it could be dengue fever, smokers cough, scurvy, a parasite or something equally as romantic…. (4/08)

June 10th, 2010 Comments Off

…but i’m sure it’s nothing. i woke up yesterday out of sorts with a  heavy damp feeling in my chest.
the first suspect greeted me as i swung open my bedroom window.

do you remember the joys of sitting next to a campfire when you were young?  looking at the stars, laughing with friends and toasting marshmallows… and then the reproach your lungs received when in your exuberance and possible sugar shock  you moved too close to the smoke?  now imagine sitting there 4 days unable to escape …minus the benefits of smores and you have the recent air quality in buenos aires.  the attached photo was taken at noon two days ago…and the approaching train does not emit smoke.

my friendly farming neighbors abandoned their nightly serenades with pots and pans and  started lighting fires.  a common farming practice, which coincidentally occurred after the three week strike had effected the public’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, has spread out of control for the first time in any one’s recollection.  yesterday was the first day my poor little pink lungs struggled. my gym is skylight central and the normally outdated hip hop tunes blaring and scantily clad bodies were now sweating in a haze of stagnate smoke crawling through the window panes overhead.  even the televisions were in on the overhaul of the athletic setting to an eastern european night club.  the screens showed a heat sensitive ariel map where the fires took the shape of two slightly parted lips swallowing the coast.  the surreal image played for an hour on a loop …and had me questioning exactly  what the farmers were burning.

of course that was only after my morning had started by washing a thin film of soot from my face.  which means i have either, unbeknownst to myself, picked up a bit of nocturnal mining or the air conditioner, my friend and ally a mere 6 weeks ago, has turned against me and become the gateway for my own personal armageddon.  my window hadn’t been left open in the evenings since my house guest arrived.  kate came and after only one night of sleeping with the window open we were both covered in mosquito bites.  my mosquito bites had bites.   my knuckles were swollen and a women in the sauna at the gym gave me a concerned look tinged with revulsion.  implying her concern was more for herself and the level of me being contagious then for my health.  imagine.  after dousing  my apartment in the bug spray i  had left over from africa we headed to uruguay for a few days.  i returned to a humid apartment where the bug spray seemed to encourage the mosquitoes more then quiet them.  silver lining…. the smoke did them all in.

uruguay was an architectural cornucopia.  all the renderings architects create that never come to fruition take life on the coastline in uruguay.  an organically sleek frank lloyd wrightesque masterpiece could be sitting next to a home one can only assume papa smurf dreamt  up when he had the munchies.  a tiny one story house with a sloping roof and bubbled walls resembling  a toasted marshmallow in color and shape could be adjacent to  an adult sized version of a mcdonalds play land or nestled into a cove with a hotel shaped like a cruise ship.  homes that appeared condemned would have 5 star tree houses in their front yards. they were almost musical… a fugue of chaotic creativity.

in these small towns where views seemed to  be drawn from memories i always hoped to have there were also… dogs that would rise from seemingly nowhere like flea ridden canine cyborgs.  dogs are like all things for me…adults, babies, music, books i dont enjoy them all just because they exist…my fondness comes on an individual basis.  these creatures blended into the gutters so well they had become accustomed to being stepped on by pedestrians.  their response to the disturbance was less of a whimper and more of a cough or groan at the inconvenience of having a foot find their motionless bodies curled up against a curb.  they had this weird mutt mafia mentality where a bark across the village would have two out of ten jump to attention and off running and yapping at speeds moments before you could not envision these comatose animals to have in them.  the others would sit silently unfazed.  minutes passed and the two loped back to their curbs and did not move at all when in short time another bark would be heard and three other dogs would take off at lightening speeds.

i went for a walk in the morning and no dog was in site. i sat down and began to read my book when out of thin air one certainly diseased beast of nature jumped in my lap and licked my face.   i turned and saw the dogs plodding down streets and alleys materializing out of nowhere and heading to a specific gutter, curb, park bench where they would blend in for the rest of the day.  until a familiar yap pulled them away ….momentarily.

so for all the drs. receiving this mass email (those that have actually gotten this far without being called away to save a life)  if you have thoughts that the heavy damp feeling in my chest could be the plague …please don’t tell me.  i’m in too good of a mood to have reports of my imminent demise bum me out.  this morning the sky is blue and taking a long slow deep breath is not followed by the need to cough or the desire to sit down due to light headedness. the mysterious haze has lifted and the city no longer looks as if orson welles is lurking around every corner.
blurred edges always add a little mystery

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