Sunday, February 1, 2015

Follow the Reader!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, I gave you, "On Rectitude." This past month, you've searched it out, not for its scintillating images, or original fonts, but for its something-else-èd-ness.  To the point where "On Rectitude" climbed to first among non-CRPS Serious Schtuff.  I'm having problems typing or being in any way handy, so it's a pleasure to discover the odd things others like.  Or are laughing at.  Laughter is good, too. So we're following you, wincing as need be. Good exercise.

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I pity you, Dear Reader.  The richness of life's tapestry around me calls up this pity, this sadness for you and what must be, by comparison, a bland and monochromatic existence.

You poor thing.

When you look out your bedroom window, you aren't gifted with the best-crack-dealer-on-the-block's cheery wave.  You don't know that the color of the day is green.

Just yesterday, it was red.  Our dealer sported red trainers, baggy jean britches -- with the fabric crotch a mere two inches superior to his knobby knees -- patched with scarlet pockets, and topped off the ensemble with one very backward baseball cap, cardinal brimmed.  His t-shirt was high tech, some sort of wicking material, and sternly black, the better to make the red shine.

The kelly green for the day does not quite work.  It's neither editorial nor a suitable fashion irony.  Let us hope his dope makes up for his design deficit.  He was working the phone, as usual, when he looked up to give me the highest five.

Back to your pitiful state, Reader Darling.  You were not greeted at your waking by the Feline Triumvirate, working together as a tight, tight trio.  Buddy the Outrageously Large Maine Coon was in charge of attacking the door and all major vocalization.  It sounded like a freaking tornado spinning out in that gaudy gilt and velvet hall. Marmy of the Fluffy Butt paced behind the other two, whipping that marvelous tail with each about-face.  It was kind of nice to hear that staccato undercurrent of her gutteral *ack*::*ack*.  That leaves the rest of the feline phenomenon in Dobby the Runt's domain. He was toe-tapping, rat-a-tat-tatting, bringing some soul to the beat they had going on.

I had shut them, and Fred, too, out.

The Spaz chose Easter Sunday to begin an all out blitz of my ragged nerve endings and my CRPS-afflicted attachments were flailing about with all the abandon of their resurrected joy.  It was hell.  It was the purist of agonies.  I kept yelling "He is Risen" out the Computer Turret windows -- more lead than glass pane.

I've declared war on my tendency to curse.  Hence, screaming "He is Risen" and, for some reason, "Ichabod Crane." For a week or two, it was "Christ in a hand basket," until Fred informed moi that that was, sniff, common.

So, anyway.
Right!  The Easter Spaz Attack and the Eviction of All Living Beings From the Bedroom.

Fred left of his own Free Will -- to continue tossing in Christian textual pearls.  I had hobbled to the bathroom, the best bathroom in our West Wing suite, the one with the Lotus Pool.
I wanted a space in which I could scream at will -- nothing to do with "Free Will," this screaming. It was a holler that demanded its own Appalachian valley.

When I came out, a very crooked smile pasted on my blotchy face, Fred was gone.  Along with his triple-decker sandwich and his grape soda.  La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore is on tour with her troupe's most successful staging of Faust in decades, so I didn't have her or her entourage to throw out.

There was no one but Dobby.  Ever faithful, that little one.  He may be paid under the table, though, I don't really know.  I'd like to think he loves me enough that when everyone else flees, he runs toward me, the burning building, the swaying tower about to crash into waves of toxic cinder.

That may be overstating things a bit but it's my blog, not yours.

Much of yesterday's behavior was dictated by a visit to Dr. Go-To-Guy and Super Nurse Justine.  I did not even bother complaining of rabies, of CRPS sadism, and they attributed every bit of aberrant jerking to my aberrant personality, and the usual fever and chills.

Shake, rattle, and roll, My Babies, shake, rattle, and roll.

There is a sad tendency being played out in doctors' offices throughout the world, and when we all feel better, we need to stand up and change the damn channel.  I am referring, of course, to the prevalence of CNN on waiting room televisions.  Yesterday, I fought back by bringing my copy of Mother Jones to mix in with the Smithsonians and the well-fingered, tantalizing People magazines.

I underscored my CNN protest and my central nervous system maladies by an endless commentary on the purported "news." Things the receptionist may have heard:

"Yeah?  Well, I think you're oxymoronic."

"Yeah?  Well, why aren't you reporting on the dying baby Puffins on the Maine seacoast? The tragedy of baby bird fish food that is too large for their tiny beaklettes!" 

Most of my verbiage followed the "Yeah? Well..." formula.

So, Fred, Dobby, Marmy, Buddy, and I cruised around the Metro Tête de Hergé freeway pretzel while I hummed off key at high volume.  It about killed me to be in such pain, to be spasming to beat my cacophonous band, and not to be able to talk about it, admit it, show it.  Unless that off-key humming at high volume clued in my trapped audience somehow.  The dimwits.  

The sweet dimwits.

Sven Feingold was waiting by the moat when Ruby the Honda CR-V screeched to a halt just short of its pristine waters.  The sweet dimwits fairly peeled out of the car to interrogate him on his reasons for standing guard and to escape the putrid gaseous quality of Ruby's atmosphere.  Turns out Sven was just taking a break from some Maze work -- topiary saps his strength.  He knocked off for the day and joined us all for a fish dinner I had promised to cook.  We invited the best-crack-dealer-on-the-block but he was too busy organizing lookouts and runners, much in the way we used to get up a good softball game late in the breezy afternoons of my lost youth.

Well, that didn't happen. The dinner, I mean. People lined up to beg me NOT to cook, and to "go rest." I gave most of that crowd the "Yeah? Well..." treatment.  And I went to our suite to go rest.

My legs were dancing like a hopped-up whirligig.  There were four packages from Amazon dot com awaiting my penknife's slash.  I had ordered:  4 bottles of Valerian Root that were on a kickass sale and four canvas container thingies, designed for me to "organize" my CDs and sundries, an effort to make my office even cooler a place than it already was.  

Someone at Amazon dot com has gone batshit crazy about shipping.  I always request the option that offers the fewest shipments as possible, trying to curb my large carbon footprint.  I did not request "free 2-day Prime."  So why, barely 24 hours after placing the order, did I have four large boxes to unpack.  One box held one of the stackable canvas container thingies.  One box held another of the stackable canvas container thingies and three bottles of Valerian Root.  One box held two stackable canvas container thingies, stacked.  And the last box, unbelievably, contained one bottle of Valerian Root and what looked like an entire box of green puff pastries, those Earth-friendly biodegradable supersized bubble wraps, tied together like salamis.

So, anyway.

I hope you begin to pity yourself, as you gauge your empty days against my full and abundantly purposed time.

Having made it to this morning, it was something of a hoot to be invaded by the domestic animal family and to appreciate its loving idiosyncrasies.  Little Dobby gave me a "don't try that again" warning look and then demanded a double grooming.  That means making the perfect jug of coffee and then letting it grow cold because his tiny white belly needs brushing and bubbles blown.  The coffee ends up seeming fine and Dobby stays on his back a good while, emitting pheromones of love and peace, and mixing biscuits upside down with precious tiny paws.

"Yeah, well, His is Risen, and you can just kiss my Ichabod Crane."

Don't forget, Dear Reader, I can hear every thought you can squelch out.

Buddy watched the Dobby Double Grooming Routine, hooting softly at the appearance of the second jug of coffee being set aside to cool.  Then Buddy got That Look. He's part engineer, part artist.  He's very Leonardo. I regret naming him "Buddy." The folks at the no-kill shelter had named him "Munster," as they had given the whole Maine Coon kitten clan discovered at a local horse farm (the tiny kittens sheltered under a Budweiser Clydesdale runaway, attuned to the plight of abandoned young...) the name of a cheese.  As we witnessed the destruction of which the young Maine Coon proved capable, "Munster" began to seem more appropriate than the mundane "Buddy," even though his heartening habit of sticking right with you, no matter what (except for CRPS spasms), engendered that name. He was "our buddy," and soon responded to the word, so we let it be.  

Now I think "Bubba" might be suitable.  He has that wild look, and an indecipherable eye twinkle.

So Buddy got That Look.  He's been perturbed by the hospital bed since its arrival in January.  Never mind the problems of three cats staking out three territories on a bed this small, because when you add me to the problem, my body becomes land to which a feline must lay claim, and my body bears the bruises and scars.  The comfort provided by the bed is often offset by the aches of the cat fights over its ownership.

Buddy is the most delusional of all.  He thinks it's all his, including the pale, jerking human form that takes up most of the actual mattress area.  He understands the controls and is the only one not to flee when the bed suddenly begins to move, or the trapeze slaps gently against a metal pole.  But he cannot conquer the affliction of the bed rails. He's grown since his arrival, as you've likely gleaned, my smarty-panted Reader! There are four entries to the bed that are essentially trails around the rails. Simply avoid the suckers.  Simple enough, you'd think.  It's good enough for Dobby, though he also likes to arrive via the wheelchair parked alongside the bed.  He enjoys leaping over the rails with the verticle assistance of the power chair.  If I am behaving within parameters, he will jump and land between my feet.  If I am misbehaving, violating some Dobby protocol (failing to groom being the most likely), he plants his pointy, pokey paws right on my legs and I scream at him while he trims his toenails.  But Buddy... 

Buddy wants to make his entrances to the hospital bed by coming between the rails.  It is a small space.  Granted, he's a cat, and cats can fit into the oddest places.  This feat, however, is not about fitting into anything -- usually a box -- but about passing through something without becoming stuck in it -- usually, again, a box.  You are likely familiar with the famous Maru.  Buddy is no Maru.

This morning, the gods of engineering and Buddy's personal artistic muse smiled upon him and he found the necessary alignments and twisty turns necessary to leap between the rails without need of rescue or first aid.

It was beautiful.  
And it's now something he wants to do again and again.
He's solved his problem;  I've acquired a new issue.  For the moment it is solved by a stopgap blockage of the passage with a quilt.

Marmy, for her part, is demanding that standards be upheld.  She has fussed at me in the manner of mothers the world over, a funny thing for such a heartless queen, she who left kittens scattered willy nilly about the floor as she stalked off, the bubble over her head proclaiming, "You want milk?  Suck this!"  I reminded her of how she quit in mid-delivery when Dobby was trying to be born.  I got a "Yeah, well, *your* mama..." as retort.

She did her job.

I remember protocol.
I know what I am supposed to do, and what I'm not.
I'm trying.

For Sven, I've sketched out a few topiary fixes.  He's putting in a whole English Boxwood section memorializing Alice's Trip Down the Rabbit Hole and the Mad Hatter is driving him crazy.

For Fred, I'm preparing the aforementioned fish dinner, with fresh vegetables and a careful hand with the herbs.  I'm also taking a boat load of Baclofen, so that the filet knife and I shall be an interesting pair.

I won't bore you with the complete list of my tasks, my jobs, the things that people deserve without the pressures of all that asking and answering nonsense.  

For Mother Earth, I've but admiration and intention.  See the beauty, big and small, usual and not so usual. See the ugly, and its needs, its wonders, too.  Pick up the yellow plastic newspaper wrapper stuck on the drainage pipe. Get mad about our radiated oceans.  Save a Puffin.

© 2015 L. Ryan

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