Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Worm & the Gear, part the first.

"A despairing man is in despair over something. So it seems for an instant, but only for an instant; that same instant the true despair manifests itself, or despair manifests itself in its true character. For in the fact that he despaired of something, he really despaired of himself, and now would be rid of himself." -- Søren Kierkegaard, The Sicknesse Unto Death

Mens sana in corpore sano has chapp'd, wither'd, & died. All are Romans of the Soul, yet we lack the transfigur'd Strength to preserve eternal these rattling Frames.

For we are but Sticks & Bones, none different than the Mollusck, who slurps up Creatures tiny as Dust, to make his noble, glossy Exoskeleton. We, maundering Apes, chew up Meats & wash our Gullets with Sweet-Tea, and build our Shells on the inside. Thus do our marionette-bones dance on the Whims of bellowing Cows & rooting Piggs.

On such fragile & jittery Speculation have I tap-danc'd, hoping to find a brief Moment's Respite from a reeling Waltz of Illness. Dame Pneumonia grasp'd me in her globby Palms; Tart Bronchitis chok'd the Breath of my Conversation with her sea-green Putty; and hourly my Ears click'd with Congestion.

Hoping to relieve myself of such wicked Pains, I betook myself to a Spaniard's feaste, at the Publick House call'd the Old Ranch in their Tongue. Happily did I chortle over a Plate of Chile Verde; happily did I chomp away at the Ice that cool'd my Sweet Tea. Col. Orndorff, a Man bounteous skill'd in all Ways of contending, discours'd with me regarding the inevitable growth of Oratory in our Colony. I felt a booming Promise growing in my Breast - a sensation that perhaps, in the midst of clammy Winter, shoots & Tubers were emerging for a New Year.

But no Joy goes without her Train of sorrows. Midst an afterdinner mint, an alimentary Ameliorative that I heartily recommend, I notic'd that my Molar had grown jagged. Indeed, it had broken, & my poor Tooth disappear'd into my Gullet, unnotic'd & unmourn'd as an orphan Chimney-sweep, lost in the blacken'd Streets of whorish London.