Yesterday with Dr Keleti

Yesterday’s meeting in the exam room, a kind of homey clinic with a prefab desk, the radiologist corroborated an impression of tumor growth as opposed to radiation necrosis, which he claims can occur in only between 2-12 percent of cases. Dr Salacz, on Thursday’s phone call from New Jersey, mentioned that radiation necrosis usually flares up but that you’d see improvement within a couple of months, not this greatening loss of the function of especially my left hand.

It’s 5:30AM. I’ve carried my blanket to a sofa in the living room to cover up while I type this up on my phone, one clumsy thumb stroke at a time. There is something growing in my brain. I keep thinking that. What is a brain to me but a collection, or recollection, of functions? Things that I’ve been able to do in my life, in my memory of my life, that were cool or fun like read in Chinese or write a poem, but also banal and basic like scratching my nose or walking to the bathroom. Well, as the latter functions go, my “spirit” flocks to the former. The other night I took a walk in dark: That freaked out my wife, but I saw the stars, I really saw them, for the first time in a long time, and that was, well, “pretty cool.”

I just had this dream of my father. He was wearing a black, short-sleeved shirt, Said he’d just been to a funeral. Mine? Would have been a cool answer. Evocative. But, no, you see, this was a China dream and he’d hired some unknown worker to install a lock on the gate to his apartment. When we got there, he reached under the gate. He was able to so this because it stood a few feet off the hall floor. He unlatched the gate and it swung open. Dad explained about the worker (I woke up thinking, sure, people are always doing dumb shit for money in China). He’d caught his thumb in the latch. Dad was too upset to speak, so he mimed what happened next with a dropper: He bled out. Over the course of several hours. Because Dad hadn’t answered his phone.

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