Friday, April 3, 2009

My Fun Imagination

That was fun -- but I probably don't have to tell you, it was exhausting -- yesterday when I wrote about my imaginary visit to Skidrow. I felt like I was sweating blood. I definitely had a trickle of it on my forehead. There were some scary parts. At one point my nose was running.

My nose has been running in the last hour too. I'm not 100% sure why, because my abilities to diagnose things as a physician are still in their formative stages. Since I'm having olfactory hallucinations, though, the nasal drip is probably related to that. Everything's fairly tame as far as "the hallies" are going. So please don't think you're about to lose me. I haven't had it checked out. But I swear, if I do see any other signs of a brain tumor, I will go to the doctor, or, at the very least, see what I can get for it over the counter.

What I'm doing for it now is simply blowing my nose -- I blew my nose, let's see, about 35 minutes ago. Then there wasn't a waste basket, so I'm thinking, should I just put the tissue anywhere, like here or there? No, I thought, because my room's getting to be a pit, with books and papers and things strewn about. I'm wearing a jacket so I just stuck the tissue in my pocket, thinking I would dispose of it properly when I got near a waste basket, but then when I did I forgot, so I still have it in my pocket.

OK, getting back to my fun imagination. I had the whole thing yesterday of the imaginary trip to Skidrow -- I'm calling it a visit. I've thought of it a hundred times since. I really liked (in a clinical way only) the setting of the bar that I visited in my imagination. I've been wondering if I was too hard on the woman at the end of the bar. I mentioned how soiled and rumpled her dress was, and more than a little insinuated she was a hooker. I called her loose and seemed to suggest that she'd been bed hopping through most of the day. Maybe I shouldn't have layed it on so thick.

Some of the rest -- were I to read it in someone else's imaginary blog -- I might say sounded like a lot of cliches from movies we've all seen. But in my case, since I know what I imagined, I was trying to sidestep the movie cliches. A million of them occurred to me. The guys at the pool table. I could have described them as tattooed, mustachioed, swarthy, sweaty, beady-eyed, greasy-haired, shiftless, disheveled; chalking their sticks repeatedly, pacing around the table looking for angles, using the bridge at key moments in the game; casting menacing shadows from the light above, etc. But I didn't say that. I kept it subtle yet evocative of a thousand images, when I said, simply, "Two lowlifes are busy smacking the balls." That's just right as far as I'm concerned.

If I overdid it at all, it'd have to be with the guy making the pizza at the scuzzy pizza parlor. But I was getting near the end and I think I was just overeager to leave the reader with a memorable image, like a dagger to the heart. A dagger to the heart is something you don't forget. So, yes, rereading it just now...

Down the block I see the scuzzy pizza parlor. A cook smacks the dough like he's mad at someone. He probably is. I'd guess he hates himself, at some level. This was my big chance at life, and I ended up on Skidrow, making pizzas for lowlifes, which I also happen to be. There are some very sad thoughts taking place down that block.

I can see where I should have ended it, or what could have been excluded easily. Just omit everything from "I'd guess he hates" through "I also happen to be." That's a lot more evocative. Reading it like this I get goosebumps: "Down the block I see the scuzzy pizza parlor. A cook smacks the dough like he's mad at someone. He probably is. There are some very sad thoughts taking place down that block." That's a thing of beauty.

So, that's it for the day. My fun imagination wins out again. [Pumping my fist in the air]. Yeah, yeah!

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