Thursday, April 21, 2005

Wait, This is the Wrong Script!

I tend to think of myself as the plucky girl in this little personal drama of mine, the one that is a stand in for the audience.

But today I’ve developed a weird rash on my jaw. It’s like hives. It itches. It’s annoying. Today I am the dippy girl who is oblivious to the creeping horror until her flesh has turned green or erupted in scales or boils, who clutches her face and shrieks, “Oh my God! What’s happening to me! Help me!” Then she turns into a puddle of goo or a pod or gets eaten while the protagonists of the horror movie watch, well, in horror.

Instead of turning into a puddle of goo, I’ll just take a benadryl, but still, you get what I mean.

This is especially annoying because in some portion of headspace, I keep forgetting that I have three more weeks of treatment. I’ve moved on. I’m planning my summer. (Two writing workshops, running a six week playwriting workshop with a playwright, going to Wiscon, maybe even working on a novel or something.) The summer is the after lymphoma time. It is not the still-have-weird-chemicals-in-my-system time. Bob and I are planning a summer of healthy foods and salads. I’ve been cooking this week. Today I met a guy (the playwright in fact) who is interviewing me for a local magazine about Mothers & Other Monsters. We talked about the book, the workshop, his play coming up, his last play, about art, and theater, and the pope. It was great.

It was not the script for the dippy girl. It was the script for after-this-is-over woman. I really protest being dragged back into weird health drama. Particularly since two benadryl work on my like a Mickey Finn.


Blogger elad said...

I'm sure you'll be fully back to normal before you know it, Maureen.

I have had many similiar feelings lately. Times when I step outside of my life and go, "Wait, that's not me. There's some NORMAL guy." Going from parental-dependent bachelor shut-in to guy with job, girlfriend, car, and responsibilites as have been unsettling at best. It's all so... surprising. I never thought I could be normal. Thankfully, I have movies and books and endless episodes of shows like Mad About You to guide me on how to act in this whole "reality" thing.

April 22, 2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

I'm sorry, Elad, but I think normalcy is out of the question. But I suspect you've learned how to pass for normal.

(Are you writing? Or is this job, girl, car thing keeping you too pre-occupied?)

April 22, 2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger elad said...

True, true. I probably do about as good a job as you. (hehe.)

And of course I'm writing! Not as much as my carefree college days, but I'm slowly getting back into the habit, finding time before work, after work, during lunch, etc. It's been tough but things are looking up. I'm going to be moving in with my girlfriend and bringing my computer to where I spend most of my time, that should help a lot.

April 22, 2005 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just cracking up at your version of the rash-horror movie. Of COURSE it's a horror movie. I never saw a rash that wasn't a horror movie. Even without three more weeks of cancer treatment, which is enough of a horror movie in and of itself.

(Now I have to ask: are you sure it wasn't some strawberries that got snuck into your food somewhere? I'm allergic (mildly) to strawberries.)

But I just loved that post! I keep thinking of one of those Lovecraft movies they made out of "The Color out of Space" or "The Thing over the Transom" or maybe "Eraserhead." Movies where the absurdity goes beyond absurdity and reaches a kind of transcendent poetry of silliness.

Anyway, Geoff has these two really weird lumps on either side of his surgical scar. My current theory about them is that he was too active after the surgery and ripped out his inner stitches. But he won't call his surgeon, because he's like, you know, a Guy.

I'm going to call Monday if he doesn't.

I hope your rash has gone away, and I'm so glad you can laugh at it!

April 22, 2005 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've been watching too many of Bob's old 50s science fiction. If you read some *90s* science fiction, you would understand that a mysterious rash is most likely the sign of *imminent transcendence* as you develop strange powers and begin to become posthuman....

and as for bumps on a leg... I can hardly begin to speculate how cool that is going to be!

April 23, 2005 10:05 PM  
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