S16.3.3: Hospitals and Meetings and Life Going On

Past one in the morning, we wait in the hallway somewhere behind the ER. She’s napping restlessly on a gurney. I’m standing by. I can’t really sleep. It occurs to me to address the blank spots in this blog thing. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Just sort of feel like typing.

Earlier tonight I went to the grocery store for emergency supplies: A digital thermometer, Epsom salts, and cat food. Got some Listerine while I was there too, and dental floss. Gotta take care of business.

At checkout the guy started telling me about the bullet train simulator down at the railroad museum. He went on at some length while I watched him talk. I didn’t really listen. I wasn’t in a

* * *

At that moment they rolled us away down the halls and around corners to an ER bay. Various medicos have come and gone and left her attached to the machinery with tubes and wires. She sleeps fitfully, as before. I’m hungry and I’m cold and I’m staying put.

So at checkout. The clerk went on about bullet trains but I was in a no-nonsense mood, having an uncomfortably sick person at home and a hungry cat and everything. After some of this I fixed him with a look and said, “Why are you telling me this?”

I know, you think you’d be friendlier in the same circumstances.

2016-04-20 23.42.32Anyway, he wasn’t taken aback particularly but stopped talking, and after a while it dawned on me that he was responding to my t-shirt. I was wearing the t-shirt I bought in Taichung after riding the Taiwan High Speed Railroad. I’d forgotten what random t-shirt I had on and thought he was just really into engaging customers about random unimportant things. I imagine they had a laugh about it soon after I went my way.

I’m still in that t-shirt, and shorts for the first time this season, and it’s freaking COLD here in the hospital at two thirty in the morning.

Today is Wednesday, or will be when the sun comes up. No, the day starts at sunrise, not midnight. And on this Wednesday, my next boss (should everything fall into place) is hosting an all-hands meeting at his house up in the hills above Placerville. Though I’m not in his group, I was invited, and until a couple hours ago looked forward to going. I wanted to exercise my more business-like outgoing persona and get to know a little bit the other members of the team. I also wanted some face time with the guy I would be replacing, who was going to fly down from his office in Dupont, WA.

Things change. He’s not going, and with every passing beep on the EKG over there, neither am I. For one thing, I can’t value it above staying with my woman while she’s in hospital, especially during my sabbatical. For another, it won’t be as fun on no sleep. And for yet another, I’m suddenly tired of this thick long hair of mine and don’t want it there during first impressions, and while I was going to have our new temporary housemate cut it tonight under Sunya’s direction, that well-laid plan, well, it done gang a-gley.

Why’s he not going? Well, we had a chat today on the phone, and towards the end it went off business. His wife of 43 years died in February, and he’s just not up to being with people that much. It’s why he’s retiring, really. Doesn’t see the point in all this anymore. I understood all that, of course, and somehow found a way to share the fact of my brother’s partner of 40 years passing along about the same time, and the festivities, as it were, that were held over the weekend.

About which I’ll write or at least share pictures eventually. But I’ve also got a novel to do.

On which you are right to ask: Why ain’t I doing that now? Surely being all tired and uncomfortable never stopped any real novelist. Indeed it’s fair to speculate that it serves as an advantage.

I’ve just spent ten minutes unable to formulate a response to that.

* * *

For the next few hours I sat upright in my harsh right-angled cafeteria-style chair under a thin blanket and occasionally sort of dozed. At 6am they announced she had a virus and sent us home. It’s a very rough virus. We had gone in because reading a temperature of over 104 just a few weeks after spending seven days in hospital seemed like a pretty good reason. But with all else going on, she now has a virus too, a vicious little thing that’s given her most of the symptoms of the flu (which too is a virus) only far more painfully than she’s ever had before. Since then we’ve more or less been in bed because though I’m not sick I am awfully tired and taking (finally) a close look at my finances has me wanting to hide under the blankets.

Waah waah waah. Hide hide hide.

I’m beginning to think that once I’ve done some vital grocery shopping, I’ll be so tired it will actually be a good time to take my laptop to some coffee shop growing dark in the twilight and work on my novel. I suspect being extended towards one’s limits is sometimes the best time to get creative.

Yes, I’m just typing a stream of consciousness and you are being forced to read it.

I keep thinking about Wendell Brunious. He was one of Saturday’s musicians. He was truly wonderful to watch and listen to but came across as  little bit embittered by the state of popular music. Traditional jazz is incredibly rich and challenging and fun to listen to, but the angels of fame have gone elsewhere. But I should say this and more in an entry scheduled for last Saturday.

* * *

My second grocery shopping trip was with the girls. We bought the ingredients for olliebolen, which one of them was committed to making for class. I am no baker, but as it happened she did great not relying on me. Sunya has risen them all to be very self-sufficient, mainly by providing them what they need and then going on about her own life. It might be a less sentimental and more European style of parenting, which I’m sometimes not so sure about, but it seems to work. As yet everyone’s still alive and no one’s in an asylum.

Tonight I loaded the curb with discarded furniture. In great contrast to how my parents and grandparents went about things, furniture around here doesn’t last very long. It gets a lot of hard use and I’ve observed that the best way to accept that is to get furniture for cheap or for free to start with. So in the morning the city’s claw tractor will take away some chairs and a sofa whose better days were long before they got here. It’s a good thing, cleaning out; and Craigslist has no shortage of replacements.


2 thoughts on “S16.3.3: Hospitals and Meetings and Life Going On

  1. I have a nice sofa, comfy chair, ottoman and coffee table for free. Just come pick it up. Bring your trailer of course.

    OR. If I get to it, I’ll maybe load up my trailer with the Princess’s stuff from years ago and drive out that way, then pick up my armoire from her and head the other way. With rest and visiting between. Maybe I could put the sofa/chair/ottoman/table on that as well. But that would be only if I didn’t haul it all to the end of the drive for the roving collectors to get. The sofa stuff, not the P’s stuff.

    Forced to read. Hah!

    Take pictures of your haircut when it happens. As it happens. Post ’em.


  2. You better get religion, Boy! Get yourself down to the Triple Rock Baptist Church and see Rev. Cleophus James He’ll fix you right up! Or, just get a nice bottle of The Balvenie and have a long think.


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