". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Life's Little Repetitions

It never fails, that after a night staying up with other musicians until 3 - 4 - maybe even 5 AM, el V arises from his pillow, looks at the clock and accuses, in voice that mingles equal parts dismay, resentment and and wonder: "It's noon!"

Also it seems according to all the local media that we are in a state of health emergency, i.e. a flu epidemic.  With all the drumbeating, including the Governor declaring the health state of emergency, I broke down and, after a variety of adventures, finally secured a flu shot for myself yesterday (el V had gotten himself one some weeks ago).  I chose to go to a Duane Reed-Walgreen's for the flu shot rather than my doctor's office, because I'd have had to sit in Judson's waiting room, surely surrounded by sick children and adults. Whereas at the store's pharmacy where the shots were available, I was surrounded by people who weren't sick and hoping to stay that way.

Then, I promptly hied myself uptown to a party in connection with a Cuban gentleman's private collection of African art minatures, where, for three hours, I mingled with a large number of  people, long-time friends, as well those I'd not before had the privilege to meet.  Surely among the 30 - 50 people present, including the wait staff who solicitously refilled one's glass every two minutes, and offered various finger foods every three minutes, somebody was harboring a virus or a germ. 

When we left we met other friends at a restaurant in the Village, which was packed with tourists and locals.

After that el V escorted me home, and then went out again for the music part of the evening.  And I wondered as I was falling asleep, "What good did I do myself getting a flu shot?"

It takes at least five days for the immunity process to begin kicking in, two weeks for it to be entirely achieved -- if indeed, one's individual system is susceptible to the process at all.  Nor does this vaccine have anything to do with the worst part of the epidemic, the rhinovirus that's causing the vomiting-diarrhea form of illness.

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