I think my body is trying to get prepared for Halloween. This would be fine if it was something I wanted, but I had no plans to look like a Halloween monster this year. In fact, I was considering skipping the holiday for the most part because I am busy with three jobs. My body, apparently, has other ideas.
Two years ago I fulfilled a Halloween fantasy as I switched from being someone scared on Halloween to being the one doing the scaring, at a haunted house no less. This transformation from the scared to the scarer was such a delight I decided to document it, complete with photos I shot, for a Blogcritics piece.
While I knew that, intellectually, I enjoyed becoming – for a few nights – a scary, evil scientist, I did not know how much my body enjoyed it as well.
And then the changes began. It began, as all good transformations into scary monsters must, with the bloody eye.
I was teaching one day when students said, “Mr. Scott, why is your eye all bloody?” I thought about the past 48 hours to ensure I had not poked myself in the eye with a stick, been in a bar brawl, and gotten smashed or anything else that might cause one eye to be filled with blood. I could not recall anything improper taking place, but that did not change the fact that half my right eye was filled with blood.
My doctor said a capillary in my eye had burst, which he described as a common odd occurrence, nothing to be alarmed about. How was I to know this was the start of a fight between my body and brain, akin to that in Evil Dead 2?
Over the next few days, as the blood drained from my eye, only a few people spoke of the matter directly, but I noticed some showing me a little more respect while others stepped away from me like I might be a contagious zombie.
That was about a month ago. Two weeks ago the next step took place. Again it was noticed by the students — always observant and aware of any change in a teacher that could be the focus of their attention instead of, say, the lesson.
“Mr. Scott, why is your ear lobe all puffed up?” A pharmacist suggested it was the result of a wrestling match, but I don't wrestle. Another suggestion posited was that it was an ear piercing gone awry. The most common theory was that it was a bug bite, but I don't remember being bit nor was there any evidence suggesting that was the case.
This time my doctor suggested it might be a cyst and made a comment about Halloween. That's when I realized what was happening. My body was turning tricks, but not in a good way.
Last weekend I reinjured my back. Doctors have attributed my back problems to a variety of sources — from a car accident more than 10 years ago when I first re-arranged my spine, to a herniated or slipped disk. Regardless of who is right one fact remains; the problems and pain come and go with no clear link between cause and effect.
The obvious culprit is myself. I lifted objects I should not have hefted and my body paid the price. Yet between the pain, a stooped posture ,and smiles replaced with grimaces, I felt something else. Part of my body was celebrating.
As I type this I wonder what will happen next. I have rewritten this sentence five times, stopping and hitting the delete key for fear that even mentioning one possible ailment will led to further self-destruction.
I write this on October 5. If between now and Halloween I should disappear, turn into a zombie, begin voting Republican or any other freak occurrence, please bear in mind it is just a temporary situation. My body will revert to normal in time for Thanksgiving.
Or at least that’s my hope.
While I lay on my back to reduce the pain, holding a bag of ice to the lump on my ear lobe, I heard a song playing. I concentrated on it and recognized the tune. As my words fade, the music grows louder.
He did the mash / He did the monster mash /The monster mash / It was a graveyard smash…