Friday, February 15, 2008

A Wee Voice from Little America

I have a room on the third floor of this rambling old farm house that I have dubbed either "Little America" or "my playroom." It has a transformer so that I can play my old mini stereo. I listen to books on tape up here, and, on a good day, I listen to some of my 200 CDs. I meant to put them on an iPod before I moved and thought that I could be tidy and hip. I should have known better. I have never been tidy or hip and it is much too late for such a personality transformation now.

I was in Little America last night until time for the last antiviral of the day at 11pm and then again today as soon as I could get back here because I was up to the very last instant of a deadline that meant a great deal to me personally. I am a chronic procrastinator, but in this case I can legitimately plead shingles as a genuine excuse.

Whatever else defines shingles, one of the worst parts of it for me is a woeful lack of energy. Last night was a last ditch effort to see if I could even make a passable attempt at the portfolio. I was delighted that I could work for three hours--up to yesterday anything more effortful than daytime television had proved too much for my virus-laden system. The past week, however, has been full of come and go energy spurts, so that effort might have been a flash in the pan. I did not get a chance to come to the playroom until late in the day.

I tested the possibility of meeting the deadline by writing first the dreadful 100 word statement: "Why I want to attend the masterclass." You know from previous posts how excruciating I find those. Next I did the cover note and by then, still upright and typing as in the old days of deadlines for other people's desires, focused and productive. Next I began putting all the pieces together and praying that my old dial up connection would hold.

Fantastico: "message sent". Now it is in the hands of the three blind sisters of fate--OK, let's blame the hyperactive rhetoric on shingles, too, shall we?

And then as if to assure me that I was ascendant over the microbes tap dancing along my facial nerves, I put on a CD of Klezmer music and danced to Mazl Tov dances. The pain in my face could scarcely keep up with my approximation of a dervish. I danced to Maxwell Street Klezmer band and thought of how I had visited Maxwell Street and celebrated the melting point ideal of America. Sadly my first country all too often falls far too short of its multicultural ideal, but here in my own little piece of America I rejoiced in the best efforts of madcap idealists and homesick writers everywhere.

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