Sunday, February 16, 2014

Horrible Imaginary Blueberry Mush

In case I didn’t say quite enough about this yesterday, it can happen that, if you end up in an interior spot at the bike racks at Rainbow, you can have some difficulty getting back out. You could potentially be standing there with your formerly frozen blueberries turning to sludge while you wait for a path to clear. I don’t think this has ever actually happened, but it’s a grim specter. Ideally (and by law), you should be able to get to any spot regardless of whether any other spot is in use or not, but Rainbow is trying to make the best of a certain amount of space, so there is not that kind of access. And if you’re in an interior spot and a bike with a trailer or cart parks on the outside, it’s that much harder to exit. So, yes, it’s nice for the bike with a trailer to have that good outside spot, but it’s also nice for me to have that good outside spot.

Also, I should certainly say that if I’d been in a more generous and accommodating mood, I might have cheerfully relocated. But even if I’d been in a more accommodating mood, my brain (I hope) would still have been working and able to perceive that there were lots of good spots for both of us, so I still might have stayed where I was. It also might have helped if I hadn’t previously felt resentful of this exact person for taking up a lot of space and radiating BMWness, but then again, maybe not.

(Why am I singling BMWs out from the larger class of luxury automobiles? Because in my experience if a motorist behaves in a dangerously aggressive way, 90 percent of the time, he—always he—is going to be in one.)

Last week I took care of something that has been on my to-do list for a long time, which was to complete an advance health care directive. Even before Carlos fell ill, I knew this was something I should do, and when he had his medical crisis, the panic around his not having one impressed upon me the grave importance of filling out this simple form. It turned out to be moot in Carlos’s case because his condition was clearly untreatable, so his doctor’s fear that he would be subjected to futile, perhaps painful procedures was unfounded, but the rest of us may still need this protection one day, so I went online and entered these keywords into the excellent search engine Duck Duck Go: advance health care directive california

The first result was a nice PDF you can type into, courtesy of Kamala Harris, who I hope will be President someday. You can’t save the form with your typing in it, but you can save a copy of the blank form for use whenever desired, and you can type into the form and then print it out, so I did that, indicating that I don’t want my life prolonged if the situation is hopeless and that any parts may be seized for sharing with others. That just required checking two boxes. I didn’t write in many instructions, because I don’t really care whether I’m cremated or buried, etc. I think cremation might be more environmentally friendly, but my agents are smart people who will do the right things, assuming they ever get to do anything.

The only amendment I made was in the section pertaining to pain relief, where the default is that pain and discomfort should be treated vigorously, even if that hastens death. Here I wrote in: “If suffering does not appear to be acute, I’d like to be as unmedicated as possible. However, if there is apparent suffering, please provide treatment for alleviation of pain.”

I took the completed form to Howie’s that evening and two dharma friends witnessed my signature, and yesterday afternoon, I made copies, addressed envelopes, scanned it into my computer just in case, and sent it off.

Time required:
Filling out the form: Five minutes.

Signing by me and witnesses: Two minutes.

Making copies and addressing envelopes: 45 minutes.

Walking to the mailbox, where I was going anyway, since it’s on the way to Papalote: 10 minutes.

Procrastinating was the big item. That took two years, three and a half months, starting from my own season of medical travails, at the end of 2011.

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