This one could have easily been called Real Women eat meat, or Howard Hughes tiptoes through the germ laden wastelands.
Yesterday, I spent the day at the hospital. It was one of the best days I’ve had in ages. Mother had a body part replaced. Nothing too extreme like a heart or a soul. Just a knee. B. invited me along on a visit to the hospital, and in the same way some parents make deals with children (“If you’re good at Auntie Martha’s, We’ll stop for ice cream on the way home“), she made a deal with me “you can take my laptop, I have a wireless card.
Yes, sometimes it doesn’t take much to lure me, my darlings.
That was enough to change my whole day’s plans. I’m not good with hospitals, but who is? This particular hospital was the place my grandma smiled, closed her eyes and pointed ‘up’ …and then she was gone. daVinci’s John The Baptist reminds me of her peace in that last moment. In addition to that sad, sour taste, I’m an extreme germaphobe. Extreme being an understatement. But there were hotspots and what kind of woman can ignore a hotspot?
So, I marched through the lobby of the wasteland and into the elevator, all the while trying not to breathe deeply because I could nearly see the legions of germs looming all round me. Inside of this particular elevator was a variety of health related signs & posters. One in particular caught my eye. A white card with tiny faded ladybugs all over and the words “It Bugs Me When You Touch Me With Unclean Hands”. If there’s ever been a quote for me, this was certainly it. I immediately went to work trying to pull the card out of the clear plastic holder, but on the third floor, we stopped and a handful of people crowded in around us. When I got off at the fourth, I was certain that ladybug health sign would be mine by the end of the day.
Mother-Dearest was doing fine, just as I suspected she would be. Nothing much can keep a woman from this tribe down. For example, after 38 hours of labor, I gave birth to my Magnum Opus, and then within two hours, I had a shower and did my makeup and was ready to go home. I must admit that the labor was not at all-the typical push, push screaming exorcism you see on television. No, mine was more akin to the Queen Maya giving birth to Buddha, without the decorated palanquin and scented flowers. So, 24 hours after having a piece of plastic inserted to replace her worn, sad knee, she was walking. The nurses were amazed. I was half expecting her to take the steps to the first floor and take over as head cook in the cafeteria; Because that’s another thing the women of this tribe do well: we can cook like no tomorrow. I’m still certain that Paula Dean is my long lost aunt.
Of course, she was in pain, so they were keeping her pumped with a morphine drip. I won’t get into my Elizabeth Taylor love of all things that kill pain, but I will say that I’d have loved just a smidgen of that drip. Of course when I asked for it, I got the same expression I’ve gotten for the last hundred years or so of my tribal captivity: a straight-line stern expression. So no morphine for me, but that was ok, because I had my lovely hotspot, right?
After the initial greetings, I went to work setting up my workstation; I used that snazzy little bedside-table all hospital rooms have and a comfy reclining chair; And when I did a search for wireless connections, I was plunged into the velvety folds of a deep orgasmic heaven! [you think that was a bit too discriptive???]There were about 12 or so to choose from! This was as good as a thick deck of Thousands wrapped in those lovely orange paper bands with the bold $1,000 or $5,000 stamped upon it. Until yesterday, I had truly forgotten the days of internet that wasn’t powered by one-legged hamsters in a rusty wheel. I mean the pages actually loaded in less than 5 minutes, in less than 5 seconds, this was good, really really good.
Afterwards I would have definitely needed a cigarette if I were a smoker. I spent the first hour or so answering emails like a wallflower, too timid to get out there and shake what my momma gave me. Then N. casually says in his best parent voice “Mom, why not download, you can do emails later”. So download I did! And I was actually able to watch a ton of youtube things I’d been looking for forever. Nothing juvenile like the bouncing baby video, we’re talking Peter Murphy’s You’re So Close video, which for some reason wasn’t included in the video collection I got for my birthday eight years ago. I didn’t want to leave, and I didn’t want to share with N, but after a few brother-sister like quarrels [because yes, I am indeed that immature], I handed the laptop over to him and decided to explore the wasteland.
Now, hands up-any of you who knew I couldn’t do something as simple as visit a patient without finding a tale. B. and I decided to wonder down to the cafeteria to find something to fuel N while he was downloading 99% of any downloadable material on the web. I figured this was the perfect time to grab my unclean hands poster, but of course there were a group of nurses stepping in, so I figured I’d take the stairs. Writers, as you know are lazy critters. we spend so much time using our brain juice, that we exhaust our bodies completely, making it impossible to do very many physical things. I said very many-not all. But exercise is definitely low on our to do list, usually. Plus I knew within a matter of hours I would be sinning big time, so i needed to do something to put a good word in for my indulgent little soul.
Have you noticed that all cafeterias smell the same? Hospitals, schools-even church dinners from when I was 9, they all carry the scented promise that you may find something very tasty, like roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy all over everything else to make it edible. Usually, this promise is broken and you end up with something vile like broccoli and cheese instead. So we followed the aroma, and I quickened my pace to catch up with B. and was insanely disppointed when I turned the corner. The cafeteria was no more than a wall, two walls of vending machines and a tiny microwave. There were 10 tables or so, and at least 6 of those were crowded with little cliques of nurses and doctors, all giggling and all eating microwaved ick. This made me feel sorry for myself because I don’t have a clique, nor have I ever, so I’m not sure what I’m missing-[though that little voice inside my head reassures me I’m not missing much]. I had to cash a ten dollar bill into the change machine and was given 10 gold dollars. My immediate thought was ‘hey this effing machine’s ripped me off for ten bucks and has given me chuckie cheese game tokens instead! Then I realized that they were actually gold dollars. Forgive me, I’m slow at times and I hate coins of any sort-even dollar coins. The selection in the wall of vending machines was lame, barbecue this & that and meat salads of all sorts. Finally I settled on turkey on whole grain bread-[because my 16 year old eats like a healthy 60 year old]. then I made my way back to the elevator, planning my poster theft. But it was lunch time, so the elevators were packed with food carts. I took the hellish stairs instead, again as a little pre-repentance for my future indulgences.
And indulge I did.
About an hour later, B. and I drove to the nearest Burger King. Why? Because REAL Women Eat Meat. (and you thought that was just a snarky comment on Jessica Simpson’s t-shirt didn’t you?) I was a vegeterian for 9 years or so, off and on, but I’m a carnivore at heart. I loathe the idea of pork, because I was raised on a farm full of the creatures. And I’m advising you to NEVER eat a pig-EVER. But Perhaps I’m biased; Blame it on my “silence of the Pigs” experiences…Still, I can’t stand the thought of it-not even when the Elder does one of her southern breakfasts. Beef is another story. Sometimes my iron count gets a bit low, and I’m pretty sure I could easily drop a cow and drain it dry within seconds..So, yes-I had a burger, not just any burger, but a big ol’ burger with extra onion and extra lettuce and even extra mayo-which is very strange because I loathe mayo [I have an issue with eggs-think about eggs for a sec.Nasty]. So Stretch and I indulged like mofos before returning to the wasteland.
On our way up to the hospital yesterday morning, B. had assured me that there would be no patients on the fourth floor other than orthapedic patients. And I believed her because i wanted to. She was wrong. As I walked by the doors, i did my best to look ahead and to not peek into the rooms. It didn’t work, because just like at a car crash scene, I had to peek. I saw things as shocking as my first Egyptian mummy exhibit years ago. I’m certain some poor souls had expired days, maybe weeks ago. And to top it off, a psych patient had made his way somehow from the top floor and was roaming around complaining about taxes to invisble people. He was wearing a blue velvet robe, [perhaps his mother’s?] and a yellow sun visor. Of course since Like attracts Like, he ran up to me grinning: “what do yo think of the way they waste our tax money here?” Since I don’t pay taxes, I just smiled politely and said,”To be honest, I don’t really care, Doll” Perhaps being called doll made his day, because he escorted me all the way back to the Mother’s room and stood there grinning until I closed the door in his face. I don’t like being so rude, but it was my turn on the laptop so I had no other choice. N and B. went video game shopping, while I downloaded the rest of Eric’s music. It takes nearly 5 hours or so to get one of his songs at home,but I got all of them in a few brief moments. Did I mention that I really didn’t want to leave? N and I even tried to think up tiny reasons to be hospitalized so we could keep downloading. He suggested he have his toenails removed, but I had to say NO to that one.
Mother was snoring away on her morphine cloud, and I indulged even more(Hershey with almonds and an endless supply of soda) while I typed away. Occasionally nurses would step in and give me a funny look, and in response I’d give them my “stop looking at me, I’m someone important doing something important,” That look worked.
Finally, it was time to go, and I reluctantly packed up the laptop and gave Mother goodbye hugs. She actually apologized for not being very good company. I wanted to say “No actually you were perfect company because you slept the entire time and eliminated the need for forced conversation” Instead, I just smiled and whispered ” Oh, that’s ok”. I was then off to the elevator to claim my poster. On the walk to the elevator, B. dared me, even double dog dared me to steal the poster, but alas it was not to be. In my rushed state (I fail at doing anything successfully while being rushed), I ripped the ladybug poster in half while tearing it away from the plastic cover. I was gutted, as D always says.
On the way home, we listened to a mix cd I recently made-mostly Pixies because the Pixies seem to keep coming up, don’t they?The windows were down and the air kept stealing my breath, and I didn’t mind because I like giving up control and feeling that alive. The music was perfect,. the computer was stuffed full of goodies, Hell- I was stuffed full of goodies, AND I picked up a bottle of awesome nail polish (“black rouge”) It’s black, (and now that the Hollywood creeps are finished with black, I have reclaimed it once again as my own). Black with red glitter, so in the light it reflects a deep red. It’s gorgeous! So there’s a day in my life-since I keep hearing that I don’t do that sort of thing here enough.
Before I go, I want you to have a look at Eric’s blog. He’s my music/spoken word partner and he makes me sound loads better in some of the pieces he’s played around with than I do in what you’ve heard so far. Before long, I’ll be adding some links so you can hear the incredible music he’s added to my words. He even did something great with my “Burn” excerpt. So there. Now I have two links: safetycopy and Eric. If you want to be linked, then just say so.
AND I’ve added a few things for you, because tomorrow, the clan is blowing up their cash-er fireworks, and Mother is coming home to grill more meat for the oh-so-effing patriotic event. God bless grilled cow, and I’ll see you in about 24 hours with another day in my life, perhaps. Your wicked carnivore ~13
Not one, but two of my own soundtrack songs! So listen to these-loudly, dance like crazy and think of me or something else as pleasantly sweet.
AND don’t do anything stupid like driving while intoxicated.
P.s. I’m please you enjoyed song 1