Wednesday, April 2, 2014

East Side West Side: From the Hospital to the Stage

The other night I pulled the I.V. outta my hand and drove cross-town to perform on Broadway.  My doctor had given me the mandate: "Go do your show.  You don't want them to give the job to someone else."  So I did.  I got into wig make-up and costume, and performed.  I've performed sick and with fevers, sweating many times, so what's the difference?  Laying in bed is not a cure all.  Catharsis cures.  Besides, you gotta live while you're alive.  That's the bottom line.  Otherwise what's all the suffering good for?  You have to go out and have a good giant laugh and cry.  This is ancient.  You gotta dance around the fire and open your lungs.  We all need that.

My nurse observes, "You get pneumonia every three months."  The tests are consistent.  There's one bacteria culture that keeps making it's home in my lungs.  KLEBSIELLA.  Named after Edwin Klebs.  It ain't pretty.  My doctor says, "There's nothing you can do.  You live in a city with 8 million people. It's everywhere.  You can move to the outer desert."

For now, I'm gonna keep going west, to the stage.  To Broadway.  To 44th and 7th Ave.  To the fun.  To "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" where I'm playing Grandma Nunzio.  I'm gonna keep doing the tarentell plus eat garlic and boil ginger and take my herbs and yell and clear my lungs.

As we used to say in the Bronx 60's: "Keep on truckin."