Queen Mary Day 3


The Cavatina of Beethoven’s B flat string quartet (listen!) is a healing hand which also admonishes. The doctor has just given me good news.

The back pain is noncancerous in origin. It’s caused by osteophytes which are a normal degeneration of bone as one ahem ahem ages.

We still have Crazy Lymph Nodes with Stuff: cancer cells; the two swollen nodes will be removed 18 June for a full biopsy. The probabilities are converging on prostate cancer, the male scourge, and many of these are slow growing.

My theory is it came from Red Bull and Monster Khaos energy drinks, for I think of myself as a young swinger and stud, a wild and crazy guy, the man who reads Playboy, James: James BOND (da da DA da)…and when I don’t feel like that, when I start channeling my Father at his worst, moaning and groaning, I hammer down an energy drink.

It is my layperson’s understanding that self-manipulation of male hormones (energy drinks contain testosterone) is bad for prostates. I thought I was a smart guy, and I am in a way, but I have been in denial about my age. This is probably because I am, in Jane Austen’s words, in want of a wife to chide me about this and many other matters.

When I was but thirty and one
I wanted to have fun
And now I’m sixty two
And I eat the leek of bitter rue.

But I am responsible for my choice
‘Twas made with a loud voice
And it was better than to fall
Into Despond and make my family miserable.

Indeed it was the first fork I took
With any thought not found in a book
All of this was said better by Robert Frost
In the road not taken. But O the cost.

(C) 2012 Edward G. Nilges. Moral rights are asserted my sons will need the money if my output ever gets popular, dammit. You know, like Emily Dickinson or something. When I think of the trivial crap that passes for self-confession nowadays, unleavened by any Kultur…I know damn well that this crap I write is Campari, or the Green Fairy. Not for everyone. But today, in a world that’s “hot, flat, and crowded” that is the kiss of death.

The fact is little kids are admonished by the mothers on the MTR to give the seat to the nice old Lao-Shih teacher. If I give my seat up it’s to some guy who looks like one of the Three Immortals, the Huang or Yellow Emperor who lives under a mountain when he’s not shopping in Hong Kong, may he have “ten thousand years” by which I mean immortality.

The false admonishment to not be sentimental or maudlin is a product of entertainment culture which trivializes everything. Hey, this is my party and I’ll cry if I want.

Grosse Fuge (Listen!)

Discharged today. Oh let this High Culture be without apology a monument to the human suffering I saw here and to the professionalism of the doctors, nurses, staff and blood take-butt ache dudes at Queen Mary Hospital, right down to the pissed off blood pressure taker at dawn:

Pissed off guy: BLOOD TAKE!

Me: Butt ache?


Me: Yes, my butt aches.


The Grosse Fuge to which my Father said “turn that crap down”. He thought it was modern. It wasn’t. It was written by a man wracked with pain and deafness in 1825, as the Holy Alliance destroyed the political hopes of a generation and tried to turn back the clock to the ancient regime.

Finale: Free Dance (Listen!)

How to prevent the fiend, and kill vermin was the Good Son’s mission in the old play.

I wash hands like George Clooney in ER following the chart and even using my elbow to turn the faucet on and off. I note that each bed has an alcohol spritzer so I use it.

Queen Mary is more verminous than a prestige hospital in America but no more verminous than County.

Crapping is an adventure in Hong Kong despite the advanced level of this place. One is well advised to carry alcohol pads or toilet paper and to check for TP before doing the actual deed.

Erica Jong, in Fear of Flying, was horrified by the little platforms in Germany where one can conduct a solemn inspection of one’s bowel movement; but in old age, it is a point of wisdom to do this. I am not going to share the condition of my movements online. There are, after all, limits. But everything is apparently pukka.

The water pressure in China is less which often results in floaters, a sort of Et In Arcadia Ego (I too am in Arcadia, as Poussin knew), and it’s frustrating to have to leave one’s own.

Queueing for the loo is a reality even at times for men. Women in America are familiar with the rather sad lines of their Fair Sex, dressed smashingly, at the opera, waiting to use the can. In Hong Kong it is a reality even in the posh IFC male loo, and for the women especially on Sunday, when the Filipina and Indonesian helpers lengthen the queue, chattering like birds of paradise.

In mainland China, a fairly idiotic socialist decision (akin to a decision, documented in Jung Chang’s Wild Swans, to not provide central heating south of the Huang) was to create equal numbers of men’s and women’s cans. But there are probably more women’s cans in the IFC of Hong Kong. Nonetheless, queueing occurs.

But I digress.


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