martes, 21 de julio de 2009

Crónicas de un cerebro enfermo XVII and XVIII.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Since one of Sonia’s sisters is having surgery tomorrow in Boston, she left today to help her. We had lunch together and Jaime and I accompanied her to the airport. After going to the airport, I had an appointment with an Iranian chiropractic and acupuncturist. He was supposed to treat my neck and upper back pain. He pulled my legs, cracked my neck, and left me as a porky pig with my back full of needles. He explained to me that the reason why most of my weight gain and pain is in my upper body has to do with my chemotherapy treatment. I need to clean those toxins away from my system through acupuncture and herbs. I am going to follow his recommendation because I felt like an angel floating on air after having the treatment. My face even looked pink, with a radiant look.

Dr. Faridi seemed very Arab to me, even though Iranians always stress that they are Arian Muslims rather than Muslim Arabs. While he was taking all those needles away from my back, he told me that his wife had cancer but was not as conscientious as I am because she kept eating all the wrong food (chicken, duck, and turkey) without following his recommendation. I guess he read my record while I was with all those needles on. I noticed that his complain about his wife was strikingly similar to the story of that last year taxi driver whose different wives from Central America were sucking his money while refusing to cook for him and ended up inviting Rose Marie and I for dinner with another good friend of his who worked hard, good lucking and clean. Well, after complimenting me for my eating habits, he went on to say: If I had a second life, I swear I rather marry a Latina. I told him, that eating duck, chicken and turkey is not reason enough to prefer a Latina over an Iranian wife. He then argued that Latinas are way more passionate than Iranians. I immediately told him that I cannot defend or argue against his point of view because I am not interested in women of any source. He then said: “That’s the point, an Iranian woman would not answer like that.” I thought he was twisting my words and told him: “Look, my husband, who is waiting for me at the reception, can make you a whole comparison between his first wife, who was Palestinian, and all the Latinas he dated before me.” Either by mentioning my husband or grouping together an Iranian and a Palestinian wife, he politely switched the conversation back to my medical treatment. This Iranian doctor drives through curves that are far more complicated than that taxi driver from Jordan. That’s for sure, I thought. Any way, his medicine was good, and I came out of that office as good as new, only to find out that Jaime left me at the office alone because he fell prey to a spice market he saw several blocks away from the doctor’s office.

After Jaime brought a bag full of herbs and I told him all about my doctor's appointment, we decided to forget for the day about going back home to wait for Dr. Levin’s call regarding my lab results, and head to visit The Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel . The former is an impressive small museum in which we saw paintings of Max Ernst, Fernand Leger,Picasso, Matta, Magritte, Matisse, Warhole, and even some old masters, including some drawings by Rembrandt and prints by Goya. The Rothko Chapel was like no chapel I have ever seen before. It is an octagon with gray walls and plain black triptychs in every wall. The only window is up in the ceiling: a little octagon through which you could see the sky.
The best view of the chapel was not inside, but outside, since it is surrounded by trees, and The Broken Obelisk, a sculpture dedicated to Martin Luther King.

I guess, some way this chapel made me avoid a vertical view from inside the building to look for the horizontal view outside, in the real world, were a pyramid, placed on top of water, is sustaining a broken obelisk. This sculpture looks as strong and fragile as the contradictory world we live in: dark in the inside with a small vertical bright view that might push us to break outside our own limiting walls to open up our horizon. Tomorrow is another day. I might hear from Dr. Levin on Thursday.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rosemarie asks me to remind you that we never accepted that dinner invitation by the taxi driver from Jordan, as I explained in last year’s update. She does not know that being so prudish might call the attention of the same taxi driver whenever she comes to Houston again.

Last night I slept well but woke up in the middle of a nightmare. I blame the tex-mex food we ate after going to that octagonal chapel. In any case, it was a sinful pleasure. The name of the restaurant was “Ninfas.” The waitresses looked like coming out of one of Rubens’ paintings, and on the verge of becoming one of Botero’s models. I just asked for a seafood enchilada and did not eat the rice or asked for dessert, even though the Rubens-Botero ninfa waitress was tempting me with fried ice cream and flan.

Today we planned to have lunch at Humble City Café, go to the Museum of Fine Arts at Houston and after that, go to mass at a Lutheran Church. While eating my mahi-mahi fish with vegetables while Jaime had a Texan dish with beans, beef, home made root-bear, and all those things that we Protestants eat in Eastern while good Catholic don’t, Min called me to ask if I will be interested in going to Wortham Center to see a “Dance Salad” presenting dancers from the English National Ballet, L’Opera National de Paris, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, among others. I immediately decided that since I was dieting, I needed to eat that dance salad that night instead of going to the Lutheran mass. Jaime agreed to accompany me, since I am the one who got brain cancer and had to come to MD Anderson anyway. The spectacle was amazing. Jaime’s favorite pieces were “Rencontre” by two dancers from L’Opera National de Paris, an enchanting “Existence” with music by Arvo Part, and “A Million Kisses to My Skin” by the English National Ballet following the complete Bach Piano Concerto #1. I enjoyed those too, but I fell in love with Company Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Toneelhuis. They presented a long piece, “From Origine and Myth,” that was very theatrical. The Ensemble Micrologus, which specializes in Medieval music, played the music with songs employing medieval instruments, one of which was used for the first time ever that night. The organizer of the “Dance Salad Program” who Mim introduced to me in the Intermission, was excited about having the premiere of that medieval instrument.

While talking about that particular piece, I figured that I might had been the only one who noticed that all the songs were in mozarabic Spanish, love songs that expressed the longing for the lost land, Sepharat, and a lover. The songs were the same type Sephardic Jews still sing today. The dance was a modern interpretation of how pain, religious feelings, love, and longing might have been expressed by means of body, sound, and language in the late Middle Age (after 1492). Every movement was perfectly coordinated not only with the music, but with the sound of an incredible amount of bracelets that one of the female dancers was wearing, the sound of two tall sticks used by a male dancer to draw all kinds of figures while dancing (a cross, a triangle, parallel lines, etc.), the cracking noise of the head against the floor of a male dancer who accompanied the very sephardic looking ballerina (the one wearing bracelets), and another female dancer whose hair reached her feet, entangled within her toes, while creating extremely difficult movements without producing almost any sound at all. Each dancer produced slow movements that suggested images that I have seen in iconographic representations (Jesus, or any Christian martyr, Mari Magdalene, a penitent whore, the muted woman with lips and sex shut, a Jewish princess who enslaves a lover who follows her around, Melibea with her long hair...). Many narratives were possible, opened for interpretation, but the dance embedded the public within a complex atmosphere created by sound, image, narration and movement.

I cannot talk to you about every dance I saw, they were all amazing. Min and Brian invited us to join them after the show. They were playing in a cocktail for the dancers and all the contributors, but I was so tired that I felt as if I had been dancing as well all night long. So, we head back home to fall asleep while counting dancers.

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