I, for one, happen to be very afraid of Virginia Woolf

I have a friend who, not in a joking way, refers to ambulances as ‘ambliances’, and she’s not joking with the mispronunciation. I can only suppose that is what she thinks the pronunciation is. She is otherwise a very intelligent and well-educated woman. Weird.

I only say this because an ambulance/ambliance just went up the street. I wonder why and wonder of its destination. When I hear or see an ambulance in the neighborhood I always think of my former wife who only lives a little over a block distant and is not in good health.

And the only time I have ever heard Max howl is when he hears sirens. An earlier dog, Simon, used to howl when my stepdaughter played her flute. Not that she was bad at it – she was quite accomplished – so the dog sang along with the notes.

This, by the way is my pathetic attempt to emulate Virginia Woolf – no, I’m not becoming lesbian and I don’t plan to weigh myself down with rocks in my pockets and jump in a river – by writing a sort of stream-of-consciousness piece. It’s a better thing I do than actually having to re-read To the Lighthouse, which is something I refuse to ever do again.

Anyway, it’s an interesting premise to try to recapture and then elaborate on the crap that is going though one’s mind at any moment. It’s all about ‘associations’ of thought. In this case it arose from an inspiration evoked by highly-respected blogger pal, Pearl, whose entry this day speaks of her miserable sinus infection that trumped her New Year’s weekend.

I have no further thoughts on New Years, but I do have some on sinuses. Actually, sinuses came to me earlier in the day, but Pearl confirmed my impulse of a few hours ago. It happened when I put on my orange shirt. It’s a favored garment. I’ve had it for years. I know one of my wives hated it, but am not sure which one. I think it wasn’t Wendy.

It’s kind of a heavy T-shirt thing (it’s a mild day today). And somehow I feel a deep connectedness to it and feel more at ease with the world when I’m wearing it. Orange has long been my ‘comfort’ color. I also really like Orange Crush when I was a kid. Actually I still do.

Anyway, the shirt makes me think of France. When we lived in Grenoble for three weeks in 2006 I was the laundry guy. Wendy was at school, so I had to trudge to the Laundromat when needed. The place was about 2 blocks away, up a sidestreet (siderue?) that took one into the Arab Quarter. I liked the Arab Quarter. The assorted Moroccans and Algerians there were much friendlier and more obliging than were a lot of the French. And I loved seeing the inhabitants of the street in their often authentic garb that put me in mind of Arabian Nights. “Cool, they actually wear that stuff and they aren’t even going to a costume party.” Not a camel in sight, however. I guess the song ‘Ahab the Ayrab’ wouldn’t be deemed very politically correct in these tense times.

Anyway, the orange shirt. Damn thing would never dry properly but remained damp even after two spins through the dryer. I’d have to spread it out on a towel on top of the bed when I got it back home.

Sinuses. I got a sinus infection that followed a cold I had in Grenoble (my direct Pearl connection). Sinus infections lay me low and I always get them post-cold. My head gets like concrete and I cannot breathe. I get panicky sometimes, thinking I’ll suffocate. And there is only one answer for the grief – medication.

I needed nasal spray badly. Ever try to ask for something like nasal spray in a pharmacy in which absolutely nobody speaks your lingo. Oh, and French pharmacies indulge the quaint practice of having absolutely everything behind the counter, so you have to ask for it. I went to three different pharmacies (readily identified by the little green neon cross) before I finally got some satisfaction (oh, and don’t expect normal OTC stuff like Dristan or Otrivin) when your sinuses are laying you low in France. At home I have some wonderful prescription stuff that works like a charm, but I forgot to bring it to France along with my orange shirt.

Finally, by the third shop, I managed to get through to the ladies (pharmacies seem to be always staffed by the distaff side) and they have me some stuff in a little brown bottle with a spray thing on it. It was called Humoxal, and it is a ‘solution nasale’. Long to short, the stuff worked like a hot damn. Within days my sinuses were clear.

A few weeks ago I had a minor sinus thing happening. Rummaging in the vanity drawer I found my old Humoxal and used it. It still worked brilliantly.

Now it’s all gone (le sigh). But, I am wearing my orange shirt and it’s still in good repair.

And if you did read, then thanks. I’m sure Virginia felt the same way when people read her stuff. But, maybe not. The River Ouse beckoned despite the votes of favor by certain literature profs.

7 responses to “I, for one, happen to be very afraid of Virginia Woolf

  1. Personally I’ve always loathed Virginia Woolf and James Joyce and their ilk. What is the point of writing in stream of consciousness? I’m confused enough with my own head, why would I want to peek into some crazy novelist’s? Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will always give me nightmares.

    • You and me on Woolf. I actually like Joyce’s earlier stuff like The Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist. But, for the later things like Ulysses, forget it. Even the dirty bits aren’t that sexy.

  2. I enjoy Joyce…but the Woolf pack leave me not so much cold as red hot with loathing. The chap who wrote ‘The Hours’ had them perfectly…which was why I loathed ‘The Hours’.

    Mr. Fly had sinus problems and his doctor in France prescribed him something which he said not only cleared his sinuses but also blew his brain out through his ears. Wonderful stuff!

    • My French sinus med was a little more benevolent than Mr. Fly’s. But it still worked like a damn. You and me on Woolf. I personally think suicide was the only out for Virginia. Too bad she didn’t succeed before her stuff was imposed on countless hapless students.

  3. I hope your sinuses are better. The insanely dry air here is truly harsh on the nasal cavities. I’m looking forward to New Orleans’ humidity. I just have to wait 15 more hours.

  4. Please please let me know where you bought Humoxal. It is the only one nasal spray that actually help me breath. Im searching to buy online and see your post.

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