Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fire & Fury: perfect salve for the flu

Normally I would have written two or three articles for publication on Country Parson by this time in the month.  As it is, I have the upper respiratory thing that is sweeping the nation.  Whether the flu or something else may never be known.  It started with the kind of cough that comes with a little dust stuck down there.  From there it morphed into non-stop coughing.  Giving up on self medication, I finally went to the walk in clinic to find it over full with coughing people, many wearing masks.  A quick check around town let me know the same was true at every urgent care facility and the e.r.   Maybe that’s true for your town too.  

Anyway, and to my complete surprise (that’s no cliche), I got a same day appointment to see my doc’s partner.  Who knew that was even possible?  So the good news, no curable infection, it’s just that thing going around.  Reminds me of many years ago in my early adult life.  I had something similar and went to see my doctor.  That was in the old days when you could do that sort of thing.  He was out sick (do tell) but his elderly country doc father was filling in.  “Well son, I don’t rightly know what you have, but you sure do have it.”  It’s pretty much the same diagnosis I got a few days ago.

So here I am on codeine cough medicine, drinking gallons of water, exiled to the guest bedroom, under the iron fisted supervision of my otherwise loving wife, whose instructions have been dictated by the gaggle of women she hangs out with, most of whom are retired nurses and doctors wives.  

I’m keeping up on the news, but through that narcotic fog where the worst of it seems vaguely interesting, unrelated to my own reality.  Games of solitaire have become mental challenges.  Even the Monday crossword seems out of reach.  It’s made reading Wolf’s Fire and Fury, a perfect fit for the brief time between naps.  The excerpts broadcast in the news and used for late night comedy scripts don’t do it justice.  His style is to plod through events and days, in mind numbing detail, about the adventures of a clueless president surrounded by bumbling staff, and advised by billionaire buddies who, it is revealed, may be rich but aren’t that smart.  They just think they are.  It does confirm what my years in and out of public policy matters led me to suspect: people who live within the circles of the very powerful and very rich function in them much like we all experienced in high school anxiety riddled jostling over popularity.  Believe me, say I in true Trumpian fashion, if a book can numb my codeine addled mind, it’s mind numbing.  Think of it as a real life version of Gilligan’s Island, but with the skipper and gang playing the role of U.S. president and his advisors.

On Colbert’s show, Wolf said he was surprised at how well it’s selling considering that it doesn’t say anything we don’t already know.  He’s right.  Even my very conservative friends, who have been asking just to give Trump a chance, have become suspiciously quiet, turning conversations to football, basketball, mudslides, anything but Trump.  

In a few days, assuming I’m well again, we’re off to foreign lands for a few weeks.  In blissful semi-ignorance we can pretend that all is well, and hope that Julian of Norwich was right when she said God had promised it would be so.  Perhaps Trump’s bumbling will not have done too much damage in the meantime.  Perhaps Republican leadership will at last dump the Freedom Caucus, and get on with governing.  Perhaps, ah perhaps, the midterms will change control of congress, and Ms. Pelosi will gracefully choose to take a back bench.  Oh, the day dreams one has.

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