Thursday, December 16, 2010

breathing

I am awake because I will not go to sleep and I don't know why that is. I do not have insomnia. I sleep when I go to bed. I just don't go to bed. One night, I stayed up all night looking at rugs online. I needed a rug, but not that much.

I get 1-5 hours of sleep per night, then I fall asleep early on Friday nights and sleep for a long time. I was going to try not to do that this week. I was going to take better care of myself. But I hurt my back -- I have no idea how -- and could not sleep the night before last, and last night I slept some, and tonight, my back feels better, but I looked at coats online and looked at Facebook and read and re-read this thing I wrote for a friend's project she is doing and became increasingly happy and very sad with it. I just read it again. I have to be at work in five hours.

You know how I always get sick? Well, maybe you don't know, but I get bronchitis a lot, and lost my voice three or four times last year, including the whole time I was at AWP. It's coming up again in less than two months and I lost my voice last week. I went to my doctor. She gave me antibiotics and a referral to an ENT. I disliked the ENT very much; he was condescending and careless. He stuck an endoscope up, then down my nose, without enough Novocaine. He didn't become more gentle, even when he discovered and commented with surprise on my extremely deviated septum.

I don't do things halfway. No minor obstruction for me. My septum is super messed up. Which explains why my entire respiratory system is out of whack. So I'll find a new ENT who will do some crazy stuff inside of my left nostril for about an hour, and then I will be able to breathe and talk.

I am relieved. I was worried I had lupus or some other problem with my immune system. I can't wait for a nice doctor to get in there and cut and push and scrape and whatever. And, no, I am not getting a nose job. People always guess I'm Irish or English (because I'm pretty white and have blue eyes and am tall, and most people think Jewish girls are short with darker skin and dark eyes), but I have a nice, bumpy, Jewish nose. Other things about my appearance have bothered me much more. Actually, I've never minded my nose at all. I've lived with it a long time. There's no reason to change it and more reason to keep it the same. I don't want to not recognize me.

To completely change the subject, or maybe not, because this is really about perspective, a wonderful writer I knew a little bit died last week. Her name was Cami Park and she shined. I won't say I wish I could write like her, but I think I really do. I published a poem of hers in the first issue of Corium, which came out last March. It was prescient, in a way, and very beautiful.


Eating Heart
Cami Park

Rare is best. Let it
hit fire, and it becomes tough,
ill-intentioned.

A still-beating heart
imparts an unrealistic optimism. Its
flavor will be strong, of blood
and salt.

The heart that lies like a stone
in your hand should not be used
for cooking—

Bury it in the farthest corner
of the yard. Place over it a large rock,
to protect the animals.

When you awaken with a pain
in your breast, you know your heart
is almost done. Serve with rosemary,
for remembrance.

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