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“I’m gonna sing the Doom Song now.”

May 28, 2012

This is The Doom Song. as sung by Gir, on the old “Invader Zim” series which we so enjoyed. This song is the only possible reactive first response to my overarching sense of impending doom. The alternative is to sit still, in a catatonia born of the hopelessness of escape. What can be the cause of this?

There’s politics, since I worry consistently and immensely about the future of the country as a place where diversity is protected. There are personal financial issues, such as whether we can get the house out of foreclosure. But mainly there are health issues. Being in constant pain makes a person cranky and irritable. A common trope in 18th and 19th Century literature was the man with the gouty toe.

This stock character was known to burst into an orgy of stout and fervent expletives if his gouty foot was disturbed by, say, a spaniel knocking over his footstool.  Constant pain – in this case, from gout (which is making a comeback) was known to make a sufferer cantankerous, even dour and ill-natured.  I try very hard to fight against that tendency, but all too often find an expression of displeasure on my face, especially when I am alone. I worry about growing old with an “Ernie face,” as we used to call it when he was still socializing with us. My father’s expression in moments of solemnity or gret import was always flat, inexpressive, except for a pronounced downwards-pull on the ends of his mouth. You can see it in photos going back to our childhood at holidays. At first it was a joke, but eventually it became the way he looked all the time. I’m working to avoid that morose end.

The sense of “doom” doesn’t come purely from the pain, or from larger public or private contingencies. It arises from my high blood pressure. It is especially pronounced when my diastolic is at 100 or above. It’s a vicious cycle: the pain raises my blood pressure, which causes stress, which makes the pain climb even more. Sooner or later, I fear, the entire rickety system will crash.

That would be a terrible, bitter shame, now that I actually have a passion to create something. It’s been fifteen years since I cared about a personal goal that I wished to achieve, and worked towards with all my might. That was getting my dissertation written, my Ph.D. granted, and the winning of an Associate Professorship. The work that I did with the Charter School was diligent, constant, and wholehearted, but I always knew that I was but a fungible cog in the mechanism that would hopefully continue long past my lifetime. Th school was an outcome in which I was personally invested, but which I never saw as my own personal destiny.

Creating the Central Pain Syndrome Foundation is possibly the most important thing I will ever do. I have a group of people – Doug, Becky, Lisa, Gail, Mary, Karen and Scott and Trish – all of whom are focused on the same outcome,. They believe in this just as much as I do.

We have come fairly far in the past few months, though never far enough. Considering that none of us even knew how to go about creating a non-profit. we are doing we;;. We have a Vision Statement, a Mission Statement, a Federal EIN, a bank account. Trish, Alia and I are working on creating a brief business plan so that we can sen it out to inquiries and potential seed money donors. I am working through the Free Non-Profit Micro eMBA and finding out just how much there is to learn.

So it’s time to sing the Doom Song. When you sing it, doom isn’t eradicated. But it does become a smaller, almost manageable item, like a marble in your pocket. I’ll just have to avoid political web sites, and especially their comment boards, for the summer. And don’t knock the footstool over, or you’ll hear me cursing, loudly


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