3 days ago
Monday, February 14, 2011
My Bloody Valentine
Just got back from my 8 am date with the dentist.
Been spitting up blood all morning. Now I just have to make sure I don't bite my tongue off. The most brutal session yet. I've known for years that the Reckoning was nearly nigh, but nothing can prepare you for that.
Even the supposedly soothing soundtrack was annoying. I've been trying to get the saccharine strains of Tears for Fears and John Cougar Mellencamp out of my head for hours now, but the haunting hasn't yet relented.
As for the Salvador Dali-esque painting that adorned the ceiling, and that one is forced to stare at during the entire procedure? Well, it hardly moderated the fight or flight adrenalin that was naturally flowing through my veins. A baroque grotesquerie of gnashing teeth flailing freely in a surrealist soup, it only heightened the sense that a carnal confession was being wrested out of me. "You haven't been flossing, have you?" I imagined that a leather bound copy of the Malleus Maleficarum lay open upon the adjacent instrument tray.
Only half-way through the exercise did I remember that it was Valentine's Day, and that exactly three years ago this morning I was enduring, for the final time, the iron maidened massage of a radiation treatment. I became aware of a disturbing trend traceable to this dubious day of the Gregorian reckoning: devastating radiance, destructive drilling, debt inducing debits for the girlfriend, et al.
But the legacy of this day goes beyond the personal.
Captain Cook was clubbed and stabbed to death in the Hawaiian surf on this day in 1779.
Or Al Capone's massacre of a rival Chicago gang in 1929.
Or the release of "My Bloody Valentine" in 1981, the Canadian classic that chronicles the ghost of a coal miner as he pick axes his way through a host of Canuck actors all mired in mediocrity. Having watched that movie a few years ago on late night cable, I remember it most as a two hour advert for Moosehead lager. And since I like Moosehead, I kept on watching. It was remade in the U.S. a few years ago as an ephemeral pap-fest entitled "My Bloody Valentine 3-D"
But "ain't that America"? Sorry, I still can't get that John Cougar Mellencamp shit out of my head.
All that is left of Sancta Valentinus is a grinning skull in a Roman basilica. And as so many people hustle out to buy chocolate, flowers and greeting cards, or go to the dentist, he's laughing at all of them. And the Roman basilica is laughing too ... all the way to the bank.
Here's something else we can blame on "My Bloody Valentine":