Friday, August 05, 2005

Aaron vs. Fear

Fear is a dangerous thing. Some would say in fact, that it's the only thing to fear. There's fear of the physical, that you'll be hurt by the present, and there's mental fear, which is a dangerous expectation of the future. Today's blog aims to look at both of them, one through my own stupidity and one through the stupidity of others. It wouldn't be fair of me to criticize others without first confronting myself.


So let's call this section, "Return of the Vasovagal Synapse." Yes, while at the doctor's office today, getting my yearly physical, I, out of the blue, passed out. Well, not so much out of the blue. You see, I'm not good with needles - not the actual present pinching pain, but of what it could concievably feel like. And this year, I got not just the blood extraction (I use that terminology because it sounds more sinister), but re-upped my vaccinations to Hepatitis B and Tetanus.

Now the real fear of vaccinations goes back to a misguided attempt to innoculate me in Junior High School (thankfully any traumatic memories of infantile injections have been excised). Getting the cultures of Hepatitis B the first time involved moving to the highly sanitary and hygenic cafeteria of Booker T. Washington (in other words, not a more scummy location could you find: a basement school cookery). They also decided to use not needles, but air-guns, those highly pressurized forms of injection that don't leave visible marks on the skin, going as they do between blood vessels.


Not a terrible idea, but the sudden whoosh is not only frightening, but the shock of having your skin punctured (at least mentally) causes your arm to go numb about an hour later. This is the equivalent of dead legs you may have unfortunately recieved from bullies. Let's not ignore the fact either that these were not highly trained nurses doling out the medication, but rather people who looked suspiciously like scullery maids (sans skullcap/hair net). I would trust them with guns of any sort - especially medically designated ones - less than some of the "choicer" members of the NRA. You know, the ones who sleep fondling their piece.

Back on track, they were not. They were missing the places in our shoulders and hitting us in very uncomplimentary ways, ways that wracked our muscles with spasms and other such pain. Repeat this vivid imagery all three rounds of the immunization process, right arm, left arm, right.

Now, flash forward to me getting the dreaded Hepatitis, once more in the right, and right after getting a Tetanus shot in my left, of which I'm told, "This will hurt tomorrow." So really, don't you expect the fear to just ooze between my pores, track down between my eyes and curl its venom down my body like a snake? Sorry, creative writer, poetic licence to kill and all that jazz. As she stabs me a third time, I feel the pressure spreading through my whole body and I manage to stammer something incoherent, but along the lines of, "I'm going to pass out." Which I did.

Now, I'm not proud of this weakness, but admit it: of all the places to pass out, a doctor's office is probably the most appropriate. They had me back on my feet in no time, by which I mean, I immediately recovered and they gave me sips of water while telling me to lean back, and not in the Fat Joe sense. They may have suggested I pull up my pants tho', considering we'd just finished the physical examination. And so, for the fourth time in my life, I've had what's called a vasovagal synapse, which is really just doctorese for "you passed out." It's not seriously dangerous to my health, nothing to be concerned about, I just need to literally chill out more with unexpected situations.

I know I've gone on for a long time, but I wanted to make sure I'd properly abased my own psychological fear so that I could move on to the physical stupidity people have over fear. There's a lawsuit in the works against the NYPD, in order to get them to stop searching people's bags. I'm sorry, but the people who have filed claims say that they are now afraid to travel the subway system because they don't want their rights violated. Not because the searches are like a needle-in-a-haystack in their effectivity. Not because there's discrimination going on. But because they refuse to let police officers search their bags. Officers, I might add, that are at least making some people feel safer. What are these people so ashamed of having in their bags? Dead babies? I'm sorry, but just as the only thing we must fear is fear itself, the only people who have something to hide are people with something to hide.

RANDOM PLUG:
Dennis Leary, I feel, did not do a good enough job shamelessly self-promoting his goods and the goods of those whom he likes. Therefore, I'm pumping up the joy of
Rescue Me, the firehouse drama I simply can't get enough of. Go watch it on FX, Wednesday nights at 10:00. And then catch Nip/Tuck when it replaces Rescue Me on the line-up. And then stick around, 'cause The Shield will be back.

boo-yeah to:
Air conditioning. I don't have it, but man, I wish I did. And lest this be a "careful what you wish for" moment, I'm talking about the kind of air-conditioning I can turn on and off. Not one that follows me around like a bitter raincloud, keeping me perma-chilled.

CURRENT MUSIC VIDEO:
"
Trouble," by Coldplay. I wish I could make "Fix You" look as good as "Trouble" or "The Scientist" or even "Yellow" which featured the same damn walking, but at least was taken in entirely one shot, rigged to look a certain way as the sun just rises in the background. Simple is great, but at least have an artistic vision that's more than just pandering to your audience.

MY LIFE (an update):
Once more, I think I've covered my life pretty well above. But I am glad that my ex is willing to talk to me again, that it's at least possible for us to be friends. I don't like burning bridges and I don't like hurting people. It's good to know that life does in fact go on, even if it sometimes continues in very odd patterns that involve everyone I know apparently moving into my neighborhood.

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