I have accused our friend Dave Klausler of writing in a “JamesJoycian” style, not that I am that familiar with Joyce. But when I read this piece, I immediately honed in on the problem. Read this paragraph, taken from the section titled 2:43 PM, South Rim of Grand Canyon:
Wednesday morning, on the pay clock of course, I took a little time to examine lifestyle things for recent changes as I prepared for my 5:30am tea. MUTHERFUKKER! Staring at me, from my drawer was Fresh Thyme Organic Black Tea. [For at least a decade I had been drinking regular old Lipton, 5:30am & 9:00am weekdays, 8:00am Saturday, early Sunday. Sometimes a half-gallon iced during Saturday chores (wired up!).
Are you seeing the problem? He does not drink coffee! Consulting a medical case reference guide, I find that the symptoms of coffee deprivation are as follow:
- Spinning head, lack of balance
- Mysterious rashes around the mouth
- Cold sweats
- A Jamesjoycian meandering style of writing
- Tourette Syndrome
- A craving for dark chocolate
- Frequent flashbacks to sounds from earlier in life, such as song lyrics
- Wandering about the country in search of something non-specific
Jerry Seinfeld went the better part of his life without drinking coffee, and even so noticed every small picayune thing going on in the world while missing the big stuff. But he got his head on straight, picked up a big coffee habit, and developed a show (for the Crackle Network- as he says, Snap and Pop were not yet in business) called Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee. It was a refreshing success. I suggest we do not yet know Dave, and will not until he learns how to indulge in morning drip.
Come, venture into Dave’s wonderful world.
I felt better this morning. Huh, you say, I didn’t know that you had felt bad. How could you? I hadn’t told anyone. Except maybe Eric when I had to decline a Friday work session on his soon to be not-his house.
|“GOOD… lovin’ gone bad, yeah, yeah, yeah.”|
I awoke with those lyrics spinning in my tumultuous head.
Some of you may be familiar with my somewhat recurring crystals issue. Where my inner ear crystals get jarred loose, or fried loose, or otherwise just fucked up. The imbalance resulting is nearly unbearable at times. Envision pre-vomit sweats and the upside-down stomach feeling; both hands out reaching for anything to stabilize. No movement faster than that of Fred G. Sanford is allowed (the G stands for Gravity). I have had to lie down and not move for hours… days a few times. Turns out that that was likely aggravated by being thrown to a mat repeatedly; but that’s not all: stress, alcohol (and its assorted side-effects) and a million other variables may come into play. Well, that is NOT what has been going on for nearly three weeks.
|“This is a fantastic song; Lynard Skynard does a song with the same title and of similar quality.”|
Ed; 2:11am; cutting through Glacier N.P. in 1995; speaking of Simple Man (Bad Company)
Flashback: I returned from a decent weekend at the Powell House with brother Jape, buddy Rich [not the drummer] and nephew Matt and shortly thereafter was treated to one of my usual sessions of tortoise lip. So named from a grade-school comment from one Andy Wahl (drummer) when he presented to us Emerson Fuckers (a group of my current friends, and Wifey, all attended the same primary school) some unusual annoyed red growth on his upper lip – yep, as large as the V of a 113yo tortoise’s upper lip (or beak, it seems). It stuck (with me anyway). Hey, while I was briefly reminiscing of that time, I searched for the root of the naming of Emerson (suburban Shitcago, where we learned NOTHING). I found jack-shit, but the InterWeb did show me this:
Times have changed, huh? We had exactly ONE non-white back then, and if I remember correctly, he was Choctaw pretending to be Mohawk with an Ojibwa surname (in actual costume). I speak neither now, nor then, so I could not confirm.
|‘Paul Rodgers couldn’t sing himself out of a paper bag.’|
Dave; 7:31pm; criticizing Ed’s proclaimed love while on the road up to Powell in winter 2002.
Flashback-er: Anyway, over my [married] adult years, I have come to learn that THAT reaction is from my wonderfully embedded herpes messterpiece, and a sensitivity to the combination of stress, direct blasting modern sunlight and the drying effects of alcohol. Nothing 100% definitive, however. When all three present, look out. I have lovely scars about my lips and mouth from these irritating, ugly and frequently painful pustules. Mild cases seem to like to re-visit those scarred spots – wonderful! You don’t want to hear of my removal technique.
|“You never give me my money. You only give me your sympathy.”|
We’ll get to this key item a bit later.
So, what do the flashbacks have to do with my intro, you say? For the last almost three weeks – since clearing my face of the Powell residue – I have been battling, yes battling my body in the realm of dizziness. Top that off with a rash around my mouth that exceeds the scarred Tortai areas. FUN FUCKING TIMES, yes? But wait, this is not the dizziness from my sole-mate fucked-crystals, it is different. Neither fall-down nor pre-vomit. Either a heavy haze or sluggish movement. A slightly pressured presence. Equally bad, but not quite as immobilizing. Until just this last Tuesday, when I declined on the bench as part of my usual warmup and was gifted nice head-spins and an instantaneous full-body slimy sweat. Cool, huh? I tried to breathe and work it through slowly and thoughtfully because I had a Master Plan for workout, but no go. I barely got up, couldn’t even finish my electrolyte prep drink, stripped and went to bed – maybe 1:30pm – fan in face.
|“I’d better get the boys round, and do some drinkin fast.” ‘I LOVE that song!’|
Ed; 2:43pm; touring the South Rim of Grand Canyon N.P. in 2019.
Wifey, ever helpful, suggested that I examine my routine in detail. I yelled that I do that every fuckling minute of my life. [Gerald says that I’m wound a bit tight. Fucker.] Greater detail she followed with. Wednesday morning, on the pay clock of course, I took a little time to examine lifestyle things for recent changes as I prepared for my 5:30am tea. MUTHERFUKKER! Staring at me, from my drawer was Fresh Thyme Organic Black Tea. [For at least a decade I had been drinking regular old Lipton, 5:30am & 9:00am weekdays, 8:00am Saturday, early Sunday. Sometimes a half-gallon iced during Saturday chores (wired up!).] I had searched for a more health-conscious brand/blend for years, but none met with my desire. Also in my drawer was the chocolate bar targeted for Tuesday and Thursday 5:30am. YES, goddammit, everything in my life is scheduled – don’t you fucking know that by now? I like chocolate a great deal. [I had been consuming TJs house brand of almond embedded high cacao chocolate bars for at least five years.] Cacao being a redeeming element according to many a blabbermouth. They had recently dropped my usual, so Wifey had chosen the closest alternative: TJs Fair Trade Organic 72% Cacao Belgian Dark. Two things there: no almonds (hence more chocolate), and different country of origin – so says the InterWeb. So come Tuesday, yes, the Tuesday, just a few days past, I had consumed my two 12oz cups of well-steeped scalding tea (frequently I do not finish my second cup; yes, the world still turns ‘round and ‘round silly) and 2/3 of the chocolate bar (the substitute model doesn’t square off nicely into ½ for multi-day container resealing).
|“The sky… is burnin’, I believe my soul’s on fire”|
Paul is obviously a believer; we are destined to meet one day.
I withdrew even my partial presence in the decaying enterprise in which I am employed and embroiled, to search for the truth… and oh yes, I can handle the truth. [‘Whatever’ is my view on Jack Nicholson, but he got that referenced line emotionally and factually expressed perfectly: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”.] Depending on your due diligence, the InterWeb can be a boon or bust. I dig deep, then go deeper, then verify against other blowhards, then weigh it in my ever-crowded logical databank, and I finally may throw the info at a few personal contacts who are fully bona fide and much more versed in all-things-lied-about than I. Obviously your mileage may vary (the great YMMV seen in jughaed-media). No surprise really that tea brands, and their source leaves, the production facilities, quality control, yadda, yadda, yadda, vary enormously. Reputable brands thins information out.; Non-GMO reduces further. Organic further still; leaf type forces even more scrutiny. Lies abound. FDA is simply shit. Along with those attributes, we have the type of processing that can dramatically affect the caffeine content; so can both length of steeping and the temperature of steeping. The astringent tannins present accounts [in part] for the varying bitterness, or flavor. Tannins, usually considered a beneficial substance, however, may aggravate herpes (unsubstantiated as a mystery “virus”) related symptoms – ESPECAILLY when the tea is consumed very hot. [“How the fuck can you drink that?” The Executive assaulting your author many, many times while backpacking simply because of the scalding tea going down the hatch.]
|“Do right by your woman, she’ll do right by you”|
Come on, if this is not true… LEAVE.
Second InterWeb search shows that the data vary, no shock, but here we go again, reputable branded chocolate, and especially those with high cacao content can have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee – certainly more than a cup of tea. I did not know that. Apparently the purported highly controlled processing of such noteworthy delicacies adds to the content rather than stripping off the outer components of the actual beans. Factor in similarities with the tea product claims: Reputable, Non-GMO Organic, raw bean type and source. Belgian chocolate, home to some of the supposedly best, climbs high into those alleged purification processes thus rendering a more potent (cacao quality) end-product… as far as caffeine level goes too. I couldn’t find a consensus on how long caffeine remains a factor in suto. My experience, and my fucking recent balloon head indicates that it is cumulative – but as I have mentioned: many factors are involved.
|“Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you. Don’t you know, don’t you know, oh, yeah, you are. Yeah, a shooting star, yeah, oh oh oh oh oh…”|
Whoa, solid writing there! You must hear it LOUD.
So, I steep my tea fully, I drink it super-hot; I eat high cacao chocolate; I do both routinely and double-up at least a couple times per week; and, AND apparently most importantly: I recently changed BOTH of those products after years with other brands and my attuning to their inherent processes. Tuesday hitting two full cups, and the boosted chocolate. Fridays, if at all, may involve a very minimal second cup, and a more demanding and intense but short workout. Saturdays, at home, following a long slow run, has been and is still Lipton – perhaps those events factor into my ability to work through the somewhat lessened fog on the weekend. Or maybe it’s just “Might as well get used to this bullshit, because it doesn’t seem to be letting up.” [Eric offered: “Maybe if you weren’t so angry at everything, this would have lesser effect.” Obviously an asshole.]
|“Mystery surrounds me and I wonder where I’m going. There’s a cloud above me and it seems to hide the way.”|
My life, defined succinctly.
Those seemingly small dietary changes coincide rather conveniently with the onset of my debilitating mind-fog. Wednesday, I had gone with no tea at the early mark, and went with chamomile and tupelo at the latter. In the afternoon I risked a ride on the bike, not full power though, as blood pressure under normal workout conditions further emphasizes the symptoms. Moderate but satisfactory was the result. It’s now Thursday morning, and you read my opening statement.
Tea? Chocolate? Really?
|Recently, after a satisfyingly direct Friday workout (before run), I had a strong desire to communicate with my musically literate buddies – a sacrilegious interruption before aerobic punishment. My accompanying musical selection had been Bad Company’s Run With the Pack. On that wonderful album resides the title tune, to which I refer above in the quote including “sympathy.” You see, Paul [Rodgers] is a master vocalist, the critique I had leveled at Ed (quote #3) about him, was made in jest – anyone who knows Rock and Roll knows Paul is one of the best – for whatever band he has graced with his vocalizing. Ed was stunned… mortally wounded at the time. Like many of Paul’s era, substances were involved in the rendering of the tunes… lyrically, it is plain to see. I actually quoted the word via text-message to Ed and Gary as “sympaH thee ee eee eeee”, which is the best I can do for the way the word is syllabically extended and sung – fuck those InterWeb lyrics – LISTEN to it… LOUD! Ed jumped all over me, and him, ultimately stating (IIRC) [there you go social-media drones: “If I Remember Correctly”] “He’s just filling in for lazy writing.” Wow, I said, what happened to the Ed I once knew. Who knelt at the alter of Paul? He followed with: “He gave up… ‘just stretch this shit out’ to his band mates.” I defended Paul’s method vehemently as fantastic artistic license. He does this same thing in a large number of excellent tunes… it is part of his style: one English syllable becomes two, or three.
It really seemed as if he were mad at me; I was confused to say the least. If you ask Ed, he will remember all the referred lyrics and quotes above; he will in fact, be taken back in time, and see that he has lost his way. Gerald, for whatever reason, remained silent on the issue – perhaps because he knew that the subject was near and dear to me… and, in his heart-of-hearts: to Ed as well. Ed my friend: you go back right now and listen to Midnight Moonlight (The Firm). Tell me how it feels. Apologize to Paul and the Rock and Roll gods – they are ever-present and listening.