Now that we’re into October, I’d like to tell you how I spent my summer vacation!
Or rather, what I wanted to do during my summer vacation…what I did was nowhere near what I had intended.
The big plan was to kick out the sequel to DEMONS DOLLS AND MILKSHAKES by August, start work on the next book and finish up the collection of short work (now available) called EVERYTHING HERE IS A NIGHTMARE. In addition to that, the huge audio project I had been working on for Bret Bouriseau’s THE PRINCE OF KNCOKNAFAY needed some patch work and voice changes. In fact, the day I was talking to Bret was the last day of the summer I truly had.
The little cut on my foot that had seemingly stuck around since the World Horror Convention back in May had finally it seemed to heal. My friend Dave had flown back to the UK after a cool two-week visit, and I was ready to start work that had been delayed. I talked to Bret on the phone, took some editing notes and two hours later, I was in my room, hallucinating like a madman with a very high fever.
I couldn’t get up. My leg was in agony and I was delirious. Finally, I went to the emergency room. During the languishing period, I was given a room and hooked up to everything you can think of-literally.
It would be two days before they told me what I had and how close I’d actually come to goddamn dying.
“Well, you have cellulitis,” the rather calm doctor from another country with a familiar voice said. “That cut on your foot caused an infection under your skin. This is why your leg is swollen and inflamed.” (“Inflamed” is a nice word. The words I used more than once were “fucking excruciating” and I have a pretty decent vocabulary.)
“You’re lucky you came in when you did. We caught this nearly in time…”
Um…Nearly in time?
“To start the antibiotics.”
“Oh, the ones that made me feel worse?” Seriously. The antibiotics made me even more miserable that when I had been admitted.
“Well, you very nearly died, Mr. Pyles.”
This guy started to sound a whole lot like Tom Hardy in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“You were about to succumb to the infection. Your heart rate was very elevated. Part of why you’re in such severe pain…and will be for some time.”
What the actual fuck!?!
Pain for some time??
But then, I thought about it. They would give me pain meds. They’d have to at this point. By day two, I was on morphine every two hours for pain (which barely touched it, but was kind of enjoyable…more on that in a few)
I was in the hospital for five days and was told that the key to my recovery was staying off of my leg. Period.
Almost instantly, I saw this as THE opportunity to write like a maniac. It was “Misery” without Annie Wilkes! It was oxycodone, a laptop and endless days of writing!! Huzzah!
After the first week, I realized the problem with this genius plan.
I don’t do well being high.
I can’t work at all on pain meds. Like, at all! Nothing.
I sat with my laptop open to a blank word screen for five days before I figured this out and I goddamn tried! Everything just goes away. It’s not writer’s block-I don’t believe in that at all. But, for all the people I know who get fired up and high/drunk or whatever, that doesn’t work for me.
Personally, I was looking forward to it a little bit as it would be a nice distraction from the constant pain I was in all the time. I wanted to see what kind of crazy shit I’d come up with in this state. I don’t get high, so this was an opportunity to try something new in a controlled environment.
To be continued….