Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Lorenzo W. Milam is the author of Sex & Broadcasting (Mho & Mho Works) and a contributing editor of RALPH: The Review of the Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities (www.ralphmag.org). He lives in San Diego, California.
One comes for a day or two, and then advertises that one has “studied under Milton Erickson.” This means you can charge $1,000 a day for seminars. Few pay attention to the fact that the master himself only charges $25 a day for visitors. I think I love him for that reason if for no other.
Travel gets the ashes stirred up, gets the fire moving again. Travel gets the heart agitated. Travel makes the dust motes disappear. Travel makes the eyes light up and the stomach say howdy.
Buddy has to cry out with all his force in his seven-year-old body, trying to get his father to believe that he has done nothing wrong, nothing wrong at all; and in this act of trying to convince him that he is not wrong, he is wrong, and must get punished for that.
Finally after a go ’round, she blurted out: “Doug, I’ve been working at the Library of Congress for twelve years, and I’ve never had an experience like this before.” I just wasn’t sure what she was talking about.
Broadcasting as it exists now in the United States is a pitiful unmitigated whore. At some stage in its history, there was a chance to turn it to a creative, artful, caring medium; but then all the toads came along, realizing the power of radio and television to hawk their awful wares. The saga of broadcasting in America is littered with the bodies of those who wanted to do something significant — and who were driven out (or more correctly, sold out) by the pimps and thieves who now run the media.
My hands begin to hurt from the constant pressure of the crutches. Jaggers of pain run up my arm. It feels as if I have bared every nerve in my arms. I am sweating, and the sweat runs down my forehead, into my eyes. I have to stop each few steps to wipe the sweat from my eyes. Then I put sore hands on crutches again, and walk a few more steps, then I must stop to wipe my eyes again.
After leaving Warm Springs, I will have to learn the next steps on my own. I have no compadres about me to give me the benefit of their learning. I will, alone, have to build physical and emotional resources to deal with the real world.
Paradise. Paradise of Meriwether County, Georgia. Warm Springs. Two support personnel for each patient. Campus of the gods. Food of humans — prepared to be eaten at civilized times.
They draw me into an arch so that they can run an eighteen-inch horse-needle in between the plates of my spine for an hour or so to get a copious sample of the cerebrospinal fluid. So the doctors can tell my family. What they know already. That I am very sick. That I might die.
We couldn’t have been more delighted, Buck and I, he in the warm arms of Mr. Boston, me in the warm arms of life in the sunny south, at a time when the shadows were hazy, the sunshine was bright, and the smell of the newly cropped bermuda grass touched my nostrils, and the days awaited me breathlessly, endlessly.