Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last Call at Elaine's

Today Hernandez and I spent a good part of the morning talking about the right approach for us to take to promote a campus tour using El Gran Tabu as part of the program. We had several good ideas. Hernandez checked out the prices for rooms in Arizona and Central California. We can do it. We believe we can create a story.

This afternoon I drove around the corner to see Dr. Arciniaga. He walked me through my neuropathic leg pain over the last ten days with injections and some pills. The worst of it is over. The left knee still keeps me from walking. He asked me what was wrong with my face, which is all broken out with bloody scabs. I told him the face was rotting. He appreciated the joke. Still, he wanted to know.

I explained that it was not an infirmity, but the cure for one. Dr. Go had found a place on the forehead and one on the left cheek that suggested they could become cancerous, so I’m on a self-treating procedure where I rub an ointment all over the face twice a day, twice a week, and it burns the bad stuff off. The face looks something like a pizza. The other night Irene and I were in Wal-Mart in Chula Vista and I was at the magazine rack. A Mexican couple with a young boy, maybe eight years old, passed by. The boy took one look at me and said to his father:

“Look at that old man, Dad. Look at that old man. What happened to him?”

I thought the kid was referring to the fact that my hair is white. It only occurred to me this afternoon that he was referring to my face. This is the seventh week of the treatment and I sort of forget what I look like. Another five weeks and I’ll be just as pretty as I was before.

This evening I walked over to McDonald’s where the light is good and finished reading Last Call at Elaine’s by Brian McDonald. It’s the first book I’ve read from cover to cover in a long while. I think I was taken by all the name-dropping in a place where I went one afternoon about 1994. The weekend I was in New York to do the Donahue Show. One of the things that struck me about McDonald was his ambition to be a writer, a successful writer, and to be known as a successful writer. I have never been ambitious in that way. My lack of ambition to be a famous writer could well explain my failure to become one. Part of it anyhow.

As I was walking back to the house, limping, thought turned to the campus tour that Hernandez and me had talked about with such interest this morning. We had one good idea after another. Now, all in all, thought suggested that it might be better to find a way to do something on YouTube. No appreciable cost. No traveling. Nothing strenuous. I’m not certain where I am physically. I’m going to ask Dr. Go about the white blood count business. I have an appointment with him Monday next.

The problem with YouTube is that two, three, four minutes is about as long as anyone wants to watch anything. This suggests that there will be another interesting back and forth with Hernandez tomorrow morning. Two heads. . . .

No comments: