Friday, September 30, 2011

The Cure For the Reading Hangover

by Stephen J. Gertz

I had too much to read last night and, boy, do I feel it.

I woke up this morning with a splitting headache. Bleary-eyed, I felt the march of time stomp on my bones in slo-mo, then in a lively polka. I soon felt nauseous and  brought up that which should have stayed down. Because I am compulsive, I had to inspect the remains of the reads, if for no other reason than to find comfort in the remembrance of text past.  I am the Proust of reading drunkards.

If Jackson Pollack had dipped his brushes in cans of liquid type and splattered them on the floor the artistic effect could not have exceeded the psycho-intestinal action-painting before me.

Behold a chunky, deliquescent impasto of ink drips dressing a green font salad of coagulated content on my pile-crushed, 100% genuine polypropylene, tufted living room carpet: 

Two auction house and four rare bookseller catalogs. • Last Sunday's NY Times Travel section because  even though I'm going nowhere reading about Morocco in Winter and the Castles of Moravia beats  a schlep into downtown L. A. • A New Yorker piece from a few weeks ago about a recently murdered Pakistani journalist who knew too much •  A suicide-inspiring insurance claim form for the benefit of Job • A typically prolix note from my dear Aunt Marilyn • Items from Courthouse News Service, i.e. the California Culinary Institute, aka Le Cordon Bleu, is being sued by twenty-one of its recruiters for, essentially, running the school like a used car lot with high-pressure tactics (What's it going to take to get you into this toque?), admitting anyone "as long as they have a pulse"  and, presumably, a carving knife, and offering financial aid that gets the student out of the frying pan and into the fire; "Naked Juice Not as Naked as It Claims," a story that attracted me because I, as many others, prefer my juice in the altogether - full-monty mango nectar, please; and Marlborough Airport Properties claims in Federal Court that President Barack Obama, the U.S. Secret Service and a 44,000 pound truck caused $676,000 in damages to an airport while moving from a Marine helicopter to a limousine to visit the Massachusetts Emergency Management bunker in Framingham last year - just wait until Mitt Romney hears about it, and forget about the others vying for the Republican nomination: it's TruckOne-gate, the Next Big Scandal • The subtitles to the original Swedish-language film adaptation of Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire). I love saying "flickan som lekte med elden" aloud; it reminds me of the adolescent invective I used to invent as I skulked away after angry arguments with my resident elders  • A special-ed teacher in Telford, Stropshire, U.K.. has been fired for threatening to place a lethal voodoo curse on one of her pupils as  punishment for misbehavior.  Amazingly, I had the same  SanterĂ­a priestess-pedagogue  in the second grade in 1958  in Queens, New York City, U.S. and I'm still alive, so far. "What'ya goin' to do, kill me? Everybody dies." • A vegetarian dating website has been reprimanded by advertising watchdogs for having  meat-eating members; their beef is, evidently, legit • My contribution to an anthology entitled Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong because, apparently, in my case, it's true • various and sundry browser flashcards, last but not least: Frank and Louie, the two-faced cat with two first names, has won the Guinness Record for longest-lived two-faced cat • And Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum, has died, according to her zookeepers in Germany.

I know, I know - never mix your texts. It's on page three of The Booktender's Guide to Readology.

I was a wreck reliving overindulgence. Most people have blackouts. I have black-ins; I remember everything and then some, things I've never read and have no desire to do so. I had the D.T.'s, decomposed texts. I had to straighten out, fast. What to do?

I needed a bracer, a good, stiff one. Hair of the dog.

I read the morning paper.

I snapped out of it and into a major depression. Finally, home sweet homeostasis.

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