my Thinking spot
31 December 2007|
29 December 2007
i had a friend years agothat was constantly amazed by the odd connections i experienced in my life. he worked at one of the neighboring restaurants and would always come sit at my bar and play fun games with me while i worked after he finished his shift.
one night he said, "how is it that i need bread and milk, so i go to the grocery store and get bread and milk - but when you go to the grocery store for bread and milk, it turns out that the circus is in town for one day only, and you come home with bread, milk AND a monkey???" it made me laugh pretty hard when he said it, and i always think of it when synchronicity strikes. like tonight.
of course the impetus for all of this is one dwr, someone i have known since i moved to kansas city. i think that everyone in kc proper knows david wayne, so i won't pretend to be all special about it. we did however have a special tori amos moment that i won't rehash lest he reads this little blog. but i digress. i've changed a lot over the years, but have always somehow managed to run into david wayne through all of the various incarnations that i call my life. i guess you could say that he's kind of like god in that Everywhere All Of The Time sort of way, or like santa claus, but different. he's just an all around great guy. he tried to leave myspace a few weeks ago and i'm really glad he didn't.
so last night, dwr's little changeable status thingymabub indicated that he was having back pain issues of some sort. i cruised over to send him a message, to ask if he was ok. he was. while i was over on his page, i noticed that one of his friends shared one of my dog's names - hadley. it isn't a very common name, so i clicked over with the intention of sending her a note. i saw that she was from here, but currently living in paris. i found this to be quite amusing, as will had given pooch hadley to me while i was reading his favorite book, "a moveable feast" by his fave author, hemingway. the 'feast is hemingway's memoir of living in paris. hadley was the name of hemingway's first wife. she had flaming red hair, and so did/does pooch. ergo, hadley.
will and i have been discussing moving, for seriously, for quite awhile now. i've been angling for this little island in canada - will has been angling for paris. my canadian dreams were dashed earlier this week, at least for the time being, so i'd started thinking about paris, or maybe seattle.
i decided instead that i would send human hadley a note, asking how she was living there, and to hopefully pick her brain about ideas for us - after concluding that "hey! you have the same name as my dog!" was a little bizarro. even for me. then i didn't send a note after all.
and forgot about it.
bear with me, i swear this going somewhere really fun.
i got a wild hair earlier today after messing with the bills and decided i'd call one of my co-workers and beg for her shift. she gave it to me. my second table ordered drinks and i carded the girl that ordered the beer. as i was handing her id back, i noticed her name was hadley. i know, right? what are the odds? her name registered as i rang the order - which is a tad odd, as i normally don't notice names, just birthdates. so i took my bad self back to the table and said, "what's your name?" she said, "hadley." i said, "do you live in paris?" she said, ...yeeess?"
i about fell over. there she was, in the flesh.
so i told her the story, about my poking about her myspace page last night and how i almost had written her.
she says she wouldn't mind at all, giving me the scoop on paris. she then tells me that she lives above HEMINGWAY'S parisian hang out (where he most likely penned the 'feast), that her landlord lives here and DAVID WAYNE introduced them. she's in school there. and HER CAT'S NAME IS RILEY!!!
so, yeah. synchronicity times 50. but we aren't through yet.
when she was finished eating, i asked her what she was studying. fashion design, says she. as i'm always also delighted that someone might know of my undergrad alma mater, i asked if she was familiar with parson's - another division of the new school university.
she STUDIES at parsons - in paris. i didn't even realize there was a campus there.
did i mention that i love me some synchronicity?
the first spare second i had, i rang will and told him we're moving to paris.
so that's that.
parle vous francais? my three years of high school french have escaped me. i think bebe knows more than i do now.
and thank you, david wayne. i owe you.
21 December 2007
i want to free my feet, from the broken glass and concrete...i've been doing a lot of thinking, after what transpired earlier this week with my neighbor. in a nutshell, i grew very concerned after several days of mail and papers had piled up - and i called the police to check on him. will had gone over and got no answer. i sent another neighbor over who went all around the house, knocking on windows and calling to him and also got no answer. i knew something was wrong.
they found him on the floor. he couldn't get up to answer the door. they went in through a window and rushed him to the e.r. the officer said it looked like he had been there for a couple of days. never again will i be afraid that i'm over-reacting.
i've been to the hospital to visit him. i found out that he had fallen down the stairs from the second floor and shattered his knee. he is in a lot of pain and is very weak. the day before last, they helped him stand and when we went to see him yesterday, he had just been moved to a chair and was sitting. the social worker was able to find his niece from the mail i brought to him - she had sent him a holiday card. so that is good news - i've never seen him have a visitor, and didn't think he had family.
he'll be moved soon, to a nursing facility, for rehabilitation. he is very scared and sad. he's cried several times when i've been there. he lived in that house for 50 years. the thought of never being able to return home... it tears him up inside. i've been talking with about how he feels - and making sure that his fierce sense of independence is able to remain intact, as best it can. he is almost 90. this all is very devastating to him. and i have to say, it breaks my heart when i think about it all.
i spoke to the state social worker today and said that if there was anyway at all he could come home, that i hoped they would try their best to make that happen - and that i would help in any way that i could. she said that depending on how the rehab goes, this could be a possibility. my fears about him being automatically taken from his home for good were alleviated a bit.
i've been surprised by the response of those in the hospital and in the various social workers i've talked with. they act like i did something heroic. what is that? who doesn't look after their neighbors? who doesn't make a simple phone call when they notice that something isn't right? who seriously does not notice when three days worth of newspapers and mail are sitting outside of someone's home and wonder? and what does this say about us all, as a society of human beings? i keep telling people that i did what anyone would do. they keep saying most people wouldn't. i can't get my brain around that.
but i digress.
i had picked up his key and went to his house to fetch his bills for him. he was very worried about them being late. i also had to find his wallet with his i.d. and insurance cards. i saw a picture of him and his twin brother, taken when they were maybe 11 or 12. it was surreal, and a marked contrast from the 8 years that i've known him. once upon a time, he was like me - two able legs to carry him up and down the stairs, relatively healthy, surrounded by family and friends...
i've always had a difficult time with all of the issues that arise with the end of life. i have a difficult time talking with my elders. i've been doing a lot of soul searching as to why that is. i mean, the surest part of being born is dying. it happens to us all. so where does this disjunct stem from? i haven't found an answer. perhaps it is because i know, deep down, that i'm not living my life to fullest that i could be - that too many regrets come with death. perhaps it is all of the many messages that we receive throughout the day that youth is to be harnessed - that our bodies shouldn't age - and if they do, something is wrong - and there is an injection or pill to take or a soap to use to "keep us young." perhaps it is the stereotypes about older people that we have been indoctrinated with since we were very small - they are weak, they have nothing to offer, they are a burden... it is all so very sad to me.
and what we do with our elders! used to be, they would be cared for in their homes, with family. this just isn't possible in many cases. times have changed, families no longer reside on the same streets. and i've been inside of some of these places that "care" for our elders when they can no longer be at home. frankly, some are quite frightening. the residents do not live, they have been demoted, beyond their control, to simply existing.
i think about living my whole life, only to end up in a small room with nothing of my own around me. yeah, yeah - i know - we don't really own anything, we just borrow stuff until we die. we can't take it with us. but you know what i mean. and my neighbor. how will he adjust to this? will he end up in a room with someone that screams out in pain all night long? no phone? no television? nothing that he has had access to when he lived on his own? what does it feel like, to be 90 years old and have everything that you have ever known suddenly, completely be sent topsy turvy? and on top of it, to have a totally lucid mind, but finding your body failing you? i can't even imagine. and sometimes, often times, i don't want to imagine it, to think about it. but these are things that i think we all need to think about.
living wills, DNR's, having emergency contact lists close at hand, basic levels of concern for our brothers and sisters... we need to talk about this now, while we can - to help define the way it will all go down when the time comes. of course this is in complete defiance to living in the moment, carpe diem-ing - something that i try my hardest to accomplish from the time i wake to the time i hit my pillow. all in all, yet another disjunct i have in this BuyNowPayLaterJustDoItAllOthersBeDamnedAgingIsBad culture that we have created for ourselves. but what i know is this: our lives, as we know them, can change. in a heartbeat. just like that.
16 December 2007
do you hear the waaaahhhhmbulance coming to get me?it was bebe's turn to head to the e.r. last night. he's fine. he had some sort of odd little wound on his finger that chose a weekend to full on fester up and become horribly infected. it had to be drained. waiting until his doctor's office opened on monday was not an option.
i seriously had a moment, on the phone with the nurse, where i hesitated in fear of how much another e.r. visit would cost. between he and i, we have really made the medical rounds as of late. is it really that bad? could we wait? how will we afford another bill?
after i slapped myself around for several minutes for even entertaining such utter ridiculousness, off we went. on the drive out, i wondered if they would pull up his outstanding bill and send us on our way. far stranger (criminal) things have happened. watch sicko if you haven't already. it will rip the heart right out of your chest.
welcome to america. where even if you have insurance, you will still be thousands of dollars in debt if you have to use it.
when we got home, i sat down and got all of the bills from the last two months together. i've been terrified to add them up and have been putting it off, hoping the insurance company might end up paying more by some miraculous twist of fate - you know, that they might actually cover what they said they would when i called them to see if bebe's big dental visit would be covered.
to date, the total between he and i is $15,000.
of course, i then began playing the, "do i really need these surgeries?" game with myself. by the time this is all said and done - we will owe $30, 000 - at least. i'm sure this surgery to remove the breast mass is "experimental" and the other surgery to rid me of the pre-cancerous cells "isn't medically necessary" somehow.
pirates. and not the cool kind, either.
there is something seriously wrong with this. i have no idea how i will ever pay this off. i figured up what we will be able to scrape together and basically, all of the places that want money from me will get about $10 a month. if we're lucky.
the saddest part is, i know we are not alone. 4.5 million of us don't even have health insurance. and for some insane reason, "we" are still terrified of universal healthcare.
fuck it. i'm going to cuba.
michael moore is right. something has to change. talk about a threat to america.
14 December 2007
i. tell. ya.I'M DONE WITH FINALS!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!! it looks like i have an "a" semester in the bag, even with my nervousness inducing presentation i had to give last night. it went pretty well, though i fumbled a few spots. luckily, i have no trouble laughing at myself. :)
i'm still sicky, adding to my out-of-pocket status, but i FINALLY found something that works. elderberry juice concentrate and virastop. i'm on the mend. i wish i would have started these things at the beginning! surgeries are still postponed. i was hoping to have this all finished by the new year, but, no dice. and so it goes...
on top of the sick-induced brain fuzziness of the past 6 weeks, i was hit with a different kind of whopper last week. a school friend that i grew up with died suddenly from an aneurysm. she was 34. she had two small children. she got in her car, started to drive, and was gone. just like that. just. like. that. i had recently reconnected with her through myspace and a few days before we were talking about hooking up the next time i was in town to see my parents. i'm still in disbelief.
she had a profound affect on me, at a very young age. i've always carried her with me, all of those times i felt inadequate - she was there - reminding me to never let anyone have that sort of power over me . she wasn't like anyone else i ever knew. she was "different" - even when we were small. and she embraced it. while i wasted so many years of high school trying to fit in somewhere, anywhere... i still can't talk about this, the tears still keep coming. my grrrl robin wrote something about monica. she says it in a way i just can't. not yet. she's the writer.
has someone ever affected you this way? tell them. now. this all could end. just. like. that.
i have nothing insightful or smart to say. my brain is still a bit frazzled.
and in the spirit of strength - i did see this video today that brought me to tears. if you didn't get it from me via email, here it is. alix. olson. rocks.
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