Posted by: stillironic | January 31, 2010

Let Me Set the Record Straight—13

Pain and Suffering

Speaking of heads, why isn’t the loss of one’s head know as being Anne Boleyned or Marie Antoinetted, like the disease Lou Gerhig died of is known as Lou Gerhig’s disease? Is sexism the issue here, again?

Take the henry, which is some word in the language of electricity. Why isn’t it the henrietta? And look at Rome—named for a guy who wasn’t even real, for godssake.

So I clothed myself in jejunishness, in the full luxury of jejunossity? What of it? I’m not an axe murderer. I pay my taxes, rake my leaves, and have the oil in my car checked on a regular basis. I have even moved beyond what many feared had become a career working the take-out window at the Shaddrach Burger King.

Then, recently, one of my co-workers at my new job behind the deli counter at Giant Eagle told me what she swears everyone else in Shaddrach has pretty much known all along: Smarts didn’t get his book published; he paid three thousand dollars to Marzipan Printing Co. in Elwood City to print it.

This meant I could stop being jealous about fat royalty checks rolling into Smarts’s mailbox. And I could stop gnawing my cuticles worrying about more sophomoric book reviews being shoved in my face. Publicity tours—kaput. Ditto hearing him on the radio guffawing about me with every Tom, Dick, and Harry Peter-Pan talk show host.

Now my deli manager has suggested I sue Smarts for defamation and pain and suffering because he hadn’t disguised his main character enough, out of laziness, I think. Malice, and imagination, takes some effort.

My friends—all of whom swore they never touched the book—said I needed to chill out and not get so worked up over what other people do. Take up yoga, they said. Go into therapy. Commune with nature and/or Jesus. Try voyeurism. Grow pot.

So I’ve been spending some time out in nature, sitting by the Mon River and watching it along its meandering journey that follows a trail due north. “Go with the flow” has become my mantra. I also joined a self-help group, the Microclimate of Insanity Support Network. It’s a great bunch of people who are susceptible to just about anything. The only drawback is the 20-mile drive to Uniontown for meetings.

© 2010 by Virginia Gerhart


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