What does a screwed up disc feel like, that would cause this to happen? Well, when it first went bad, it felt like somebody drove a nail into my back, the right side of my ass, and my thigh. I've accidentally driven nails or industrial staples through my fingers and hands a few times (you'd think I'd learn after the first event, right?) and I know how it feels. There's a really sharp shot of pain that takes your breath away, then a dull sort of throbbing that sometimes really builds up to a crescendo of nerves firing. A few times over the last couple weeks, mostly a week or two ago, this happened to me while I was standing up, and it was bad enough that I started shaking, as if I was in great fear of something. Concentration was not possible; I'd be looking at the countertop trying to pick up some damn pill or another the doc wanted me to take, and my head would swivel right and left, but I couldn't keep looking straight ahead. I'd eventually choke down the pill, or get the phone, or pick up my blackberry, stagger into the living room, and collapse on the sofa. After a minute or two, things would settle down to a merely-very-irritating level. *That* sucked.
The back has improved. It still hurts though; there's a dull pain that doesn't go away, and after a long day sitting at the desk and grinding on a succession of increasingly urgent and stressful tasks, the pain is a bit sharp, akin to being punched really hard on the arm, stinging; except it's at the base of the spine, and the muscle tightness from the muscles around that one spot cringing at the beating they are taking is making the rest of my back knot up. *That* also sucks.
Along with my bluff attitude and cheerfulness, the pain has worn off my normal casual attitude and ability to just shrug off the hopeless bullshit that maybe one out of every five people feel they need to spread in order to be fulfilled in this life. My patience for their bullshit just isn't there, so I notice it more. Yes, pain gives you remarkable insight into other people's bullshit, that's a real gift. In fact, just this week, I've identified several ways to absolutely destroy your relationships with people at work or home, things I'd never have noticed were I in my usual glow of mediocre health. They include:
- Be a drama queen and treat your relatively trivial problems like they far outweigh the major professional and personal trials those around you are undergoing
- Be a complete fucking ingrate, and when somebody has worked really hard for a long time at a very difficult task just to please you, start immediately going on about the next great quest you expect them to accomplish
- Act like you're smarter than everybody else, particularly when you only just walked into a situation and can't possibly know about it. Take charge, because life's midshipmen are always better at steering the ship than life's Bo'suns and life's captains.
The other thing it does is it makes you question everything. It's really pernicious that way. I realize this thing is probably going to get better, one way or the other, and it's just going to take time and some work, maybe some meds, maybe (hopefully not) surgery. But it will improve. Yet right now I'm questioning whether or not I'm through living an active and productive life. That's insane! But it's what those shitty little hormones that pain releases do to your brain. So on the one hand you see a lot of things really clearly. Maybe this is why so many writers stricken with tuberculosis and cancer and other painful wasting diseases write so well; they have a clarity of observation that helps them see, and write better. And at the same time it really warps your brain and makes you nutty and a pain in the ass to yourself and others, giving on the one hand and taking away with the other.
Anyhow... that's enough frickin' introspection for one week. You're only here for the music, and for the good news - my wood fenders came in this week. They match the Kona perfectly. With a bit of luck I'll be riding with them in a few weeks, along with a few other components I ordered from Family Bikes... It's weak, but I'd be more than happy to settle for a rain ride right now, with my sweet new fenders. I think in the morning I'll try riding the trainer a bit, and see if I can do it without totally re-destroying my back.
Oh yeah, the music. How about something upbeat and back-themed?
Ahhh... the Kinks. We're back where we started... I don't know why but somehow that resonates with me right now. They aren't really talked about a lot now but if you listen to them, you hear some mean guitar and keyboards, clever and occasionally brilliant lyrics, and an infectious beat. They have an impressive body of work, a huge number of hits and successful albums, and some really eponymous songs. They were one of the mainstays of stadium rock for probably 15 years. Funny how they're so overlooked now...
On the other hand, some once-popular acts are deservedly overlooked now. Here's the forgettably Krunktabulous Juvenile, directing his paramour to reverse that gluteous.
Other bands? I don't know what people see in them. Like these guys, for the most part.
That's a good song, but I'm guessing there's a hundred bands could play it better. Then there's Ludacris with one of the funnier back themed videos I've seen. It was obviously filmed at the height of the Popeye Arms Craze of 2004... Oh yeah, I remember that.
Seriously though, that's exactly how I was feeling this week at work... Get back - you don't know me like that...
We have to end it on a high note, right? How 'bout P-Funk, live in Houston about 30 years ago, with "Flashlight"?
Works for me. Have a good weekend y'all, even if you're grinding it out on a trainer with a sore back and a bad attitude. I'm wit ya.