Saturday, June 21, 2008

Howling at the night

A week ago right now, I was succumbing to a muscle relaxer and a pain pill after two days of some of the worst back pain--hell, the worst pain of any type--that I've ever felt. I wasn't writing, because I couldn't think clearly and I didn't want to write crap. My mother was in the hospital, and her situation was life-threatening. Sarah was heading to writing camp on Father's Day, and for the first time I wasn't going to be able to take her. I was missing precious time with Scott and her. I was in despair.

Today, I'm still suffering back pain, but it's much better, and I wrote tonight. Mom is home from the hospital, and though she has a hard road ahead, she has regained her resolve to make that march. My money's on her. Sarah's enjoying writing camp. Scott played in an orchestra performance this morning that was wonderful to hear, and I was there to enjoy it.

So why am I ready to burst with emotion?

Probably because my shields were down for a while. I spend most of my time being a responsible adult, which frequently means choking down emotion while I do the right thing. For a while, though, I felt everything, and I realized again, as I do from time to time, how precious life is. I don't want to forget that lesson. I don't care if it's hard to feel everything; I want to keep trying to do it as often as I can. As I advised Sarah and her friends last year, stand in the fire and burn. Enjoy every bite, every hug, every kiss, everything you can.

I went outside a few minutes ago. I took a pillow, because even though we have four acres the neighbors can still hear loud noises. I walked to the middle of the side yard, stared at the cloudy night sky, put the pillow over my head, and screamed at the night--no words, no message, just a bellow of emotion that had to go somewhere. If anyone saw me, I'm sure they thought I was crazy. I suppose this description sounds crazy.

I don't care.

It felt great.

I intend to keep on howling at the night for as long as I can.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bad PC, good dinner

While I was stuck flat on my back trying to recover from the back problems, my main home PC blue-screened and died. I foolishly left a few bits of very important data on its main C: drive, which is hard to recover because "it" is actually a pair of striped 160GB 10K-rpm drives. Guys at work are going to tackle it for me, because I can't afford the time right now, but I'm pissed at myself for not following my own rules and backing up regularly.

Dinner tonight, on the other hand, was very good, courtesy of the fine folks at Four Square restaurant in Durham. We've been going there for many years, and the food has been consistently above average or better. The setting, an old Victorian house, is also quite lovely. If you're in the area, check it out.

Speaking of being in the area, if you are and you'd like to come to our massive fireworks party, email me (there's a form on the site) and I'll tell you about it. It's an open party and always a blast (both literally and figuratively).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Amazon has Slanted Jack!

Yes, that's right: you can now order the book on Amazon. I'm quite excited. I hope it soon hits the bookstores.

In case you were wondering, my back is still messed up, and I'm not supposed to be sitting during the day--though I am breaking that doctor rule way too often. I just had to share this news with everyone.

Now, all I need is for a group the population of Raleigh to buy the book, and I'll be a happy man. Okay, I admit it: I don't need that many buyers. I'd settle for the population of a much, much smaller town. I might as well dream big, however.

Back to flat on my back.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sorry for the radio slience

Wednesday night's back pain turned into a very bad night. I had to roll out of the bed to get out of it, then crawl to the bathroom. I screamed in pain, and to my embarrassment I did so many times. Thursday, I went to the chiropractor, and Friday I saw both the chiropractor and an urgent care MD. After a couple of days on muscle relaxers and pills to reduce swelling and pain, I am much better. I am still, however, far, far from normal. I figure feeling as healthy as usual is a solid week away, and being fully healed is at least a week or two past that.

I'm spending all of my time flat on my back with a pillow under my knees, which makes typing rather hard. The various pills make me drowsy, which makes working next to impossible. So, I've not been working during this time.

I hope to be back to work and to daily blogging by Tuesday or, at the latest, Wednesday. Until then, if you feel like commenting, what's your worst pain story, and how long did it keep you from working?

Wow, as I said before, do I hate this.


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