There are some downsides to palling
around primarily with artistic types – everyone’s broke, it’s hard to pull
together a pick-up basketball team, your social media streams are clogged with
Kickstarter requests, etc. – but there are plenty of positives as well. For
instance, when I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor last month, I was greeted
with a humbling outpouring of love and charity from my friends and family.
Support came in the form of food, flowers, cards, good vibes and, of course,
- I was initially diagnosed with a pituitary edenoma, which is a kind of benign tumor. Once the surgeons had me opened up, they discovered it was actually something called a Rathke’s cleft cyst, which has virtually the same symptoms and side-effects of its tumescent sibling but is both a little bit grosser and easier to recover from. I mention this because my friend Christopher “Patch” Conner’s immediate response to reading the phrase “pituitary edenoma” was to run it through an anagram generator. He came up with “a nude tiara poem.” A few hours later he wrote one. A few days later he recruited his guitarist friend Oren Rabinowitz to set it to music and record it. It’s a coffee shop head-bobber for sure.
- The multi-pronged creative force that is Oswald Hobbes also found a musical muse in my head, crafting an ambient soundscape called "Is Something on Your Mind, Ira." It kind of puts me in mind of Goblin’s soundtrack work from the ‘70s, which is of course a heck of a compliment.
- Oswald and his colleague/familiar Joe Gibson also invited me onto their delightful Audio Assault podcast, where we winnowed away an hour or so talking about brain tumors, Lou Reed and splatter movies. I also talk about what I wore to prom, the time I cut my toe half off and my personal bathing preferences. Must-hear stuff across the board, obviously.
- My godfather Jeff Wilcox – a working visual artist for four decades – is a reliable source of wonderful, weird imagery. He regularly posts photos from his Thrift Store Gallery series, in which he finds compelling objects at his local thrift store and juxtaposes them in intriguing ways. His latest was dedicated to me. It finds a young Justin Timberlake trouncing a circus clown and a hobo sailor in a creep-off for the ages. It is a thing of ineffable beauty.