Monday, February 15, 2010

Ken Sanders on my death bed

Posted By on February 15, 2010, 10:13 AM

I overdid it the other weekend. Way but way too much to drink, oysters on the shell, an artery-clogging french pate etc. Bottom line I woke up at 7am on a Sunday after four hours sleep with chest pains. Having had a heart procedure this last summer I take such things seriously.---

I went to an Instacare in the south of the valley and was told there's nothing we can do for you, go to the ER. The doctor coolly told me get an ambulance or sign a waiver. Last time I go there.

When I was a teenager in the UK I cleaned hospital floors for a year to pay for a greyhound bus trip across the United States. I was enamoured with Kerouac, Wolfe, Sherwood Anderson. So lying in a hospital bed, all wired up and listening to folks moan, puke and cry, brought back many youthful memories.

The doc came in and after pronouncing himself a fan of City Weekly -- the high point of my medical adventures -- then had me wait for hours for tests. I turned on the TV and the only thing I could find on a Sunday morning to watch was a documentary on a book thief featuring local book seller-cum-book detective extraordinaire, Ken Sanders.

Lying in bed, contemplating my mortality and watching Sanders' overly generous beard quake as he spoke, I had to wonder quite what I'd done to deserve this. As much as I enjoy Ken's passions for everything bibliophile, the inevitable comparison between my youthful and as yet unrealised ambitions to write the great American novel [by a foreigner] and where I found myself that morning were, hangover aside, oddly depressing.


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