Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fucking Karma

Late last night, in the space of time it took to walk across the hallway from my bathroom to my bedroom, something happened. There was no discernable event--no popping, no audible snap, no sudden twists and turns or tensions. I wasn't even moving very fast. Just the same, I found a new sensation as I entered one door that hadn't existed when I'd left the previous one.

It started mildly enough. "That's odd," I said, "my neck suddenly feels tight." And it was: it was tough to sleep, to get comfortable. Every toss and turn felt like a railroad spike being driven into my vertebrae. As of this afternoon, I'm getting on a first-name basis with this demon* squatting on the side of my cervix and stretching its kraken-like tentacles from my back left molars to the center of my back.

Karma, you say? Is justice coming out in the cosmic wash, like some metaphysical first law of thermodynamics reminding me of the moral impossibility of a good deed going unpunished? Consider--

cosmic fairness (I deserved this):

  • this bothers me most at work, especially when I sit and type (i.e., goof off)
  • yesterday, I took a personal day to party with my in-laws
  • and installed plumbing for them, which I got right the first try (clearly tempting fate)
  • drank too much
  • stayed up late playing music (with my own father, see below)
  • planned on skipping my morning workout anyway

cosmic unfairness (but, but...):
  • it was really nice of me to buy and install some porcelain for them
  • requesting that everyone in their family take a day off of work wasn't so cool, and I did it anyway, on short notice
  • I taught my step-nephew-in-law a thing or two about home repair (including questions not to ask clients regarding tolerances for level and so forth)
  • in an unlikely temptation of the odds, my father dropped by on a surprise visit (suitcase and guitar in hand) on the one day of the year no one happened to be home. Found the poor bastard asleep in his car in my driveway. (This is part of the reason I stayed up late.)

Well, metaphysical balances are pretty hard to figure out, especially when they're so easily barnumed up. I think I'm personally paying the wages of sin for my workplace laziness. As for Dad and the in-laws, they're outside the control volume, but I think my father must have fucked something up recently, and my in-laws are about due.

But yes, this is an apology for sucking today and quite likely for the rest of the week.

*Owwhatthefuck, if you were wondering

9 comments:

Dawn Coyote said...

Muscle spasm, sounds like. Mine start out innocently enough, but over the course of four days, will engage one whole side of my back, like a very big toothache, or a plank implanted under my skin. What usually sets them off is unaccustomed stress - unique posture, muscle exertion, etc - at a location where I have some soft-tissue scarring (neck, usually). The spasm starts in a small area and radiates out from there. Nothing much to do about it. Ice helps. Heat makes it worse (for me).

Probably karma of the most conventional sort (cause & effect)

LentenStuffe said...

A nice piece.

I particularly liked the phrasing of the second question in the third paragraph ... though mixing Hindiusm and Metaphysics/Physics like that will result in cosmic retribution every time. You're fortunate you didn't haul in Civics or something too: then you'd be rightly bollicked!

Archaeopteryx said...

My right hand to God--In 1978, I had a co-worker who was dating an underage girl named "Karma." We were both working at a retail store--he was the Saturday manager and I was the Sunday manager. I had to go by his shitty apartment on Sunday morning to pick up the keys. One Sunday morning I had to bang on his door an exceptionally long time before his bearded countenance (he looked like Drew from toothpaste for dinner)appeared and his hairy arm thrust the keys out through the slightly opened door. "What the hell were you doing in there?" I grumbled. "Fucking Karma," was his answer.

And that's what I thought of when I read your title.

Keifus said...

I'm in less a position to poke at eastern religions than I am at Christianity (like their western counterparts, the good parts versions seem harmless enough), however I was thinking on the drive
home yesterday that the idea that bad things happen to good people because they deserve it is a particularly horrible notion.

But speaking of religion, I meant the first law. How embarrassing.

Dawn, how long can I expect this to last. It's, uh, cramping my style something awful. If I allow for a day's worth of delay, there's any number of things that could've caused it.

Lenten, if I threw in civics, maybe I could sue someone over this? (As it turns out, that angle would fit in seamlessly--and not just for the metaphor police--but it crosses some lines I don't wanna.)

Arch, a handsome fellow that guy.

K

twiffer said...

if it makes you feel any better, i strained my back in college, um, playing frisbee on the quad. right under the left shoulder blade. never been the same since.

don't blame it on karma (besides, if it is, it's something you did in a previous life). just the price of bipedalism.

Keifus said...

Fucking bipedalism.

Dawn Coyote said...

Welllll...

Mine usually last four or five days, as long as it takes for the spasm to engulf the entire length of muscle, and then slowly let go. It could be a new strain injury, too. A spasm is distinguished by the feeling that a large section of one's back is turning into a gnarled old oak tree over the course of days.

And don't knock bepedalism. It's better than pedis envy.

rundeep said...

As someone who once totally screwed up her back picking up an empty briefcase, I hear and feel your pain. Best solution? Load up on Advil. Really. If it is a muscle spasm, you need something to help make it relax. For my back, the docs recommend something like 3 advil every four hours routinely. (Plus certain excercises, blah blah blah). Or take my substitute, one very large, very strong gin and tonic. Lying on the floor with the dog beside me and a gin in hand helps alot. With the pain too.

Keifus said...

(If Archie knows a girl named Bipedalism, I quit.)

Run, do I have to stop at one?

Actaully, the neck seems to have been improving this afternoon (I know you're all dying to know), but I seem to have discovered really unpleasant GI issues to compensate. Either a cosmic balance really is in effect, or else the local sushi was a bad idea.

K (not a good week)