'Round about Christmastime I developed a ganglion cyst on my left
wrist. This is really nothing more than a weakening of a part of
the fluid sack around the joint. It tends to bulge outward in an
unseemly fashion when you bend your wrist, but it doesn’t
hurt. Unfortunately it also doesn’t go away by itself and
it can grow to be the size of half a chicken egg and limit the range
of motion of your hand. Mine was only slightly larger than a marble.
I went to the doctor and tried getting it deflated with a syringe.
He suggested surgery, a rather unpleasant process that required
putting my arm into a cast for two months, and only had a success
rate of about fifty percent success. I decided that I could live
with a marble in my wrist, and went away.
But then a few weeks ago, I discovered demon drums. Think back
to when you were 8 months old and loved to bang on things. Now think
about banging on a drum that is only slightly smaller than a grand
piano and worth a quarter of a million dollars. The demon drum reverberates
inside your chest. It feels like you're hugging a huge speaker.
So... I spend a week with a professional demon drumming team. We
practice in a small bus traveling up to the north coast of Japan
(twelve hours each way), and by the time I come home I'm hooked
(and deaf). Unfortunately my ganglion cyst is now the size of a
quail egg and hard as a peach pit. It takes thirty minutes to massage
it back into my wrist and ten seconds to pop back out.
Now, in the olden days they used to put your hand flat on a table
and hit it with a Bible. I thought about doing this. But Bibles
are not thick on the ground in Japan, and I have a philosophical
aversion to mixing medicine and religion like that. So I dig out
my kanji dictionary. Having hauled that sucker all the way from
Virginia, I’m glad to finally have a use for it. Whammo. Popped
that cyst just like bubble wrap. Didn't even hurt, too much.
So there you have it. Kanji Kures Krippling Kyst..
To purchase Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa, please visit japanlandonline.com