Part 2 Jan 16, 2011
In good company and with a view from the start, this journey is as random and as vast as the trek of a thousand turkey-tailed mountains.
That’s what I see as I sideways stare at a Chart of statistics. A visual aid with peaks and valleys speaking to risk and life-span. I see a striking cynic holding hands with a convention of rookie astronomers; a limited number of stylized inkblots on an L-shaped music staff on a textured wall of constant risk. Constant risk means that the chance of dying does not change over time. Constant risk curves have a constant half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the remaining _____s (insert word here) to die. Living longer brings no relief, the risk is always the same says the chart. What no room for fatal mistakes? For me this immediately invalidates not only the wall, but the chart and everything else in the room. Ancient squares of thick linoleum, postponed, missed, or otherwise ignored phone calls, aluminum and glazed ceramic bowls of candy, syringe-colored plastic stuff, that syrupy country western radio station….but I’m not an Evil Kinevel, and I have not studied Alpinism 0R Forensic Pathology but I like solitude because it has the room I need to do things like stare at statistics until they genuinely melt or freeze and to consider the geometry of a world of constant risk curves.
The course of this astronaut labyrinth is no different to me than the construction of the paths taken my entire life. The factor of constant is that turkey-tails are inevitable here. I am a reluctant planner and I naturally reject formatting. As it has happened up to now, something (seemingly) randomly tends to pick me up by the carabinier in the back of my neck and drop me down into the middle of a flow somewhere and there I go, off to figure out how to MacGyver my way through this. How could I not answer Musician-Marty’s question on the roof that day 20 years ago in Silverlake “would you want to live forever” with a resounding yes. He answered his own question with, “..well I wouldn’t”. Don’t worry, he didn’t jump.
I did not dream at night when I was going through chemo but hallucinations and after-images were a wake-time presence. This speaks volumes as I am an avid dreamer with a strong memory for my dreams. The cocktail represented in the title of this journal was not the only glass on the bar, and because of this who is to say what caused which thing; I have stopped trying to associate the green one with the pointed elliptical one. The single most memorable constant was a yellow crackle pattern that I saw when looking at light-colored surfaces. My walls in the morning and evening, anytime bright sunlight, my computer screen, a blank canvas. In concept it was neurological jello like staring at Jasper John’s Flag. I am a novice color-theory enthusiast, enough to know that when you stare at a particular color for a minute or so, you will see the opposite on the color wheel when you then move your eyes over to a white surface. Begging to reason that I must have some kind of purple cracked-up situation going on behind my dorey grey rods and cones begging to reason that if my hair is going to drop off of my scalp falling tinkling to the ground and my fingernails turn blue and look like the blunt end of a home-made hammer, the whites of my eyes become Pantone #435 and that my teeth feel like marathon man that this blinking pattern must just come with the territory. When I looked in the mirror I was one walking fan deck. As much as I intellectually appreciate altered states this Happy Tree business is not something I would recommend recreationally. Those agents don’t give you your memory back and you can’t change your phone number. It has a double standard, is insanely expensive and will track down your DNA and try to eat it’s young.
Did you know that there was snow on the ground in every US state except for one last Friday? or that you don’t get goosebumps on your face. Oh, and one other observation regarding the Constant risk chart. I also noticed that flat-lining looked like a desirable goal. In other words, the longer _____’s are in remission the greater chance there is to stay there. Past a certain milestone Constant risk also means that the chance of living does not change over time. The difference between the linear curve I am on now and the one on which I started my journey is not in doubt. It is infinite.