Archive for June, 2011


Posted: June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I recently finished reading (I often read several things at once) A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe. He is a japanese author and a very major figure in japanese literature. His work is something I have learned to appreciate in a way I didn’t anticipate I would. I went in expecting something full of mysticism and nothing I could really relate to or understand. I was blown away.

In A Personal Matter the main protagonist, Bird (a nickname he acquired in college) is dealing with a situation I don’t think I could have the strength to work through. His wife has just given birth to a baby body, born with a brain hernia. This creates an understandable amount of stress and the relationship he has with his wife, which is already fairly strained, just crumbles in front of him. He turns to alcohol and starts sleeping with an old girlfriend. He sort of falls apart, spiraling into a depressing hole that he isn’t sure he wants to crawl out of.

I know that this story is loosely based on real events from Oe’s life, which makes it’s impact even greater. I found myself on the edge of tears as I finished the story. His words, they were devastatingly beautiful. Every line left this deep aching in my chest that increased with each turn of the page. I haven’t been this moved in such a great while.

I started feeling guilty, wondering if I would have the strength to make it through that kind of event at all. Sure, I can see myself dissolving into a self-loathing alcoholic, but I doubt my ability to return to my wife. I like to imagine myself a great man, one capable of the strength and love to endure that. Here’s hoping I never have to find out if I have the strength to face something that horrendous.

Fellow readers, find this and read it.


I turned in my article and my editor loved it. Hopefully this is the start to signing me up for more serious pieces. I can post a link to it later. It all came together in a fantastic way.

I told Jane about the weirdness researching and she told me to keep looking because it never hurts to know more than you need to. plus, who knows, it could turn into a very interesting project.

In other news, I had a weird interaction with Melissa, it’s been over a month since our ill-begotten date but things are very strange still. she followed me into the book store and wanted to know if I wanted to go to a movie next weekend. I uncomfortably declined. I was polite about it, feigning a prior commitment. But she was still fairly insistent on going out again eventually. I know I’m lonely, but I feel that I shouldn’t have to settle for someone who does not peek my interest in any way. She’s nice, attractive, but there’s nothing there. I knew it for sure after that kiss. I’m no lothario, but I’ve kissed my fair share of women. I know when there’s no hope.

I sort of feel cruel. She has this look in here eyes when she speaks to me, full of expectation. Jane thinks I should go out with her anyway and see where it goes. To me, that one date was enough. If I were to continue to date her wouldn’t that give her false hope? Or am I sabotaging myself? Is there a possibility she could be something and I am just overlooking?

I prefer to think my judgement is sound. Jane likes to get me to doubt myself sometimes.

I don’t really want to think about Melissa anymore. She just reminds me of my loneliness. If I wasn’t a jerk, I’d just sleep with her so I wouldn’t have to sleep alone.

I have seemed to lose my grasp on eloquence. I need to go immerse myself in some Joyce.

research nearly complete

Posted: June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
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While finishing up some of my research on the medical mal. article I discovered some things. The way this woman, Charlotte Revelin;  died seemed like a mistake, too strong of a dose or just a poor reaction to it. But, upon further investigation into the doctor specifically- including the other hospitals he worked at in the past, I found some interesting things.

The most, I guess I would use the word “disturbing” to describe it; bit of information I collected was that this death wasn’t the first one the happen this exact way. Nearly 20 years ago a woman named Sai Reeds, in China, died in the same fashion, down to the very last detail. It’s weird, right? I understand that when you’re a doctor there is always a chance you will lose a patient, and sometimes in the same way. You can’t control, no matter how hard you might fight it, when someone lives or dies. As a doctor I believe you would probably blame yourself a lot more than the rest of us. At the same time, you sort of become numb to it, you have to.

But this one just seems off to me. Every detail is the same. They were the same age, same race, same genetic factors, both had a daughter born blind. Speaking of the daughter, she was put in the custody of her grandparents because the father seemed to disappear. I imagine it is grief-related. Not everyone can cope in the way we want them to. In the Sai Reeds case her daughter and husband seemed to disappear into obscurity as well, but maybe that is to be expected.

Either way, all these comparisons are too many to ignore, right?

I’ll just finish my article and see what else I can find out. Wouldn’t hurt to do follow up research.

While researching for the medical malpractice case I had to refresh my extremely basic knowledge of the female reproductive system. Aside from the brief snippets of information acquired in my high school health class, I know next to nothing. All I can remember is that women have an unfortunate week every month and you must wrap it up to avoid the most dreaded of high school taboos: teen pregnancy. Though, my college roommate must’ve been using them wrong because he got like 3 girls pregnant despite using them. He blames the condoms, I blame the copious amount of liquor that lead to the “hook up” in the first place. So if I learned anything, be at least halfway sober. Are you listening, extremely vulnerable freshmen?

Anyway, back to the results. You women and your stretch armstrong insides. I always understood the basic mechanics, but seriously. I now know exactly what can happen upon the expulsion of that tiny human being and I really wish I didn’t. I even watched a birthing video, biggest mistake ever. If I ever have children my wife will be lucky if I come in the room when she gives birth. I will pace in the waiting room, smoking a cigar and talk about whatever it was dad’s in the 1930s talked about. All I can say is episiotomy…that was something I would have been happy never learning about. Don’t even dare googling it, pretend it is a computer virus, but it’s for you brain. And you can never ever get rid of it.

I then read over the standard procedures in hospitals when it comes to the maternity ward, I read everything from the normal to the unusual emergency situations. Death during childbirth is very rare, especially now, and especially in a modern hospital. Every ward is prepared for almost anything childbirth can throw at you, and emergency surgery wards are always prepped to go.  I think I need to go speak with an actual doctor about her case because from what I’ve read I don’t see how things could have gone so wrong. Her death was due to issues with the epidural and something to do with the anesthesiologist. There are some details I am a little vague on.

But now to delve into more personal matters, not that childbirth isn’t extremely personal. I think I want to move. It’s not that I don’t like where I live, but more I find that I often feel listless and uninspired here. And lonely. While I enjoy the solitude, I find it has become too much for me. I’d almost give anything for someone to just look me in the eyes for more than 5 minutes, to have a conversation outside the newspaper. I just want to feel someone’s skin brush a against mine, a hand on the cheek, arms against arms, anything but a cold handshake. Maybe that’s a selfish reason to leave, but maybe I’m a selfish man.

fun with alex and jane

Posted: June 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jane finally got here and I’ve never been so glad. After she got to my apartment she initially just slept in my bed for 3 hours. She was a bit worn from travel, as she tends to be. After she finally managed to be roused we went out to sushi and she gabbed on and on- she hates her roommate, loves her boyfriend, and wishes that she didn’t need sleep to survive so she could get more work done. Apparently she has been almost living in the studio since it was announced she would have a gallery opening with the rest of her class. She’s not one to be upstaged so she overdid herself.

Funny thing, her roommate (who she demands I refer to as “skankface”) has a different boy in her room almost every night. So, right before Jane left to visit me, she went into her roommates drawer and planted fake pills in her empty birth control pill slots. This will indicate to her that she has missed some pills and could have gotten pregnant. Quite the clever prank that doesn’t really hurt anyone. Perhaps it will even teach her a lesson. We shall see how it goes. My sister is a genius right?

Anyway, it is an amazing time so far.  I have missed this closeness.

something bittersweet

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I have been assigned to report on the death of a woman who died here recently. Seems commonplace enough, but it is apparently important enough for me to research. It looks like the standard malpractice case for the hospital. It’s better than the puff pieces I normally have to report on. I pray for the day I am officially taken of the list of go-to’s for pieces on a heroic dog or the birthday for the local 1st grade class’s pet hamster. You eventually run out of synonyms for fluffy and friendly for the endless string of animals that come my way.
At least this piece is a break. But, to clarify, I am not celebrating this woman’s death. Merely using it to my advantage. It’s just a nice change, instead of researching fluffy critters I will be studying hospital policies and medical procedures, also childbirth (which I am slightly less excited about). This looks like it will be a pretty serious expose.
On a happier note, my sister Jane is coming to visit tomorrow. With us living states apart these days it is hard to keep in touch as often as we would like. She’s in art school on the west coast. It’s very modern and sleek, or at least it is in my imagination. In all actuality it is probably a dusty, older building from before even my parent’s time. That’s how she likes it. I call her style “vintage chic.” I think I once saw her fawning over crown molding from the 1920s. When she gets overly excited she sort of looks like she is going to vomit, it’s weird.