First Prince, Now Hodor… What Next?

Hello Lovelies,

Is it just hot as balls out, or what? A perfect day to binge watch by the AC while doing Blogilates on the side (anything to avoid the dreaded writer’s bum)

A bunch of you have written in to ask what I thought of Prince and then Game of Thrones last week… what with Hodor saving the day in an epic, grand mal time seizure in which he is trapped in a last-moment loop before his own horrible death.

I spend a lot of time these days thinking about how to transcend the niche of epilepsy. Either through humor, the personal essay or any kind of narrative…  and I can honestly say… I don’t know what I think. I cried with the rest of Gotham last Sunday night.

On the one hand, Hodor has been portrayed to us over the years as a giant broken simpleton–without high cognitive function. A person with no there, there. (And Bran has been a little turd to him all too often)

On the other, the joy of serialized TV is that with each episode, we, the viewers, are given the opportunity to constantly correct what we thought we knew and that’s super fun. Our curious human brains love it.

Last Sunday, we corrected our knowledge of Hodor’s inner life in a big way. For me, the real tragedy was that there was a there… there all along.

I want to believe the boundary between being able and disabled is becoming increasingly porous, but my concern is that without a horribly tragic demise… the respect, the tiny openings just aren’t there. I too chuckled at all the memes that followed GoT, but as an out spaz… I don’t want to be a doorstop… just because I’m still getting all my words back and am stuck in a bit of a time seizure, myself.

Hodor talk pretty some day?

Still noodling over it… Stay rad and cool. XOXO – GG

For more on the troubling ethics of Hodor… see this completely compelling piece in The Atlantic Monthly.

 

My Beautiful Broken Brain… Wait, is that too high fallutin’?

Cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh (hyperboleandahalf.com)

Yes, I came home from the wild and went in for the final reconstructive surgery…

Dr. Ira Sturman and Dr. KareemofWheat…  you are indeed the crafty Oliver Sacks-van Gogh-Jan Svankmajer team of maxillofacial artistry…

And to that poor/sweet anesthesiologist who yanked  me back into life by disemboweling me through my nose… Guantanamo-style… I’m so sorry if I scared you… don’t be afraid chica, it gets fucking better, I swear 🙂

And to Sherill and Nada… feel my love ladies! You are the greatest nurses in the world… you deserve some crazy-meaningful prize… or something… a big-ass raise.

Have been shuffling around my apartment having David Lynch-style real estate dreams and looking like a drunk lady, wearing a jockstrap on my chin…which is so not fair because I have been very, very good in that regard… but I am almost one year without a full grand mal seizure and I almost feel/look like me… Even if I can’t fully talk yet… I still love what’s crackling in my beautiful broken brain and I cannot wait to see this… Feel like I have lived it 100 times over…

And now to fight eviction… by the sweetest, most patient landlords who ever were… not that I wouldn’t just give them the keys because they are the best (and I will), but when you are like I am these days… all you crave is the constancy and sameness of your books and your friends 🙂

XOXO – GG

On a scale from one… to Marlee Matlin. Plus, the way of the doofus warrior….

Feeling and speaking keep coming back and damn if it isn’t ouchie as all hell. Still… on a scale from one… to Marlee Matlin, I feel like I’m skewing pretty Marlee, and so count myself lucky… Indeed, she is lovely and a role model to be sure. She doesn’t let anything stop her… ever. I used to be that way… probably to a fault. Sorry kids.
+++
What’s new here… hmm… lemme think…  our dog has morphed into that kind of bad boyfriend you involuntarily roll your eyes at and should break up with, but you don’t even though he…
  • is über needy
  • possesses a limited vocabulary with only tenuous subject/verb agreement
  • eats everything in the house, including that stack of New Yorkers you were saving (to catch up on… because you will catch up!!! Repeat. You will catch up!)
  • insists on watching really bad Canadian television like Bitten, which might as well be the stripper channel with low rent CGI wolves sprinkled in. Painful….Unknown-1
  • has crazy nasty breath–and NOT just in the morning
  • not-so-secretly longs to hump everything in sight, all the time, even when there’s subzero interest in nookie
  • takes enormous, stinky dumps and forgets to flush
  • gets all aggro when I ask for time to myself….
I SO want to break up with my dog right now… But New Yorkers ADORE their dogs, And 20-something women literally have orgasms in the street over my dumb dog… it goes entirely against the code of all good personhood to be… meh… about your pooch. But there it is. I am.
+++
A belated, but most sincere RIP for the gifted neuro… Oliver Sacks… Such a mensch. You always remind me of a way smarter, more rockin’ version of Santa.
553e8d0ddb753b82389c7c70_t-oliver-sacks-autobiography-memoir-five-seconds-my-own-life-cop
Thank you for teaching us that the brain is human, that to be odd is perfectly all right, if not a delightful bonus… I remember my mom shoving her coffee-ring-stained copy of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat at me, declaring bluntly with a grin… oh, this one’s required, A… I think I was 16 at the time, and I reveled in its curious quirk. This was my introduction to neuro-diversity–something that would prove so critical later in life when trying to understand my daughter’s autism… and then after that, my own epilepsy…  NeuroTribes are what’s needed… for certain. Thank you also for reminding us that the joy of love can come at any time of life, even when we think it’s long past.
+++
I’m researching a short story about lycanthropy set in NYC during the heyday of the New Yorker mag–Dorothy Park, Benchley, etc. I always find werewolf stories to be subpar, don’t you? I think it’s the lack of consistency in the lore… Seizures are the closest equivalent I have for the emotional piece of it all. The pure, sticky dread of it all. When I wake up from a seizure, I usually don’t have my clothes on either and… I never know what horrible thing I’ve done — or maybe said. I only remember being filled to the brim…. with stars. My field of vision, my whole person–pure current.
+++
So, I’ll sit for hours these days, kneading the wolf idea like bread dough in my head… I think it’s starting to bleed into my very bones and being… I finally became so ravenous today that I buckled and slurked to the corner Starbucks for a cheapo egg, cheese and sausage sandwich…it’s really just an egg MacMuffin putting on airs…  pretending to be intellectually-driven… Typically, over the years, when I have been in starving artist mode… I would have only coffee in the AM and then dinner at night. Nothing during the day… because the day was about survival, adrenalin and being “on”… But today…. I felt so hollow after I re-read Sacks’s obit…. that I thought I would fall asleep and surely die—so quietly as if in the snow. I had to eat salty, ambiguous meat products. I was wolfish when I walked into the shop. I could have swallowed the little fanboy afro-barrista in one swipe of my chops…but Joan Didion (or her doppelgängster) was there…. working away at a tiny table in the corner, and so I behaved… for a moment.

B7a387aIcAAoeSm
Everyone there was talking about the migrant crisis… the little boy… and I wanted to dare Trump to build a fence… the way of the doofus warrior
+++
Oh, I am crazy homesick for SF… I won’t deny it… but how I can’t wait for sweaters and baked goods involving pumpkin…
xoxo – gg

Spaz… and the City

I can’t write. I have a whole legal pad of ideas, but here’s what my brain is saying to me right now:

brain1

it’s just trying to be helpful.

brain3

And so it keeps talking…

brain4

cartoons by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

I decided to talk to my dry cleaner about it. I tell him the latest goings on in my life (all mostly happy with a bit of upheaval last week). As I recount the highs and then a big low, he scowls and interrupts, “Has it ever occurred to you that you might be avoiding your destiny? That you might be having these things because you’re not writing about them?”

My dry cleaner is talking about my seizures. (the “upheaval” I was referring to a few sentences ago) I had a big one last week–a grand mal–alone in my apartment. It sucked.

“Helloo… What if I don’t want this as my destiny?” I quip, defiantly.

“Hellooo… You don’t get a choice. That’s why it’s destiny, dummy.”

He has a point. It’s an obvious one, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it certainly doesn’t mean I have to write about it here.

You see, I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t write about my epilepsy on this blog as it can be kind of grim–the whole rolling around on the ground thing with bystanders… all standing by and freaking out and calling 911 (even though it’s not usually necessary for me). Then, there’s me… waking up with no memory of myself, or anyone else, even my closest friends… who are you people? No really, people have said I look at them, like I’m Jamie Lee Curtis looking at Michael in Halloween (but with better hair). And sometimes, I wake up looking like a prize fighter–i.e., black eye, concussed and slurring my words like a super drunk Muhammad Ali. (again, with better hair)

It can be a real buzzkill… But it’s actually one of the main reasons why I now live in NYC… There’s no driving required. Taxi guys love me. There’s delivery of pretty much everything you could ever want or need (including a really rad wig that once helped me escape my ex-husband’s attorneys) and if anything happens while you’re out and about, there are plenty of people around you who will most likely care enough to stop and help. New Yorkers are nicer than people give them credit for.

Still, it took me a while to come out to my dry cleaner. It’s the litmus test for all true friends. Anyone who would reject you out of hand for something so random as a seizure is an automatic turd in my book.

My dry cleaner commiserates, shaking his head, “What’d that neurologist on Youtube say?”

“All the electrical impulses in your brain align and synchronize. It’s like a perfect storm, but in your brain and without George Clooney.” I know this line by heart.

I haven’t had a  seizure in over a year. The day after it happens, I tend to mope around the house and watch youtube videos of other people having seizures, so that I can wallow in self-pity. I’m also just wicked curious as to what I look like. It’s a little cocktail of anthropology and vanity that always passes within a day. This time, however, the malaise has lingered.

“You need to cheer up blondie.” My dry cleaner pulls a ziplock freezer bag out from under the counter. Inside it are lots of other smaller ziplock bags with different types of pills in them. It’s like a tangled yarn ball of prescription drugs.

My dry cleaner, my dealer…. He presses a little yellow pill into my hand.

“What’s this?” I feel my brow furrow in suspicion.

“Klonapin … Helps ya think straight.”

“What else do you have there?”

He rattles off a dozen names that aren’t really names. Suddenly, he is a pharmacy–a veritable CVS without the line, the ‘tude or the overwrought suicide music they always play:

(Btw, Joe Pizzulo, you are so bangin’!)

“Look here girly, if you’d fallen the other direction last week, you’d be the fucking English Patient. You need to relax.”

“When did you read that book? I thought you were into the whole trashy, Neo-Noir thing?”

“I am,” he confesses, “but every now and then even I have to step it up from a literary standpoint.”

He’s right. Being the English Patient would suck. All that oozing… the lack of a nose. Even if I’ve never been that fond of my anglo ski jump of a profile, I’d take it over looking like a mummified Ralph Fiennes.

“We have to find you a nice Jewish boy who can help danger-proof your house and keep an eye on you. New York’s full of them.”

“I liked the last guy,” I protest. “He was funny… and he brought me toast and coffee and didn’t mind if I got crumbs in the bed.”

“Feh…” My dry cleaner waves the very idea of toast guy away as if he were a gnat. “Take a Klonapin and embrace your destiny as a spaz, baby, I guarantee… you’ll be able to write again.”

I haven’t taken the Klonapin, but words are once more starting to happen…

xoxo – gg