Glory Glory Hallelujah!

GLO-RY GLO-RY HALLELUJAH!

Glo-ry Glo-ry Hallelujah, His truth is marching on.

I turned 61 this year, 2016, and I’m throwing myself a party and providing the band. The band is playing Glory, Glory Hallelujah. There’s a trumpet, a tuba, a piccolo, a bass, a drum, and a chorus. It’s one of the only songs it knows how to play. For variety they might hazard a verse or two of Yankee Doodle Dandy, Glory H robustly picking back up without missing a beat. They’ve added cymbals.

I call the band “My Brain.”

It plays songs in loops, having started on Thursday, April 9, when I posted on Facebook, “Why is La Marseilles coming through my window?” Odd enough, but it played continuously and repeatedly, enough for me to check outside for who is so in love with the French national anthem they play it all the livelong day. I went outside, but the music wasn’t any louder and I couldn’t pinpoint a direction it was coming from.

The band played on.

It was a curiosity, but not loud enough to disrupt my attention, though I could make out every note over the whir of the refrigerator. If I watched a movie I would forget about it. But later on in my bedroom, there it was again, His glorious truth marching on like an army of ants. I remembered that I’d fallen twice recently, tripping down some outdoor stairs and again on the street, landing both times on my head (I don’t fall often but when I do I fall on concrete). Most alarming though was that while on the phone with my pharmacy, I without notice lost control of my speech and couldn’t form a sentence. I thought, balance problems and garbled speech, Jesus Christ, am I having a stroke?

I had already been to my doctor about the falls and loss of balance and random myoclonic tics and the alarming tongue-tied phone call. He surmised a mild concussion. Well that makes sense, but when the auto-play patriot channel kicked in, I went back to him and requested a referral for a neurologist. Could be nothing, but my dad had Parkinson’s disease.

The referral was denied by the Oregon Health Plan; the 24/7 livestream soon ceased. But what was left was the realization that until I hit my 60s, my vision of my future never allowed for catastrophic events like illness, natural disaster, and the utterly unforeseen. I have myself traveling the world to the bittersweet end, which I will meet with wry acceptance. The panoply of things that could go wrong has expanded exponentially with every birthday. Sixty’s still young to be contemplating how much time is “left,” but I have to wonder how long long-range plans can be.

Luckily, I’ve got a solid base, finally.

Since my best friend Donna succumbed to breast cancer in 2012 life has been a series of losses. After her death and a year-long depressive episode, I lost my San Francisco apartment, along with San Francisco itself, and later, back in Portland, my job, my apartment and Portland as well. Around that time, my mom had moved into long-term care, and friends helped fund my trip back to my hometown of Philly. No matter how dark the world can be, friends keep the home fires burning.

I’ve always operated at my own pace, though the current generation seems to have hitched a ride on the speed of light. And as I approach early retirement in the next year, I don’t bother to reflect on what I did or didn’t achieve in my working years or my childbearing years. I blossom in the fullness of time. I’m traveling at about 10 mph on the information superhighway. The internet is an invaluable resource and the biggest succubus of life force ever. When worlds collide!

I’m glad I grew up

when there was only one reality. What I’m looking for you can’t find on the internet. It is to know that when the blue screen fades into sleep mode, I am at peace with myself in the silence.

Glory Hallelujah indeed.

♦ ♥ ♣ ♠

Desperate Measures
“Desperate measures,” says a mom in the long line at SFO, Christmas 2010

“The Internet is a great place to get on the net.” – Bob Dole

2 thoughts on “Glory Glory Hallelujah!”

  1. Alexandra, you are a marvel! You have more chapters than a 20th century Russian novel. I do hope this turns out to be simply one more anecdote in another thirty years of Ax Files. I will say, if it was me.. I’d be trying to fine tune it somehow to maybe pick up Steely Dan or The Allman Brothers. All I can pick up is Tinnitus, which my father, who also had it, compared (correctly, I feel) to a Cicada with only one note.

    I hope the Philadelphia Drs. are more curious than their brethren in Portland, about what ails you. Peace,.. Jim

    1. Don’t you mean 19th century? Musical hallucinations are not that uncommon. I read about them in Oliver Sacks’ Musicology before leaving it behind in Portland. It’s sometimes a feature of bipolar disorder. I know a couple of people with tinnitus. Sounds dreadful. I hear though (because I don’t have tinnitus) that it’s a symptom of some underlying problem, not a condition in itself. I suggest you look under the bed to see if you have any problems lying under there.

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