Fever started long ago

Darla’s mother had a stroke, and everyone in the office heard all the details today. Mom was found on the floor. Darla couldn’t reach her brother on the phone. She wants to book a flight back home. She thinks her mom’s doctor is a quack. And so it goes.

Sympathy all around, sincerely. I said to Darla what you’re supposed to say in such situations, and I meant it. I chipped in for the purchase of a card we’ll all be signing tomorrow. Darla’s father had a stroke just a month ago, and it killed him, so this has to be extra rough on her. 

I am an unrepentant bastard, though, because if Darla’s whole family is going to be croaking one by one, she needs to please stop talking about it to anyone at work who’ll listen. Just say “Family emergency” and leave for the airport, OK?

Privacy is a marvelous thing. I choose who knows about whatever's happening in my life, and choose what I want to know about anyone else’s life. What Darla was telling us is more than I choose to know. She’s not my friend. She's barely an acquaintance, but she’s my boss — so I can’t really say, I hope your mom gets better but please shut the hell up about it. 

♦ ♦ ♦

For the past week or so, I’ve been having recurring fevers. Nothing serious, I hope, just a feeling like right now, hot forehead and red ears. I’ll take two aspirin and the fever will be gone in an hour, and then I'll be fine, thanks, but the fever comes back the next day.

I’m wondering if it’s related to the tooth that was pulled, leaving a gap that got infected and filled with white spongy growth. The gap where the tooth was yanked has completely healed, but I could see the white stuff growing in the gap right up until the moment the gums covered it. So I’m wondering, is the infection still alive and growing, inside my gums?

♦ ♦ ♦

It’s western week at the Roxie. Not my favorite genre, but gunslinger sagas have a certain appeal, with their stoic heroic leading men, and horses that come galloping when the star whistles. 

So there I was in the dark, just me and Randolph Scott in Buchanan Rides Alone (1958). It was a perfect print, beautiful color in thistle-sharp focus, telling the story of an old geezer with a good heart and a ready smile, who rides into a town where the sheriff is a crook, his brother is the mayor, and his nephew is a hothead itching to square off against Randolph. You know I’d never give away the ending, but if you promise not to tell? The good guy wins.

The second feature, with Randolph Scott again, was Ride Lonesome (1959), a more complicated story with Randolph as a tough-talking bounty-hunter who tells the man he’s pursuing, “I’d hunt you for free.” It’s notable for the supporting cast, with young Pernell Roberts and James Coburn, and because even the bad guys are human enough you can’t quite hate them. All the characters have believable motivations, not merely ‘good’ and ‘evil’, which makes for a nifty drama. Worth renting at a video store, if you don’t have a Roxie in your town.

♦ ♦ ♦

You know, I really enjoyed watching the westerns at the Roxie tonight. I kinda wanted to go to last night’s cowboys-and-cattle double feature, too, but instead I stayed home and worked on writing and editing the zine.

Is that crazy? Has the diary taken over the life it’s about?

Well, I’ll be hornswoggled before missing any more good westerns just to work on the zine.

♦ ♦ ♦

Thanks for printing my comment (Sept. 16). Now I’m an expert on hemorrhoids — a lifelong ambition come true.
            —Tim Ereneta

From Pathetic Life #6
Tuesday, November 22, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Addendum, 2021: I never had fevers unless I had a flu or a cold, until that tooth extraction. Ever since, to this day, once or twice a week I'll feel hot and sweaty, take two aspirin, and feel better in an hour.

Until re-typing this entry, though, I'd completely forgotten that the fevers began after the tooth extraction and infection.

Pathetic Life   

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