My Melancholy At ERSaturday, December 17, 2011
Saturday was a day that promised much. We were having our daughter Hilary and her two daughters Rebecca and Lauren for dinner. We had also invited our friend Paul Leisz and his girl, Amy. The plan was to watch Buster Keaton’s The General after dinner. For dinner I prepared my special chicken paprika and Rosemary and jointly worked on two pies (one apple laced with Calvados, the other a coconut meringue) from scratch. Rosemary insisted not only on a salad, shredded carrot with green onions and celery but snap peas.
Somehow we burned the chicken, the snap peas were far too uncooked and cold, the rice was not sufficient and the pies were a disaster. Even though we had followed my mother’s The Joy of Cooking recipe to the letter the pie crust needed (but we did not resort to it) a sabre saw for slicing while the coconut cream was as runny as can be.
But it was not all lost. I went to the living room to look through my desk drawer to find my Buster Keaton. I had forgotten that I had moved my computer chair to the living room as we did not have enough chairs. I sat down. There was no chair there.
If fell hard, and the back of my head hit the very hard corner of our Chickering baby grand piano. I did not faint by the pain was electric and intense. I screamed. I have screamed wolf so many times in my life that my wife ignored it but both Hilary and my friend Paul came to the rescue. Paul has taken various first aid courses so he was in control. He instructed Rosemary to bring towels to absorb the blood that was copiously pouring out of the back of my head. He made me carefully sit up and sit down. Rebecca kept saying she was going to call 911. I did my best to disuade her and she did not call. The blood stopped. We dropped off the girls and our daughter (Rosemary was driving) on our way to emergency. An efficient and very tall young doctor (apparently a master of the John Havlicek hook shot) was just as good at sewing me up, three stitches, and he sent me home.
Because a couple of years ago I frequented the emergency ward to look on my friend Abraham Rogatnick and this year I took my daughter Hilary a couple of times for undisclosed problems in the Flanders regions of her body I have come to recognize some of the faces of the people who work in emergency. One is a doctor with white hair and moustache who is the very look of a walking Rock of Gibraltar, all stability and coolness. I have seen those faces many times, it seems.
I wrote here about my idea of the distillation of the portrait. I would love to do the same with these people. In the past I would have gone to Malcolm Parry at Vancouver Magazine with the idea. Or I might have called up Charles Campbell then editor of the Georgia Straight. Or I might have e-mailed Patricia Graham, until recently the Editor-in-Chief at the Vancouver Sun. Those people are gone as is the possibility that my idea would ever see the light of day.
My head is just fine but the depression I feel has nothing to do with my fall but with my perception of a decline of the media in our city and my inability now to be able to report on what I think is an interesting visual story.