The Man with Night Sweats
By Thom Gunn
I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat
Wake to their residue,
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.
My flesh was its own shield:
Where it was gashed, it healed.
I grew as I explored
The body I could trust
Even while I adored
The risk that made robust,
A world of wonders in
Each challenge to the skin.
I cannot but be sorry
The given shield was cracked,
My mind reduced to hurry,
My flesh reduced and wrecked.
I have to change the bed,
But catch myself instead
Stopped upright where I am
Hugging my body to me
As if to shield it from
The pains that will go through me,
As if hands were enough
To hold an avalanche off.
Rent put me in the mood for that poem, though it's much less hopeful and I can never decide whether I find the ending of the musical absurd or uplifting or both (There's only us, there's only this/Forget regret, or life is yours to miss/No other road, no other way, no day but today). I am so upset about Dana Reeve...I knew she was ill but I didn't realize the disease had progressed so quickly. Four years older than me and not a smoker.
I have lung pathogens on the brain because my son's school was on the local news tonight, a story on the portable that was his classroom before it was deemed unsafe; he was one of the lucky kids who did not have a strong allergic reaction to the mold growing in the walls, but there were several kids in the class who missed at least one day of school a week and the teacher was very sick, too. Now they are in the building but the county is refusing to consider pushing up the school modernization plan, saying they'll get new portables for next year. The entire fourth and fifth grades are already in portables. The school's staying down the list because the way the county allocates funds, the impoverished and minority enrollment isn't high enough to make it a priority. I am so glad that next year will be his last there no matter what.
In much better news, my husband had his annual review today and is getting both a raise and a promotion, for which they expect him to carry a Blackberry so that they can harrass him at baseball games and stuff. He decided that I might be jealous and feel deprived, so since we have wanted to get our older son a cell phone for two years now so he can call when there are school transportation problems, he decided we could give my current phone to our son and bought me an MDA. Whoo! Now I can send e-mail on the road! I love having a phone, PDA, camera and MP3 player all in one device considering I often go out with all those things and my purse weighs a lot! He also took us out to Tara Thai to celebrate. The kids had just gotten out of Hebrew school and their eyes were bigger than their stomachs so I suspect we are having Thai leftovers tomorrow night.
In honor of Star Trek Fan Collective: Borg coming out on DVD today, here is my Alice Krige interview. What an awesome woman. I am hoping that when the Q set comes out, they'll let us interview John De Lancie, and when the Data set comes out, they'll let us interview Brent Spiner...I've done Q&As with both of them at conventions but never one-on-one interviews. The other news was this insane plan by G4 to attract Trek viewers by having interactive stuff cluttering the screen...will be interesting to see if the fickle boys go for that!
Boston Legal always counts as a Trek fix with the double whammy of William Shatner and Rene Auberjonois, both of whom had major storylines this week. The episode starts with Denny in bed at Alan's place, sulking, refusing to get out of bed, which Alan might only find mildly troubling but Denny is watching The View which clearly hints at major emotional disturbance. Alan gropes the remote away, over Denny's objections that he's being harrassed, and changes the channel, showing Denny the news of a man who wired his house to electrocute potential burglars who is now facing charges for paralyzing one. Standing, Denny announces, "I want that case!" Alan looks at his crotch and announces, "I see your bliss is back." And Denny looks down, proud. MWAHAHAHA, they are still sleeping together! Whoo!
So while Denny plays one-upsmanship with the press and the DA who is trying to make a local hero out of the paralyzed burglar, Shirley goes to Alan for help. A famous photographer has died...someone she met as a sophomore at Wellesley and "I did some modeling for him." Alan interrupts, "Please tell me this is going where I think it's going." When Shirley admits that he took tasteful nude photos of her, Alan says he's disappointed in her. "Tasteful." She starts to say that he took 15 to 20 -- "that's not so many," interrupts Alan -- rolls of film, Shirley finishes. She likes her privacy and might want to be a federal judge someday and would like these photos kept from being made public. Alan promises his best effort but insists that he will have to examine the evidence thoroughly at some point. Hot damn, I would too.
Shirley pleads at first that she was not old enough to know what she was signing when she gave the photographer the rights to the photos, but the photographer's widow, Marguerite, says if Shirley was old enough to screw her husband, she was old enough to know what she was doing. She plans to auction the photos of Shirley to the highest public bidder. Alan gets ahold of the evidence, studies it in detail, takes a brief break to flirt with Denny when they are both in the hallway (one more "not gay" joke, one more Alan making accusations about Denny's subconscious wishes). Then Alan argues that Shirley was underage when she posed and he will certainly win in court, but Marguerite's lawyer points out to Shirley that a public court battle would make the photos public or they could somehow find their way onto the web.
In private, Shirley apologizes to Marguerite for having screwed her husband, says she has grandchildren, "the thought of them seeing those photographs," to which Marguerite says SHE'S sorry but she's auctioning the photos anyway. Alan notes to Shirley that when she asks him for help, it isn't usually legal help that she needs, and she agrees but asks him not to hurt Marguerite anymore. Alan sort of listens: he makes it clear that he knows Marguerite is broke and asks how much she wants for the photos. In the end Alan buys the photos, jokes that he might hang one in his powder room, then promises to leave them to Shirley in his will since he's sure he'll die first. She says that if he shows them to anyone she will see that he does, but adds that she trusts him. Awww.
Meanwhile, Paul tells Brad about his daughter the drug addict and how he suspects she's using again because she asked to borrow $40, saying she lost her ATM card. "If this year has taught me anything, it's that you will get the job done by any means necessary. I would never ask this of you unless it was essential," Paul insists, asking Brad to find out what Rachel is up to. Brad meets Rachel in the bookstore where she works, gets advice on books on dependency and goes with her to an AA meeting, where he finds her clever and charming. He insists to Paul that Rachel has indeed been clean for five years and suggests that Paul give her a little faith, but then he mentions that he loaned her $40 because she lost her ATM card. Paul drops in on Rachel claiming he had lunch meeting nearby, finds her place a mess, asks to borrow her bathroom and looks for drugs...which he finds. "You have ruined everything and everyone you ever came in contact with...you will not do this to my granddaughter," he shouts at her while she swings at him, calling him a bastard and saying she hates him.
Meanwhile, Denny has recruited Denise with the line, "You, blondie! You're on my team." At first the guy they're representing seems sympathetic, talking about the crack addicts breaking in and stealing his things, saying he's not into guns to scare them off so he wired the place to give a robber a little shock. But when he starts describing how he relished the electrocution and the smell of flesh burning, Denise looks like she's going to hurl and even Denny looks a little nervous! They hire a PR firm which comes up with the idea of marketing their client on the news as "The American Homeowner" to counteract the DA's campaign hyping the paralyzed victim. It works so well that everyone on the jury saw the defendant on the news and are all converted to the idea of themselves as American homeowners defending their homes against crime! The prosecutor says that the jury pool has been tainted and demands a change of venue, but the judge scoffs that they have both manipulated media coverage of the trial, "only Mr Crane has done a better job of it. You will play in the sandbox that you built." Soon after Denny gets a phone call with a plea bargain that includes no jail time and the DA is on the news hyping a new case.
Now, it is interesting how Paul's daughter's drug use and the druggies stealing from Denny's client are never linked at all in the episode, and yet it's impossible not to think about how the two connect...the idea of a safe family. Paul comes across as a heartless bastard and at the same time a concerned parent, which is really difficult to pull off; Rachel IS contributing to a society that can hurt her daughter no matter what she believes. This is a really harsh, depressing storyline and Auberjonois is amazing. I am just wondering how they are going to find a happy resolution, since ultimately this show tends to be about happy resolutions except about the big nightmarish political issues which Alan tries so hard to do something about.
During the cigar scene, Denny declares that the New Denny might be even better than the Old Denny, and Alan says opposing lawyers will quake in their custom-fitted shoes. But "So who cares if she...who cares," mutters Denny, making Alan realize that all this bluster is just that. Denny says that he was married to one wife for five years and got over her in a day, whereas he was married to Bev for three hours, yet..."do you know I have memories of her that aren't even sexual?" he asks somewhat incredulously. "I miss her." Then, for distraction, he asks if it's true that Alan has naked photos of Shirley. "What's the big deal? I've had naked photos of Shirley for years," Denny declares, pulling a handful of Polaroids from his pocket. In horrified fascination, Alan notes that Shirley is asleep in all the photos, and Denny says, "Here's one where she woke up. Have you ever seen a beautiful naked woman look that angry?" And on that note, the camera pulls back and back, leaving the lovebirds bonding over a photo of the woman they so need to have a three-way with before Denise or Paul or someone else snatches her snatch...er, snatches her up.
It always amazes me how much pleasure I get from reiterating the whole damn episode. *G*
...and this is a red-shouldered hawk. They were both very calm despite the crowds outside the fenced-in enclosure and showed off their talons and beaks quite admirably.
Am way behind on comments from having gone out to dinner and then wandering into stores near the restaurant looking for birthday presents for my mother and uncle, so shall try to catch up tomorrow!