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I Used To Love The Strokes! A Musical Medical Essay

     No really. From 2001 until about 2007 I loved The Strokes unflinchingly. I loved their albums. Loved their tones. I loved their hair and I loved their attitude, or lack thereof. I really loved their name. But Now? After what happened last week? Not so much...
     I'd like to blame their most recent, and perhaps final album, for my sense of unease bordering on Motherfucking Fear whenever I now hear their name. Said album, 2013's comically and yet exactly aptly titled '80’s Comedown Machine' is not a great or even very good album, but it's also not the disaster most critics declared it to be. I like track 2 'All the Time' and the whole thing is barely 40 minutes long, which brings to mind the old aphorism oft repeated about Colorado weather and almost all Punk Rock songs. If you don't like the rain or that grating bass line?... just wait a minute. Things will change quickly.
     So my closest male elder relative had a bad Monday last week. No make that a terribly very bad Monday. He Suffered A... Hold on, He Endured? Or Had? Was attacked? No. He Was Stroked. He Maintained a Stroke? None of it sounds right because I'm still me and he is still mentally he, but this Stroke is our new normal. Our Monolith. But our Monolith didn't suddenly appear way out by Jupiter. It is right beside us, worming its way inside us, an unwanted Big Fucking Deal. Our Stroke Monolith. Ten days in, can I now consider it a Stroke of luck that he survived and wasn't just struck out?
     His was/is an atypical stroke, one caused by a hemmorage in the brain rather than a clot. Imagine, one moment is spent sitting in an overstuffed easychair, relaxing in the lobby of a client's building. Another moment, not so distinct or identifiable as the next moment, but a later moment, part of his right leg decides that now is the time to take up Astral Projection. With the brained, unseeable aspect of his right leg having jumped ship, his physical leg may as well belong to the overstuffed easychair in which he sits. Because he cannot get up! And the leg is no longer responsive to the millions of increasingly frantic signals his brain is firing off.
    And so this Stroke is a '70’s Comedown Machine'.  And it too is comically exactly, aptly titled. For this is his 70th year on earth, and I would not attempt a more perfect definition for a stroke than 'Comedown Machine'. The last ten days have been sneaky subtle. They have been slow to differentiate themselves in our new normal. I can't discern any change in his condition from a week ago. The Doctors will not operate and I will not pray.
    But this morning? My father, who is nothing like Darth Vader, this morning my father used the Force. And he used Apple iMessage. But mainly he used the Force.

     Yep. Six inches of movement became monumental. Six inches was more magnificent than the breadth of the mighty Mississippi.

The kicker.
     When I received this video iMessage I was lollygagging in bed, listening to music, pretending to be getting ready for the train ride to visit him at the hospital. It wasn't until after I watched the video twice that I realized what I had just seen. The immutable was muted. The leg had returned, even if just for a six inch visit.  It took me another twenty seconds to bestir myself and realize what the ipod was playing on shuffle. It was the title track to The Strokes 2013 album '80's Comedown Machine'. Fuck it. I gotta keep loving The Strokes.

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