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To: K-list
Recieved: 2000/01/09 13:28
Subject: [K-list] I survived Y2K (sort of)
From: Ckress

On 2000/01/09 13:28, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:

Are we still on topica? I've really been in the ozone for the past couple of
weeks. On Christmas day '99, an infection I'd noticed a few days earlier (on
my upper thigh) had become much more swollen and scary-looking. After
several days of natural remedies failed to improve my condition, I saw an
M.D. From this experience I discovered that I am now allergic to the general
spectrum of antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins, erythromycins) that are
considered generally nontoxic (there are others which are so dangerous they
can practically kill you if you look at them -- fat chance I could tolerate
those!). So while everyone else rolled into Y2K without mishap, my bio-clock
rolled back to 1900, pre-advent of antibiotics. A freaky revelation...

I've been knocked out from the infection (if that's what it really was) and
the aftermath of my antibiotic meltdown ever since, although each day I feel
a bit better. Last night the whole episode worked itself into a poem, which
I have posted below.


by El Collie

The swelling on my thigh was inflamed,
"an angry infection" I told myself,
wondering if the expression held true
or was merely cliche'.
Clearly, something is pushing the boundaries,
a miscreant pregnancy like Athena
erupting from the head of Zeus.

Strangely, it didn't hurt until after the doctor
probed and pinched and squeezed so hard
his waxy gloved hands shook from the effort.
Nothing either fair nor foul came forth.
He was puzzled, muttered something about
a possible herniation and prescribed Keflex,
a close cousin of penicillin that stank
like rotting gym socks
and slowly poisoned my whole system --
delayed allergic reaction.
Nausea, aching all over, and most awful
thundering heart racing in my chest for hours
on end, accompanied by a sense of impending doom
(which I reminded myself over and over
was only adrenaline-biochemical pseudo-fear).

I quit all meds but tasted rotten gym socks
and stayed deliriously sick
for another week. Now the inflammation is
nearly gone, but the leg still defiantly swollen.
This baby refuses to be aborted.
My husband worries over me,
glances at me with eyes brimming pain,
his face so utterly holy
and raggedly human,
bleeding love towards me
with radiantly sad eyes.

I complain of how alienated I feel
from everyone but him, my sad-eyed savior
who is glad I'm complaining about the world again;
it means I'm on the mend.
He is reading a biography of Kurosawa.
Kurosawa's films, he tells me,
hinge on the observation that most people
are driven by evil, amorality or stupidity --
and it's hard to say which of the three
generate the most harm.
I wonder aloud if there is something
about being incarnate
that brings out the worst in a soul,
or if the worst souls are the ones
who incarnate.

"What can you expect," he asks, "in Kali Yuga?"

Even the darkness longs to be born somewhere...
like this mystery inception on my leg?
Am I Lileth, mother of demons?
How can I carry this shark-toothed child
who threatens to devour everything I love?
How do I make peace with the flesh
that hosts such wickedness?
Evil, amoral and stupid:
the soul-sickness of my species.
How do I co-exist with that?

My husband glances at me, his eyes
so bright.
This is how:
By the light that outshines the pain:
Holy sadness.

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