Yes. I am still here. Well, actually, I went away & came back. Barcelona!!! What an amazing city, bursting with jaw-dropping architectural wonders, swoon-inducing food (existing side-by-side, I mean actually on the same menu, with dull mayonnaisey or brown-sauce stuff), truly enviable public transit, awesome Roman relics, friendly people, & way too much dogshit. How can people live like that? My neck was a little freaked out, what with my looking constantly up (to admire the sights) & then back down again (to avoid the shit), repeat several times a minute, for hours at a time. I guess all that sitting around in restaurants helped. Lobster & sea urchin stew. Extra-thick, yummygooey pear tatin unlike any I'd ever had. Pile of fried sardines that made me feel like a cat. Screamingly good soup with trumpets of death, aka black chanterelles. Drinkable olive oil. Marrons glaces, candied fruit, endless permutations of goat & sheep cheeses, chocolate, good wine for cheap. Then giving the thighs a good workout getting to & from our 6th-floor walkup apt.

But the burning question: DID THE THUMB LIKE IT?

Yes! It did! The thumb feels quite a bit better. Still nowhere near normal, but a glimmer of light appears, way off there at the end of the tunnel. About fucking time. I'm sick to death of this trudging along in the pitch dark. The challenge: not to tear off at top speed hoopin & hollerin toward that speck of light, thus risking injury, setback, waking up the bats (or giants), you know what I'm talking about. Oh, impatience! I must take a deep breath & continue to proceed with caution, lest I trip & fall on my face again. Pray for me.