My novel research has plunged me unwittingly into a pitched battle with dark forces. It is now clear that an evil shaman has placed a curse on me, probably by hiding somewhere in the house and nailing me with a magic invisible dart. Item: last Thursday I was "stung" on the finger, in our living room, by a "wasp." Nuff said. Friday I was laid low by a chest cold that lasted three days. Nevertheless I rode my bike downtown Saturday morning to the Record Fair at the Englert, a voyage that ended in a spectacular, public, and humiliating low-speed crash that bruised my wrist and pride. And I saw no good records. Back to writhing and coughing in bed. What 4th of July?
Tuesday I woke up with both lips hideously swollen ("like rafts" -- Tracy). It was swiftly determined that 1) I looked like Rick Moranis, and 2) I should call my doctor -- who, stifling a yawn, told me to take a Benadryl. The swelling went down, but only as my back flared up with red welts and rashes and my gut was wrecked by extreme intestinal cramping and immobility, spurring my first experiment with a laxative, whose effects kicked into high gear toward the end of an otherwise lovely visit by PJKM, T. Moody, TLB, and Brando. (I apologize to them for my abrupt disappearance.)
But the curse seems to have failed. Today I'm fit as a fiddle as I prepare to head to the North Woods for four days of camping, conferencing with spirit allies, and spacetunneling my revenge on the cowardly witch doctor -- woe to those who maim but do not kill!
Back next week to enjoy Atlantic Monthly fiction issue.