July 24th, 1999
Not In Print
The mouth is waking up. Waking up in that sections are burning
and letting me know they exist. Still numb, but less so I think, and
the swelling seems to be less. When I was in Seattle my family mentioned
the swelling when I arrived and then said they thought it had receded
quite a bit over the next couple of days. This was puzzling since although
the swelling has been receding, it's been happening over periods
measured in weeks and any noticeable difference in a few days seems
unusual. It occurred to me they were saying it to stroke my ego,
sorry perhaps they'd brought it up in the first place. Which may be true,
may not be true. I usually take things said to me at face value. If it's
swollen, well it's swollen and I can check it in the mirror. It is swollen.
Been that way for months. Even I can tell. If they say it's receding, well
that's good too, a change in just a few days, except I'm not sure I can
tell the difference. Curious.
It's not all that gross. I don't see anything untold in stranger's
eyes when I'm introduced. Small children don't run away and hug their
mother's leg or hide under the couch. Well, there was the little guy
at the party, but I slapped him around good when they weren't looking
and he straightened right up. They say you shouldn't punch them out
when they're only one or two as it warps their little worlds and makes
them nervous around adults, but that's an old wives tale. Get's there
attention, it does. Makes them focus on what's really important in the
scheme of life, which around here is my piece and quiet, go play in the
traffic kid with the nice trucks.
I thought of dropping the "smack around the little kid" routine above, but
then thought better of it. Lots of little kids getting smacked around by
their parents in our world, we live in a culture that doesn't seem to like
kids very much, but there's also this political correctness business
that gives me the creeps. I'm old and I'm tired and I'm probably too
politically correct, but I don't like to admit it out loud and certainly
not in print.
The banner photograph was taken in the early morning just before reaching
the Martinez bridge over the Sacramento river. The young lady was stretching
at the family party last Sunday in Seattle.
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