The following are excerpts from a letter written to my friend Eli about 9 hours before the 2008 NFL conference championships began:

I seem to be coming out of my December flare, although the right leg is showing more signs of quit than wakey wakey these days. Wishing Rebif was more of a cure than a control, you know?

PeeWee is busy chasing Marcel up and down the hallway at breakneck speed; I’m listening to an album that I recorded a year ago and just got a copy in the mail (Annie Brooks), and I’m vacillating between staying up until this place is spotless and doggie proof (Carol is coming over to watch football tomorrow, with springers in tow) and dealing with the lack of sleep and the lack of motor control that comes with it, OR waiting until morning when I’ll have less time and physical ability to do it, but a somewhat clearer head. Ridiculous.

This recording is one of the most hauntingly beautiful projects I’ve ever been a part of. It’s the last record I did playing my old string bass before I sold it (couldn’t stand and play anymore, much less haul it around). I do miss that bass. But it didn’t go far – a student bought it, with the stipulation that if I ever needed it for a gig/session I was welcome to borrow it anytime. Cool.

Something else cool about this album: One of my old students is on it! Not as a bassist, but as a mandolinist, and singing a duet with Annie. My ex-student’s name is Eva Holbrook, and as of this writing she’s 17, I think. This kid has more talent in her fingernail clippings than I have in my entire family tree. Not to mention that she has one of those ‘looks’ about her that just screams “beautiful soul”. Actually, so does Annie. You’d best watch out for both of them!

Been on Rebif for a little over 2 months now. No discernable change, other than that I’ve noticed my injection sites becoming a little more sore. I keep hoping it will be like waking up from a bad dream: In a few months, I’ll arise with the sun, put my feet on the floor and walk out of the room without so much as a thought concerning the location of my stick/crutch/rollator, and sit down at the computer for a few hours without having my feet turn grey from lack of circulation. Then I’ll have the Bentley brought around and go brewpub hopping with the ultimate in designated drivers. Hey – it COULD happen…

THERE’S something I’ve never understood – how can you have poor circulation in your feet?!? If the blood doesn’t want to pump through your veins, you’d think gravity would take over and draw the blood downward, wouldn’t you? Or is that what’s already happening, and the issue is not having enough oxygen-rich blood feeding the cells in my feet? Maybe that’s it… I’m just going to have to start breathing more. I keep forgetting…

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