No Gangrene Here

Turning a recent response to commenter Mari (who told me she hoped I got better because she did not want to read me writing about gangrenous toes) into a post.

Thanks, everyone, for all the kind wishes about the three middle toes of my left foot. I shall spare you an image.

Today started out great and went to hell fast. I think I’m handling it well.

I’ve decided that I had some kind of existential crisis Wednesday night. The class was largely about horrible political repression in Singapore (imprisonment, torture, destroying people’s lives) and floating at the back of my mind was the idea that as truly painful and awful and isolating as my freaky accident was, it was as a tiny drop to the great ocean of suffering others have endured.

The physical pain was normal; the mental state it took me to was completely unfamiliar and frightening. I didn’t so much want my own suffering to go away as I was overwhelmed by one tiny insight into the suffering of others. I wanted hundreds of lives to be wiped clean of agony. I wanted decades of jail time to be lifted from minds and hearts.

But all I could do was sit there and bleed. Much like many other people have to do, only for them it takes decades to end rather than one strange night.

Anyway, Mari, great to hear from you, my toes really did get mangled but shit fucking happens, in a way over which no one has a lick of control.

It’s sunshine and gangrene, all at once, forever. We can’t look away but we must smile nonetheless.

If I was in prison, I’d want some strange wordy injured girl to live, live, live for all she’s worth, and suck life of all the joy I was deprived of, and think of me, and pray her joy up to me like incense to the gods.

2 responses to “No Gangrene Here

  1. Prisons come in many shapes and forms… I’m willing to bet your words have brought relief to plenty… though they may not reside in Singapore.

    Strange happenings… I met a friend of yours tonight (Greg Brown), having only stumbled across your blog yesterday. Lovely small world.

  2. Hey, tell Greg Brown I say hey. He is a super funny dude.

    His feet are so big I can put my whole foot, with a shoe on it, inside one of his shoes.

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