Monday, March 31, 2008

The Elephant Walk

There was a great movie starring Elizabeth Taylor called Elephant Walk. It's been ages since I've seen it, but I always like a movie reference.

My surgery is schedule for tomorrow at noon. Sounds, rather like a duel in the Old West, doesn't it? Well, here's to my opponent forgetting to load his pistols.

Since visiting my marvelous and confidence-inspiring surgeon on Thursday, I have endeavored to get my brain in the proper frame. Liz went with me to see Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and we had a wonderful time. By the way, Liz has promised to record anything brilliant I say whilst under the influence of opiates. Coleridge wrote Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner blitzed to the stars, don't you know? And as my old friend 'D' likes to remind me, Edgar Allen Poe and Billie Holiday share the unique, ignoble fate of having been found stoned in the gutters of Maryland. Although, it is a true and curious fact - no worries, I shan't share their fate.

And so my friends, it is a brief adieu. If you should think of me, wish me swiftly home - safe from the drudgery and boredom that is a hospital. No matter the quality of the pharmaceuticals, nothing can over come the horror of the decor. At the least, wish me well-entertained.

I leave you with Billy Collins brilliant poem, "The Many Faces of Jazz."

There’s the one where you scrunch
your features into a look of pained concentration,
every riff a new source of agony,

and there’s the look of existential bemusement
eyebrows lifted, chin upheld by a thumb,
maybe a swizzle stick oscillating in the free hand.

And, of course, for ballads,
you have the languorous droop,
her eyes half-closed, lips slightly parted,
the head lolling back, flower on a stem,
exposing plenty of turtleneck.

There’s the everything-but-the-instrument look
on the follow at the front table,
the one poised to mount the bandstand,
and the classic crazy-man-crazy face,
where the fixed grin joins the menacing stare,
especially suitable for long drum solos.

And let us not overlook the empathetic
grimace of the listener
who has somehow located the body
of cold rage dammed up behind the playing
and immersed himself deeply in it.

As far as my own jazz face goes -
and don’t tell me you don’t have one -
it hasn’t changed that much
since its debut in 1957.
It’s nothing special, easy enough to spot
in a corner of any club on any given night.
You know it, - the reptilian squint,
lips pursed, jaw clenched tight,
and, most essential, the whole
head furiously, yet almost imperceptibly
nodding
in total and absolute agreement.

5 comments:

the mother of this lot said...

Good luck, my brave friend - I've got people all over the internet praying for successful surgery and a speedy recovery!

So don't worry about the lone gunman - I've stashed his ammo where he'll never find it!

Maggie May said...

Also thinking of you & praying for you!
Speedy recovery & looking forward to you getting back.

Liz said...

Update: Mrs. Fox came through surgery and is doing well this morning.

Renae said...

So glad to hear she is doing well! Still praying for a full, cancer-free recovery!

Jennie said...

Keeping you in my thoughts Mrs Fox. Glad the surgery went okay and you are doing well. (Thank you Liz for the update!)