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Oakland Carnaval Parade

June 14th, 2002

Than I Should
Thursday. Annual physical tomorrow. I'm going to suggest we do a colonoscopy to see if this sore muscle shit that's been going on now for two years is sore muscles or something else. Lately I've been thinking something else, a vague, nagging thought I've screwed the pooch by not pushing harder for tests. Either that or I'm going through some sort of low level late fifties flip out. Best to know while I've still got insurance that won't quit (it eventually will quit, of course, but well after I've quit). Another prostate biopsy coming up, maybe a body scan or two if the doctors say it wouldn't hurt, the full works, radiation be damned, before, well, before.

Friday. Well, how embarrassing. Seems I had a colonoscopy in 1997 and when you're checking forBerkeley Live Oak Park Fair cancer you have one every ten years. And the two years of sore muscles. Well, if it were cancer, after two years there wouldn't be any doubt. So much for that. Could be the prostate. Could be a small not easily detectable hernia (lugging camera bags?) Could be, well, whatever it could be I should calm down (calm down Prop), skip the colonoscopy (not as bad as they sound and the demerol is nice), get the prostate checked, get the teeth cleaned (cause it's time), forget the tingling fingers, it's just carpal, and crippled hands don't kill you, you know, although they make it harder to earn a living. Take the tests they recommend, cease your fretting, and, by the way, have you filled out an Advance Health Care Directive that tells me when to turn off your life support systems? My doctor is an amateur photographer. I'm not sure how I feel about a doctor photographer pulling the plug.

I see why it might be nice to write a book. I'm writing about my aches and pains and getting off on the writing part, but I realize someone reading this might think I'm a hypochondriac, either that or I'm disintegrating right here on the screen. Probably neither. Probably both. If I were writing a book I could give these maladies to a character (or two) and, although people may or may not sympathize with my character (or two), they wouldn't particularly relate any of it to the author (journals are written by writers, novels by authors).

You push sixty and you get aches and pains. I've read that. I believe it. People say that. I believe them. Must be true. I don't have very many aches and pains, you understand, and, even though they seem to be around much of the time, they're low level you can forget about them most of the time aches and pains. I think the average off the shelf woman goes through ten times what I've been experiencing in any given month. And they rarely talk about them, at least around men. At least around me. I rarely talk about them, but I write about them. Here. More often, perhaps - hence this soliloquy - than I should.

The photographs were taken at the Oakland Carnaval parade and at the Berkeley Live Oak Park Fair.