Tuesday, August 14, 2007


A great sneezing besets me.

I do not mean great in that I am pleased with the ceaseless sneezing I have experienced in the evening lately. I mean it is out-of-bounds, unacceptable, painful in the extreme. For the last few months, at ten o'clock in the evening, I have had outbursts of this kind, and violent ones — ones that leave me retching.

Typically at ten o'clock PM I have my "rudders true" through a History Channel program about magnificent ships, as there has been a Series lately ("Empire of the Wind"). I admire fine old ships. Though of near-ancient ways, their power knew no equal. Meaningless men in creaking hammocks swung from the ceiling come night. Terrible food full of maggots and ash sustained them. Their punishment: the stockade. Oh, how many men screamed their way to the bottom of the sea in the stockade, bereft of even the ability to float hopelessly upon the surface, to talk while they died, before committing themselves, in final desperation, to the same "briny deep."

I cannot enjoy my show any longer, for all this sneezing. I must find a pill, or antidote, or a reason that I can do away with. I will start with Pat and his new friend. I will not put a name to him. The friend is the latest change to our home. Perhaps he wears some cologne, or dresses a persistent wound in some herb of succor, which upsets me so.

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