9231. WHEN I GOT SICK IN THAT OTHER LIFE:
After that I got pretty sick again for a while and at least for two weeks struggled around with a fever and blisters on my lips and face and I tried simply to lay low - staying days on end in the basement spot I'd taken below the Studio School mansion just reading books and reading some more and never really moving except to get something now and then to eat or drink and I didn't much even walk around which was a real switch for me - but time it passed and I recovered and getting my sails back was like being Christopher Columbus having everything and ready and steady and all good to go I wanted to rule the world and when first I poked my head back out it was March and I felt like the groundhog too late for its own party and said instead 'to Hell with Winter this is the Now!' and I ducked back in and got to work and if a groundhog could duck I guess I did that too and all down along Eighth Street it seemed like nothing had changed and really it was only a few days no matter that the French and German kids next door were still piddling around in their leather walk pants and breezy cool French fabrics and they wore hiking boots as rugged as an Alps hill-top and I wanted to walk right over to them and just say 'Hi! I lived and I've made it through and here I am again out the other end' but I didn't know how to say it right in any other language and it even sounded too weird in this one so instead I decided I just wanted to kiss that French girl in a most happy way and lo though she glanced and smiled I didn't and international relations as it were be damned forever and those Youth Hostel* kids I must now forget - it was so long ago - and there are times when young that a person fears the old fears to be amidst those past the age one experiences for oneself but now I can see it all so differently for they have somewhere somehow aged along with me as well and it's really all the same in the end and I hope they're still alive somewhere and if some few of them are not then bless them by their God as well and if they all are still among the living perhaps then we shall all roll out together.
*1967, American Youth Hostel was right next door to me, and back then operated as a way-station, stay-over hotel of sorts for the kids from Europe, college-age mostly, travelling the USA that Summer. Bicycle, back-packs, hikers and wanderers proliferated right there, in a very informal setting.