It ain’t the chemo but the prednisone that might get me into serious shit.
When I was a “kid” in my twenties (5′ 7″ and 130 lbs) I used to think that my ability to work out with the foot-ball players, bench-press 350 and curl my own weight, which is not all that unique, was because I was one of those strong, wiry guys, unlike the foot-ball players who grew huge on anabolic steroids. But not only did my weightlifting have no affect on my physical build, it did not — outside the weightroom, i.e. if helping someone move their furniture or what not — make me stronger. I literally did what I did in the weight room from an andrenaline-dosed “fight or flee” mentality invoked by the whole — in my opinion QUITE homo-erotic, with the punching, ass-slapping, crotch-grabbing, muscle-talking weirdness — “scene.”
That I got into WAY more “street fights” than one of my “class and station” usually would, against actual tough guys and always “won” (i.e. didn’t get the living shit beat outta me; just held my own until the drug dealers broke it up before the cops came), I chalked up to my being a “tough guy” myself, despite my diminutive stature and total lack of any serious martial arts skills.
Once the shit hit the fan on my 30th birthday and I found out that, though I stopped taking the prednisone (which my parents used to call my “vitamins”) once I left home for college at 18 the fact that I took an insanely large amount — 20 mg — of the stuff from age nine months through 18 was a significant factor in my mental development (confirmed by neurologists, psychiatrists, hematologists, orthopedics etc.) because prednisone, indeed acts directly on the adrenal glands, developing my personality into a state of perpetual “fight or flee.”
Okay, more or less, cause my body weaned off the humongous doses I took as a two-year-old simply by growing to adulthood. And on moderate doses — 5-10 mg, which I usually take — it certainly does no harm if I can “take care of myself” in the relatively dangerous environments ones of my “economic station” not to mention NYC must dwell in.
But 60 mg is a whole new ball-game. I remember being on that dose while I was a-courtin’ Bonita. Some guy would look at her, by accident, and I would not “defend myself” or her “honor” but go into an insane rage and pound him — unless he was a Hells Angel, whose club-house was a few blocks from where I lived, and I’d back off, excusing myself, very politely; something in the cerebrum somehow took precedence over the prednisone lizard brain.
I gotta find some way to get this shit under control (without taking anti-psychotics, which they initially prescribed to keep me outta trouble in “the day;” but all of them — literally Thorazine’s grandchildren: Rispordal, Zyprexa, and this other one whose name begins with an “s,” literally make work, or even conversation or clear thought, as J. will attest, impossible; you just sit there, listless, befuddled, dumb ).
I can’t be getting into brawls like last week while all fucked up with cancer and surgeries and chemo etc. Had I been on this dosage when I got into that fight last week, I’d be in jail right now. Not too concerned about getting killed — beats dying in a hospital — but am TERRIFIED OF JAIL…
Also, don’t like getting the crap beat outta me by cops, which has happened on occasion. Humiliating, frustrating, degrading, enraging and … ain’t nothing you can do about it. What are you gonna do, call the cops? Contradict two officers who’ll swear under oath you were “resisting arrest?”
I’ve already had the cops called on me nine times this year and was picked up for arrest twice, but, besides the fact that most of the calls were bogus (I went down stairs to take out the garbage and caught a guy breaking in to the stage area, which was vacated by the Fire Department and Marguerite, the Madwoman in the Attic, called the cops on ME because she said she and this huge guy felt “threatened”) they know what we’ve been trying to build here with The Coffin Factory and what our nasty, drug-dealing, lawered-up trust-fund-thug neighbors are trying to cash in on.
Nevertheless, as Detective So-and-so told me when I “turned myself in” at the precinct, while he strapped on his bullet-proof vest, hid two Glock 9mm pistols in his wind-breaker jacket and packed about a dozen clips into a small duffel bag (he was on his way to a shooting, “real cop work,” and was annoyed at our petty “territorial squabbles,” and wanted to just get rid of me — much to my advantage), “Three strikes and you’re out. I mean it. We’ll pop you on a Friday morning, early, so you’ll spend the whole week-end with gang-members and real violent offenders. They can help with your transfusions or whatever. Or your “writing.” You’ll love it.”
Too old for 60 mg of prednisone and the mayhem it involves …