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miércoles, 22 de julio de 2009

Crónicas de un cerebro enfermo XX.

July 21, 2009

My dear friends: I hope you are enjoying your summer because it will soon be over! My main goal this summer was “going back to normal,” “recovering my old self.” I was so excited that I had way too many things in mind to do. I learned in the process that even though I am feeling better, I have only moved from doing one thing at a time to perhaps being able to accomplish two goals I never thought of.

For instance, I had the plan of revising four articles for publication (one about Céspedes y Meneses, another about Lope de Vega, another about Calderón and another about Christopher Marlowe), but I was only able to finish one of them and submit it to a magazine for publication (the one about Céspedes y Meneses: “La maniobra del orden artificial en El buen celo premiado”). The other three articles are still in a file cabinet, waiting to be “revised” next summer. The article I managed to “revise” was originally written in English and was way too long (50 pages) to be ready for publication. It was one of two chapters I decided to remove from the manuscript of Rewriting the Italian Novella in Counter-Reformation Spain so that I could turn it into a 200 pages publishable book rather than the original 300 pages. Well, it happened that I reread my original manuscript, two different editions of the text, articles, etc., and ended up quarreling with my own original ideas, and writing something totally different in another language: Spanish.

Now, as my friend Merce Rivas said after I read her resent books (RODIN: EL CUERPO DESNUDO and Entre dos siglos: España 1900), my brain surgery has left me with a new virgin mind. I don’t know about that. I wonder if a secondary virginity of the mind could either dry or flourish my perception and self-awareness. I thought that only Madonna cold be “like a virgin”. I used to laugh when I heard someone say that he “knew” Doris Day before she was a virgin. I can say now for sure, that such a miracle is possible only if your brain is deeply screwed. I know it might be paradoxical, but it is true. I am afraid that inside those dark and humid file cabinets, Lope, Calderón and Marlowe are waiting to be smashed by my new “virginal” brain next summer.

The only thing I am sure of is that the old Carmen is not coming back because there is nothing “normal” about being the same. However, reaching a point of no return is neither comfortable nor spectacular. Although anybody knows that it is impossible to swim twice in the same river, it is comfortable to have such illusion. I wish sometimes that the river was still for a while so that I could stay longer right there, without having to surf over big waves at the wide open sea. Yet, well I know that surfing over big waves is the way to go if you don’t want to become obsolete or drawn all together.

In April, when I was so happy because I did not have to continue on chemotherapy or take anti-seizure medications, I felt that a stone was lifted from my shoulders. However, they also told me that due to the 30 pounds I gained while taking chemotherapy, I developed type 2 diabetes. I have spent half of my time during this summer working out at Gold's Gym and following a strict diet (supervised by a nutritionist). My doctors reassured me that once I loose all the weigh I gained through the treatment, the blood sugar will go back to “normal.”

These days, however, I don’t know anymore what “normal” is, since the nutritionist says that I was emaciated at my lowest weight when I was a teenager, underweight after delivering my first baby, and according to her, I need to loose not 30 but 50 pounds to reach my “ideal” weight. So, now that I lost the 30 pounds I gained through chemotherapy, and I was feeling back to “my old self”, it seems that in order to really fight against the wave of high blood sugar, I have to be in a body I have never been before. I guess when I finish this new regime I will be Carmen in a totally new incarnation, just as my articles will be totally different to their “original” versions. I guess I was wrong, after all. I can neither go back to normal, nor to my old self. I am about to jump into the unknown!

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