Monday, April 20, 2009

Dysko Boy, or, Body English is My Second Language

Oh man! I just had an unexpected encounter with reality. I got a note about a week ago from my friend Pat that video of my talk to his journalism students is available on the Web. My present motto is "No Fear," so I pulled it up.

The video loaded, and suddenly there was this guy on the screen writhing around and jabbering at light speed. A herky-jerky whirligig who was disco dancing while a colony of fire ants made its way up his pants. That whirligig was me! Those were my pants full of fire ants! I was amazed.

It was like seeing me play either end of the table against myself in some white-hot, solo ping pong match. Or maybe conducting the Amphetamine Philharmonic Orchestra in a 30 minute rendition of Wagner's entire Ring cycle. Or a bowler putting the entire Oxford Dictionary of Body English on a ball in the time it takes it to roll to the far end of the lane.

It was tiring just to watch. Fortunately the image is about the size of a match book. Anything larger would be an aerobic workout for the eyeballs that would leave the viewer panting and soaked with sweat in their chair.

One of the reasons I was so struck by the sight was that I had no clue I was this consumed with excess motion (called "dyskinesia" by the cognoscenti.) It's not caused directly by the disease, but instead by the brain's inability to process the amount of medication that I must take to avoid extended times when I can barely move.

It's a trade-off: Better to have extra movement than not enough. But it does require great concentration when trying to make a line go where you want it to go in a drawing. Often I spend as much time Dysko Dancing while attempting to draw as I do actually drawing.

But really! I had no idea I was as hyper as I appear on the video.

All I can say is it looks much more dramatic from outside. At least that's all I can say in written English. In Body English, you can't shut me up until the meds wear off.

(And, oh, all right. If you must, you can view it here.)

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