble profession sink so low.

I remember babbling to the tech who did the vasodilating torture test (they swapped him out for the robot for this part), about how any doctor who knew her salt could do everything she needed with a stethoscope, an otoscope, ophthalmoscope, tuning fork, some straight pins, and a few basic lab tests, five working senses, and a working sixth sense.  Your basic Black Bag.

He said yeah, I know, right?  That’s what they do in the third world.

I’m like, yeah, right?  What are you gonna do when the grid goes down?

Meanwhile back at the low tech ranch, I’ve been forcing myself to stay inside my body when I’m out walking The Doggess.  It’s been worthwhile.

I notice that while I do get out of breath, the limiting factor is that after a few minutes both my thighs and my calves start to feel like wood.  If I don’t slow down or stop for a few minutes, my legs just absolutely stop me.  I just can’t go no further.  Nothing doing.

And so [n.b., one is never to begin a sentence with “and so”], what is your diagnosis, Doctor?  (Physician, heal thyself…if you can tell me who said that, you get a prize!) 

Hie thee to the medical literature.  Ah, there ’tis!  What ill manner of bodily curse is’t?  Fie, Doctor!  Take it off me now!  What, cans’t?  Nay.

It is: Neural claudication.

“Claudication” happens when, for one reason or another, arteries experience spasms in response to increased oxygen demands, such as exercise or digestion.  When this affects the heart, we use the term angina.  When speaking of arteries downstream from the heart, such as the legs or abdominal arteries, we say claudication.

The most common cause of claudication is atherosclerosis, and the most common cause of atherosclerosis is smoking.  Second most common, diabetes. I don’t smoke and I’m not diabetic.

Move down one notch on the algorithm.

Next cause: neurogenic.  Degenerative Disc Disease, long-standing.  Yup, got that. Description.  Yup, got that.  What to do about it: um, let’s see.  Whole spine decompression and fixation?  Hmmm, let me think about that for a while.

In the meantime, I have my explanation for the most recent annoying symptom on the list: my right thigh goes into a cramp when driving in traffic, or anytime I can’t use the cruise control.  Claudication!  And it didn’t cost Medicare a thing!

Dammit, is there a doctor in the house?!

Getting back to the shart thing:

Last evening, having completed all of the cardiac testing I intend to have in this life, I collected my ebullient pup from the vet and returned to my tiny-but-it’s-got-a-plugin camping spot.  Had a few larfs with a kindred soul at the far end of the campground, went to bed with high hopes for today. Woke up feeling pretty good, made coffee and a gluten free muffin…whoops, the Crohn’s monster swooped in and snatched another day.  Oh well, let it go, let it go, let it go.  What’s the hurry?  Where’s the fire?

In my guts, is where the fire is.

**Dear R. Crumb, thank you for bringing Cheeses K. Reist into the world.  Cheeziz is his great-grand-nephew, seven times removed.

Sick Day

Wouldn’t you know it.

I have had a maintenance appointment for my van this morning, but….

I’ve been feeling weird for a few days.  Had an “upset stomach” last week, treated with Imodium and cannabis tincture, got OK in a few hours.

Past few days I’ve been seeing some blood in my stools, but that does happen now and then.  I’ve got Crohn’s Disease, after all.  Fortunately a mild case.  I’m grateful for that!

Last night I felt beat.  I chalked that up to long pleasant walks with My Girl Atina.  Had a simple dinner of soup and went to bed at eight.

I awakened at 6 with a start.  Freezing cold.  Well, it WAS freezing cold, since I am low on propane and had to triage between the gas fridge and the heater.  The fridge won.  So it was pretty damn cold this morning.

Suddenly I realized why I was awake at that ridiculous hour:  I needed the bathroom, and right now!

Fortunately my bathroom is right next to the bed, so I hopped in there….

Sorry to be gross, and I won’t be upset if you stop reading now.  In fact, I won’t even know if you stop reading now, so proceed at your own risk.

There is a certain vile stench that rises off of bloody stool.  Those who have smelled it know what I mean.

If I were not the kind of person who would rather die than puke, there would have been a terrible mess.

Imodium doesn’t stop this kind of thing.  Blood is very irritating to the digestive tract.  Imodium does seem to help the cramps and spasticity, so I use it.  I’m on my third.  Can’t take more than four a day.  As it is, after this episode has passed, my gut will be paralyzed.  I won’t crap for four or five days, at least, and then I might have a normal week or two. 

Now my belly is lying there on top of me all pooched out, full of borborygmi (oh God I love that word!  Borborygmus, singular; borborygmi, plural.  Def: bowel sounds that are audible with the naked ear)–in my case, audible across the room.

Last time, we had a little conversation about farts.  Remember?

Good.  Well, people, I know there are those among you who KNOW that dreadful feeling…is it really a fart?  Or is it…something else….

Yes, it certainly could be something else….let us get to the bathroom…quick….

Oh dear.

Let’s look on the bright side: at least I’m disabled, so I don’t have to worry about calling in sick.

But I just did call in sick to the mechanic!  Oh brother.

I’ve been halashing (that’s Jewish for “longing,” more or less) to do some volunteer work.  What I really want to do is to read aloud to little kids, homeless people, nursing home residents, people stuck in the damn hospital….anyone who wants to hear the magic of a book. 

To me, books are the most tangible evidence of humanity.  There is magic in the visual arts, but those could have been done by angels.  No angel could write a book.  They are too concrete, angels.  Come to think of it, an angel could never make good art.  You have to break the rules to make really good art.  Angels are programmed.  They can’t break the rules.

Ugh, my belly hurts.  Now I have to find my heat pack and put it in the microwave.  And burn some fucking incense.  Atina’s been licking her ass again.  The bathroom is stinking the place up.  God, I can’t wait till this blows over.