When the osteoarthritis kicks in hard for a few days and you hurt all over you can feel your life pass in every twinge. You remember all the things that fucked up this part of you and what wrecked another, sometimes you even remember the time you cracked that knuckle so hard on the edge of your ride cymbal or falling down the stairs or what fractured your spine one of the times you fractured your spine. You can remember all the the sixty pound boxes you lifted and tossed up onto your shoulders, thousands of them, all the furniture you helped girls move, all the movement that finished off your knee. You can feel where your flat foot stomped on a bass drum pedal every few seconds, like smacking a board with a hammer over and over and over. You can remember all the stairs you ran down two or three at a time hundreds of times. Your body becomes a big memory machine. Good memories. You even relish the hurt, because it brings back younger, stronger, fitter times, and how goddam much you dug doing all the things you’re paying for now, as you knew you would, the big old beat up geezers would warn you, don’t do what I did, as if you ever would do anything else, hell, you wouldn’t have changed a single thing. You do what you gotta do. You’re a big giant guy, you’re young, you’re strong as an ox and not much brighter sometimes, and you don’t worry about nothing. You’ll wind up a big giant crippled old motherfucker, but you lived the life.
I did the same thing with the brain, though, pushing it far beyond what the wiring could take, setting off seizure after seizure because, hell, that’s what writers do. That wasn’t a great idea, but there were no old epileptic writing geezers to say don’t do what I did, the ones that had done what they did were in institutions or hiding in bedrooms or medicated all to holy fuck and you never see those guys anyway. So I just pushed the limits. Paid for it. Still paying for it. Got some mighty pretty writing done, though, there’s that. And it’s never been dullsville. Weird maybe, but never dull. Ha.
Then the next day….
A lot of this thing was me having a ball writing rhythmically berserk sentences that any editor worth their Strunk and White would feel an overwhelming urge to correct, the high point of which was “You even relish the hurt, because it brings back younger, stronger, fitter times, and how goddam much you dug doing all the things you’re paying for now, as you knew you would, the big old beat up geezers would warn you, don’t do what I did, as if you ever would do anything else, hell, you wouldn’t have changed a single thing” which has all the grace and beauty of a drunk falling down the stairs. I was just letting that fucker roll, it kept tumbling, word after word, breaking all the rules and finally ending on a thing, one of my favorite words, though I couldn’t tell you why. That’s the fun way to write, just let the words roll out on their own, they’ll get somewhere eventually, and when they do just put a period down and hot damn, you got yourself a sentence. Also, I’d like to take credit for medicated all to holy fuck, but that’s actually Shakespeare.