• I Must Be One Neurotic Weirdo

    glass with ice cubes

    About ten years ago, still recovering but cancer free, I sat in a hot muggy little bar, whacking my snare drum during a gig with our band Toivo. We were playing a lively Tex-Mex tune, but I felt faint. I jumped up, wobbled to the bar and desperately called the busy bartender for some ice water. On the way back to my seat, I noticed that he had put a nice big slice of lemon in my extra big glass. The band had already started the next tune when I returned to my seat. Even though I knew I’d had all sorts of strange reactions to various foods since my cancer, and that lemons made me itch like mad, I chugged the water and started playing my drum.

    Sure enough, a minute later I was itching all over my emaciated little body. I managed to play until the end of the tune, but then headed quickly to the bar for a new glass of ice water without lemon. On the way I looked into my glass - there was NO lemon! Instead, a picture on the side of the glass with some brand name shaped like an arch, and a slice of lemon pictured beneath it must have looked like a real lemon slice in my ice water.

    Wow, I thought, giggling to myself, I must be one neurotic little bitch! Amazingly, my itching stopped abruptly and I never had a problem with lemons after that, but it took me years to figure out why many other foods did even worse things to me – maybe I’ll tell you about it someday.

The Whore Next Door is a memoir consisting of 106 short chapters – each accompanied by an original watercolor painting. It is slightly shocking, but not pornographic.