(Y’all know why there was no M&M Philly review, right? Because I don’t want to get into that again. Listen to the last 10 minutes of Zilch #117 if need be.)
I sat at my desk in my office, eyebrows widening, jaw dropping, reading things that were written in English but my brain couldn’t compute, like they were actually in Swahili or something. I mean, I was very well versed in the phrases “Michael Nesmith” and “Congestive Heart Failure” (They’d left similarly deep marks in my childhood soul). But even after 6 years of wilder and crazier instances of Monkees Synchronicity, I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS thought they would appear in the same sentence.
I honestly thought Nez was incapable of shocking me at this point, but apparently he still had a trick up his sleeve. Or coronary arteries. I found myself touching the scar that runs down my chest, the biggest of the dozen or so surgical scars I’ve had since before I can remember.
I wondered if he’s figured out yet that his chest wall muscles will always have a tendency to get pulled or twinge at random moments now, or that one or both of his pecs might jump up and down in an amusing manner when he flexes a bicep, depending on the vagaries of scar tissue—if you’re a guy it can be a fun party trick (ok, it’s a fun party trick for me too, but the parties are typically much more intimate 😉 ). I’ve always had a soft spot for including I Am Not That on my cardiac MRI Mix CDs—I’d recommend that one, but I’m not sure it would have the same buoying effect on his psyche when lying in a metal tube overlooking the abyss. Oh yeah, and hydration—now that he’s bypassed and presumably out of CHF he should be drinking plenty of water on hot or humid days like that Cleveland Show lest his rhythm go a little wonky. (and by the way—the performance I reviewed here/on Zilch as “amazing” is getting re-classed as “fucking superhuman”.)
And then I wonder if he’s prepared for the anger and loss of trust in his body and the lack of control over his fate and the flashes of post-traumatic fragility—though I’d like to think he’ll be spared those, given this is a (relatively?) normal experience for a guy his age versus a shocking injustice foisted on a newborn with a heart defect. But then again, 18 months old and 75 years old might be closer than those numbers would imply when it comes to making peace with your first open heart surgery.
For once I know something of the road he’s just starting to walk, and I wish there was some way I could help. Welcome to the Zipper Club, Nez. Looking forward to seeing you happy and healthy with FNB in a couple months. And make sure you take Andrew Sandoval and your kids out for a nice dinner or something, hmm? Sounds like they earned a treat.