SO I TURN UP for an MRI this afternoon, trying to get to the bottom of the chronic neck pain I’ve had for about a year now. It’s right at the base of the skull. Every day, the road bumps I hit make for exquisitely sharp pain, the kind where you involuntarily give a shout-out to the supernatural figure of your choice.
I don’t know if it was just the confined space of the MRI gizmo that started pinging my fight-or-flight receptors, or if it was also anticipating the need to stay perfectly still for 45 minutes while hurting. But I broke out in a sweat and said No, no, thank you, not gonna do it. The test operator said it happens all the time, your doc will trank you and send you back and you won’t care about pain or being in a tube, and well, yes, I can see that, I’ve been to la la land, if things are as peachy as I remember them, I’ll go.
But does this happen all the time? They’d trank everybody from the get-go if that were the case. Maybe she was just being polite.
She said to make sure I get a ride over next time, don’t ride the motorcycle because you can’t ride it home drugged. (Who says?)
That’s the mystifying thing, the motorcycle. I pretty much live in a full-face helmet. Lots of riders can’t, it’s too much like sticking your head in a goldfish bowl. So I’ve never thought of myself as claustrophobic. Not afraid of crowds, mobbed elevators, subway cars that are so jammed it blurs the line between traveling and dating. Been in severely tight spaces in caverns and was okay with it, so… what gives?
Is this an after-60 thing nobody told me about? Do we get jumpy as we inch closer to getting boxed up and freight-forwarded all of six feet?
Anyway, my neck will stop hurting then, so that’s good.
Dig it, ol’ CCjon overcame all obstacles in Nova Scotia. He rode across Newfoundland, then Labrador, and was in Quebec the last I heard. Hats off to him. He’s 10 years closer to pain-free status than I and is still out there making his adventure miles. An inspiration to me. Ride on, brother!
I’m going back someday. And to a hundred other places.
I close with one of our Phantom panels published in newspapers around the world today, drawn by the great Mike Manley. Everybody knows you can’t blow up the Phantom with a hand grenade. He’ll body surf the blast wave to safety, then come back and put you in an MRI machine for way longer than 45 minutes.
Tony DePaul, August 16, 2017, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA