December 11th, 2002

Salt Precaution

If you don't keep your feet . . .


And I thought I had a headache last time! My word.

Well to-day was really quite an adventure actually. Tuesday was, I mean. It began with a troubled slumber . . .

After my last entry, I did indeed put head to pillow, but this respite was to last a mere three hours, halting upon my realisation that unconsciousness did not consider me worth its time.

My stomach felt like a rock, a curiously sharp sort of weight that seemed to distort the shape of my entire midsection when I lay prone. Although this sensation may have somehow been exaggerated by that headache which was still quite present.

This collective affliction, I concluded, had most probably to do with the four veggie corndogs I'd eaten before bed. They were made mostly from soy, you see.

Even after coming to this conclusion I still for some reason thought it a good idea to down a full glass of ice cold grape juice while watching an episode of Powerpuff Girls about Buttercup and Bubbles accidentally giving Blossom a hideous haircut.

Perhaps it was the healing power of laughter that allowed me to then sleep five hours. When I awakened again, I wanted nothing more than to spend the entire rest of the day curled up on a couch watching movies. But alas, that was not in the cards.

My car's still out of commission. trisa had said that she could give me a ride, but on Monday night she learned of a matter that required her attention and would keep her from both giving me a lift and even getting to class on time herself.

No problem. I figured I'd just walk or ask my aunt to drive me.

But by the time I'd awakened on Tuesday it was nearly two o'clock and my aunt was not home, so I couldn't ask her. Which really sucked because, feeling slightly under the weather, I so did not want to walk.

Screwing up my courage, and my guts, though, I says to myself, "Goddamnit man! Pull it together! It's just a long walk old boy,"

I did shorten the walk slightly by taking the Trolley to Grossmont Centre mall. Although, actually, I'm not certain this made the trip truly shorter--there're actually no trolley stops very near the college--it made it much easier, as there're a lot fewer uphills on the route from Grossmont Centre to Grossmont College (their names, btw, are not indicative of physical proximity let me assure you).

I was, in any case, very tired when I reached school. And two hours early.

Well, better early than late, eh?

I was still kinna sick, I guess, because I was extremely cold--a lot colder than the people around me seemed to be. Although this might partially be attributed to all the sweat that had gathered inside my coat as I’d walked. Now that I was no longer warm with exertion, the sweat chilled me.

My hands were really cold too, and I used them in those two hours to hold Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, a book I’m furiously trying to finish so I can return it to Marty soon. This is hard for me as I read at an unseemly slow pace. But I’ve had the book for such a long time that I’m beginning to feel a touch guilty.

The book’s best quality is its premise and its ideas. It has a number of weaknesses though, most prominent are the instances where Carter draws attention to herself, the author. In the context of this third person work of fiction, it’s a bit jarring, and kinna dispels your suspension of disbelief and, even worse, draws attention to Carter’s hubris.

Now, I’m not saying that it is always a bad thing for the Third Person to refer to itself. In The Brothers Karamazov, which I set aside unfinished in order to read Circus, the narrator makes several intimations that he, himself, is or was a resident of the town he describes. The key difference, though, is that the narrator in Dostoevsky’s work is still part and parcel of the Karamazov world, whereas in Nights at the Circus things are said that could only have been said by Angela Carter, author of this work of fiction.

One glaring example that comes to mind is when the reporter, Walser, is pissing in a white chamber pot behind a screen and takes comfort in the fact that there is nothing spiritual or metaphysical about pissing. At least, the narrator points out, not in his culture. Which is essentially Carter showing off to us that she knows pissing has spiritual connotations in some cultures. As this is clearly not on Walser’s mind, the situation suddenly feels a little less real as the flow of character perspective is interrupted.

But the novel’s fantastic ideas do keep me reading it anyway, even though some of them have gaping flaws too. Maybe I’m too critical though.

Anyway, I was so cold.

I went to the coffee machine and bought some espresso just to have the hot cup on my hands--certainly not because I expected great espresso, and it was definitely not that thing. My hands were rewarded with a goodly warmth though.

I was incredibly happy to enter the classroom which was to contain good conversation on Wit by Margaret Edson, Death Takes a Holiday, and a thoroughly, er, thorough lecture on Keats by our guest speaker, Mr. Ding.

During class, trisa paged me.

When I called her back on break, she informed me that she was not going to be able to show up to-night at all because she had a great deal of studying to do.

I felt kind of excited when I hung up the phone because this meant that I was going to have to walk home now.

It started out cold and miserable, sure. And I think I had kind of the wrong attitude. But fairly early on, I stopped at Denny’s and had an All-American Grand Slam, minus the bacon and sausage.

Wonderful meal. (my waitress remarked, “You looked like you really enjoyed that!”)

I felt terrific, very terrific, as I started off again.

It occurred to me as I went, though, that I can’t go on like this. I’m gonna have to figure a way to get my flat tire fixed. I’ve gotta get through this little problem somehow.

And I will! Mark that. I just don’t know how yet.

My aunt offered to lend me money to buy a tire. My aunt’s such a generous and kind hearted person and all around beautiful soul, though, that I feel terribly guilty imposing on her. I never ever feel guilty imposing on selfish people, but generous people make me feel like the slime that I am.

And I’ve felt criminally unappreciative of the things people have done for me lately. Y’know, trisa bought me a ticket to see Tori Amos with her on Friday. Just like that. Isn’t that incredible? I intend to pay her back, but from the way things are looking it’s gonna be so far from soon it hurts.

Anyway. My head longs for the pillow’s embrace again. G’night!
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