Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Own Cato

Clouseau moves warily through his silent apartment. His sixth sense tells him danger is poised to explode, and it could come from anywhere. Every narrow hallway, every closet door, any hidden space large enough to conceal a crouching man may contain Cato.

Cato has been commissioned by Clouseau himself to stalk and attack the inspector without warning, and when he least expects it as a form of training. Just as addled as his adversary, Cato lies in wait. But where? Surely not the refrigera...

As the dooor cracks open Cato erupts from inside in a shower of frost and fury! He rains blows on the hapless detective with icy hands. Havoc, treachery and mayhem ensue, which both men seem, perversely, to enjoy.


Pete wanders obliviously through his house. Every doorknob, every corner on a counter top holds the potential for sharp and unexpected pain as his body responds to signals from his brain that cause exaggerated dance-like movements in his limbs. The complex and unconscious calibrations that we all make in the banal act of passing through space are thrown off in the interplay between disease and medication.

But when the meds kick in, it's easy to forget that. Why? Because, darn it, it feels so great to move! Until an arm swings wide and slams into something hard or sharp. Then it feels great to spout profanity with your amplifier up to 11.

It's painful and exasperating to suffer one's own unintended violence. But let's face it, it's also funny. To have Parkinson's Disease is to live a life of improv slapstick. Congratulations, you've landed both leading roles, You're Cato and Clouseau.

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