Ah yes, the infamous EpiPen. During the summer of 82 I think it was, my lady and I lived in a two bedroom co-op facing Central Park West. 12B.
I often opened the window without a screen. One morning, seated at my desk, trading silver or soybeans or some other such foolishness, I felt a burning in my left bicep. I was engrossed in a trade tho and thought little of it. About 15 minutes later I looked down at my RIGHT thigh. It was swollen to almost the size of my waist! THAT scared the shit out of me! I immediately went to the emergency room and was told this was an allergic reaction to an insect sting. I have considerable scars from war and a long one on my right thigh. I was told reactions often occurred in body areas of weakness…and had it gone instead to my throat, I would by then have asphyxiated. Thus began the Summer of my Discontent.

Across the park from me was Mt Sinai Hospital with immunology expertise. For the next six weeks I would arise early on Thursday, walk across the park and have my right arm turned into a shooting gallery. The scientific theory was to build up my immunity and perhaps save my life. We soon determined that I was deadly allergic to wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and bees. I’d been stung a few time when younger and I was told this was not unusual, some people develop allergies later in life.

These injections burned and itched and swelled and made me pretty cranky. I had yet to be diagnosed with PTSD…and this wasn’t helping. By the fourth week, I learned my scientists were not particularly scientific. “What did we give you last week? Was it 1/4 or 1/2? The fuck would I know? Don’t you write that shit down?

By week five I awoke on Thursday morning in tears, knowing what I had awaiting me. In week six, the question was asked again, “What was it we gave you last week?” I was done. I told them to clean up their procedures and I walked out of that ward for the last time. I’d decided I’d take my chances in life; God knows I’d already accepted those kinds of risks. I could have afforded such exorbitant prices but I damn sure would have been resentful. As it was, mine were free. Good SAG coverage.

For years afterwards, I carried an EpiPen, just in case…plus Benadryl capsules for the golf course. Ever notice how many yellow jackets flock to trash cans with beer and soda bottles? I was stung one day in the 90’s by a bee. I was scared shitless. There was some swelling but that was the extent of it.

This photo is of my final Epipen purchase; it expired in 2002. I should probably replace my Benadryl caps, they’re pretty old as well. I stay alert and try reeeeal hard not to piss off flying insects. But if I’m around you and I see one, you’ll understand if I become seriously pro-active. I will knock those suckers out of the sky with a head cover. So far….




A very singular nite for me. And there was Cake! Brothers and sisters in arms together, sharing our affection for music – and on my ReBirthday – at the VFT monthly musical gathering

Played two songs tonite for the first time in public. They need work..but I will polish them in time to come. And I played standing for the first time in decades. There may be hope for me yet .

Arnold and I


I just realized something tonite and wanted to share it, for what it’s worth. I am saddened tonite because I learned that a dear friend had died. I think at the heart of my sadness is the fact that I was not aware of her illness…and so could not become complete with our lifelong connection; to let her know that I valued her, that she was dear to me, that I was grateful for our relationship.

I suspect, I hope that she knew all of that. Dealing with terminal illness is an individual choice. I respect anyone’s preference for privacy at this time. And I can’t promise any of my loved ones that I will be any more forthcoming, when my time is nigh.

But we all should KNOW that our passing will affect many of our acquaintances. We can include them…or not. Yet we must each take responsibility for the dislocation caused by our deaths, to those who have become connected to our lives.

Do with that what you will.