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From Fly Creek

March 6, 2014

Let not thy left hand know


We don’t dine out as much as we used to, and usually where there are no drapes.

What’s going on with me, you see, is a steady deterioration of natural governors that control the degree of physical, emotional, and cognitive reactions. In Parkinsonism, this goes with the territory. (You can see now how we’re edging toward an explanation for my backhanding myself.)

It may be that the gross action of my hand and arm, now mercifully under control, may in fact have been gross over-reaction to some subtle stimulus. To wit: The first time I slammed myself, Anne and I were watching “Castle,” a favorite TV show. I remember sensing the slightest itch on my forehead; but before I even brought clearly to consciousness the inclination to scratch it, my arm had made its own decision. Open-handed, I slammed myself in the forehead with, I might say, undue force.

It was a slap to the forehead like the one Oliver Hardy gives himself when speechless over one of Stan’s maddening, totally innocent actions.

And so, maybe that’s what was going on. (Poor Oliver should have been on medication!) Michael Quinn put it this way. Biceps and triceps are meant to work in tandem, with the former drawing forearm closed while the latter controls its rate of speed and force. And the reverse function straightens the arm, but in a controlled way. What a neat system!

However, when natural governors deteriorate, that grand system (and many others) can get out of whack. Hence my past tendency, even in sleep, to remedy an itch with a haymaker.

Having this possible explanation is a relief. More so is being spared resort to a hockey mask.

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