Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Despatches from El Alamein

Just a heavy cold but complicated, as always, by the after-effects of a childhood racked with chronic bronchitis now retro-diagnosed as asthma. Feverish dreams in which I’m compelled to complete a sodoku game (it’s no go; conscious or unconscious I don’t know the rules) followed by two months of coughing. I exacted some revenge months ago by writing a sonnet on that latter subject.

Colds are bad news because I know they can’t be cured. So, treat the symptoms. The temptation to use scotch must be eschewed since the symptoms persist, enhanced by a murderous headache. In my case the bronchi and – rather surprising – the diaphragm blaze with pain after every cough. Pain demands an analgesic, hence industrial-strength ibuprofen.

The result is a pyrrhic victory (“Any more wins like that and we’re done for.”) As the drug fights the nerve endings the battlefield is laid waste. But the battlefield is my body and what laughably passes for a mind. The fruited plain becomes nothing more than landfill. This is not the time to embark on a demanding new verse form or to entertain a fellow blogger with a comment that will read a week later as pure boiler-plate. The prescription is thus analgesic plus abstinence from creative activity.

And that includes thinking. No great loss since sooner rather than later thoughts will turn to the state of my lungs. Finding things to curse is one solution, self-induced torpor is another. I leave the TV switched off: good stuff turns enthusiasm into wheezing, bad stuff makes me angry with the same result. I may if I wish contemplate the case of Michael Jackson.