Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ask Not For Whom the Belle Tolls

I have something strange to share.

It began last Friday, while I was clicking around blogs as usual. Through some chance stream-of-blogging chain of events, I came to the website of a blogger named Belle Waring. In that way that some things get stuck in your brain for no discernible reason, I guess the name stuck with me. Belle Waring. It sounded like a character from a novel where they use the word "torrid" a lot. It sounded like my favorite twee band from Glasgow. I dunno, it sounded cool.

So later on Friday, (and I know I said I wasn't going to go into this, but it's kind of integral to the story, so there goes that) I was awoken in the middle of the night by the worst pain I'd ever felt. I flopped and inchwormed my way towards the bathroom where I stayed collapsed on the ground.

If you've ever experienced really extreme pain of an extended nature, a curious thing happens. And that is that you go insane. I thought that I was in Iraq and that I had just been wounded. And then, I thought that I was Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya and that the FSB had just poisoned me. Later, I was to share these anecdotes with my friends and loved ones, because they were cuckoo in a charming, benign way. But today, I remembered with stark clarity, that while writhing in delirium on the floor, I thought something else. Something far more strange and sinister.

Belle Waring.

Belle Waring. Belle Waring. I just started chanting this name to myself, like a mantra to ward off the pain. And even as I did so, I knew in the deep recess of my mind that this was a crazy thing to be doing. That it was a product of my pain and delirium, and that I needed to get a grip and stop saying it to preserve what sanity was still feuling my survival instinct. To no avail. Belle Waring. Belle Waring. It started to anguish me, the insistence, incessance. But when you're debilitated and feeble of mind and Christ, convinced that you've just been wounded in Iraq, don't even try to tell yourself, "Whatever you do, don't think of the name Belle Waring." Belle Waring. Belle Waring. Belle Waring in Iraq. Belle Waring in Beslan. What Would Belle Waring Do?

And so today, hale and hearty, I was clicking happily about the internet, when I skipped over to Crooked Timber—one of those sites I always want to read but never seem to check on very often. Unbeknownst to me, this Belle Waring also posts at Crooked Timber! And I saw the name. And that's when I remembered what we'd been through together. And my stomach, it just lurched and jerked and heaved, like a voodoo curse.

For the time being, apparently, I cannot look at the name Belle Waring by surprise, because it makes me physically ill.

As you can see, I'm completely looney tunes, and I just thought you all should know that before you continue associating with me.


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