Sunday, November 27, 2011

86ed from Steroids

I was supposed to go to Ypsilanti, MI, for a tasty vegetarian, almost-vegan Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, father and sister, but, because of the hysterectomy, still am sleeping flat on my back all night every night, which normally would be impossible, but somehow the body cooperates when necessary. But that’s on my own bed, which is reminiscent of a cement sidewalk in firmness.

Sleeping on my parents’ guest cot requires a change of position about every 15 minutes if one is to be able to rise to her feet the following morning. My mother very kindly offered up her own bed, but that seemed like quite an imposition. I don’t know about her, but after about four days of someone else sleeping in my accustomed spot while I slept on the guest bed, I might get crabby.

I was also a little worried about schlepping my suitcase from here to there. I wasn’t supposed to lift more than 20 pounds, and while the suitcase has wheels, I could only too readily picture someone in the airport shrieking, “Miss! Your suitcase is falling,” me instinctively grabbing for it, and hearing a horrible ripping sound.

Nonetheless, I hated the thought of missing my semi-annual trip and only with difficulty decided to postpone. Once I did, my father said he’d been about to call and say not to come: “It sounds like you’re swimming upstream right now.” Mom had said, just once, that Thanksgiving wouldn’t be quite the same with just three, and I very much wanted to be there, but appreciated my father seconding my decision. It made me feel more at peace about the whole thing, and I figured I could reschedule just as soon as I felt better, except that I always book at least six weeks in advance so I can get a seat that is on the left side of the aisle as you look toward the cockpit.

That way the arm I make flamboyant gestures with and turn book pages with can extend into the aisle.

Of course, about one minute after I canceled my trip, I felt well enough to go.

But it all came out fine. Instead I went to Sacramento with Tom for dinner at Steve and Julie’s, which was magnificent. Serious overeating, a big congenial crowd. In the evening, Tom went off with his girlfriend to help with a project at her place, and I stayed overnight at Steve and Julie’s, and then we three went to visit Ann and Mac the next day. I took the train home in the afternoon.

I am back on my bike now and, riding home from work one day, arrived at the red light on Townsend at the Embarcadero. There was a UPS truck ahead of me, and I saw an apparently deranged man step off the curb on the left side of the street and approach the UPS driver and start to tell him, through the driver's window, about when he used to be a UPS driver. “Great,” I thought. “Now we’ll be sitting here for ten minutes waiting for this fellow to move along.”

Another cyclist rolled up and stopped to my right. The light turned green. The UPS truck didn’t move. I thought I’d help the driver out by ringing my bell so he could tell the crazy guy, “Oh, sorry. Gotta go!” So I rang my bell several times just as the truck moved on. The cyclist to my right told me, in just this side of a withering tone, “There was a pedestrian in the crosswalk.”

Sure enough, the mental health gentleman had reached the far side of the street—he hadn’t delayed the UPS truck in the slightest—and he said to me, in what was definitely a withering tone, “No more steroids for you!”
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