Point of View: Peace at a Price

It flattens one, utterly

It’s as Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, I know Lyme disease when I experience it. I don’t care what the test — which has yet to come back — says.

It flattens one, utterly. Though this time — I’ve had it before, about 10 years ago — I was able to think, after a fashion; not that it’s an absolute requisite in this business.

I remember the last time I had it I couldn’t remember a thing. Editors would come in to my office saying I wasn’t making any sense, and I would say of course I wasn’t making any sense I had Lyme disease, goddammit.

It can make you testy like that; all seems unavailing. And all you want to do, all you can do, is sleep. I knocked off 14 to 15 hours the first two nights with long daytime naps.

Then, all of a sudden, we were asking each other at dinner what we really loved. Jimmy said beer and cigarettes (though maybe not in that order), I said Mary and tennis (in that order).

And I still feel that way now that the antibiotics have kicked in, and now that I can do the crossword again.

No, you don’t want Lyme disease, or whatever they call its various transmutations. (This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a tick bite.)

There were no telltale signs or failures to act within the allotted time. We’ve got more tweezers in the house than you can shake a tick at, and we’ve been dutifully putting Off on, and Mary’s picked many more ticks from her than I have from me this summer.

I have a theory that once you’ve had it it simply recurs, every now and then. A corrective to pride or some such? An intimation of death and resurrection? An ache-up call?

On one’s back, pretty much disembodied, there is, however, a sense of peace. But it comes at a price.

Yet soon, thanks to the antibiotics, the worst is over and you’re behind the wheel again, in the land of the livid — creeping, beeping, and bleeping.