April 27th, 2007

Poor day

Yesterday was hard, as days go. I had a nonspecific plan to go get bloodwork done, which is hardly traumatic, but I wasn’t looking forward to it, so I dillydallied around the house writing a letter and other stuff that I don’t even really remember, until it was late enough for the clinic to be *really* crowded, and then I finally set off.

When I got inside the medical complex, a middle-aged lady with, I think, a serious developmental delay, asked me for help. I was confused at first, but she said she had hurt her knee and needed to go upstairs. So we had to wait for the elevator, which was semi-out-of-order, for about five minutes, her clutching my arm and pointing me out to strangers the whole time, instead of me just scrambling up to my second-floor clinic like always. When finally we reached the office she specified, it was vacant.

“Do you think they moved? Do you have an appointment?” I asked her.

“We’ll go up to the fifth floor, ask the nurse,” she said confidently. We examined the stairwell, but she said she couldn’t manage even one floor with her bad knee. So we went back to the elevator for another long wait.

When the doors open, a man stepped forward and said, “Got away from me, did ya?” Turns out, her appointment was on the first floor where I met her, and he’d just gone to park the car. I apologized profusely, miserably, and ran away downstairs.

I wonder why she did that? Maybe I can see it as being like a kid, is that comparable? As a kid, I was scared of strangers, but if I hadn’t been I would’ve certainly thought it more interesting to set off with one of them, rather than my boring parents. And, well, I don’t want you to think I was a dishonest child, but before I I really understood the concepts of truth and lie and story, I occasionally changed the truth to make a better story. Once, I remember, I fabricated a mouse infestation in the sandbox, because I figured my mother’s reaction would be interesting. And it was, until I embroidered just a bit too much and she figured it out. I don’t think that many mice could’ve really hidden in the sandbox.

Downstairs in the clinic, it was of course packed. I waited about a half hour with the blood-test-ee ahead of me, a six-month-old baby who was already fussy before he was taken into a small cubicle, restrained and stabbed multiple times with needles. The kid totally lost it. His parents were great, the nurses were great, but you just can’t explain to a baby that they aren’t being grievously tortured when all evidence suggests that they are. He was wailing so hard he lost his breath, and you could hear him gasping for air to muster sound, all a desperate cry for someone to intervene and make the needles stop.

The waiting room was like death-row. I got really nauseated and realized I’d been unconsciously mirroring my breath to his, the beginnings of sympathy hyperventilation. I stopped it. The kid left with his stoic folks…you could hear him wailing some more at the elevators. My own needle barely hurt at all.

And then I went to Scarborough.

Did I mention I was carrying 30 pounds of exams through all this? And yet such is the weather funhouse that I was blown off course by the wind as I walked from RT to bus, and I’m hardly a wisp even without that weight’o’knowledge. A positive light is how terribly nice everyone in the office is at the campus there, even though I was handing stuff in late and asked a million questions and my lunch tupperware leaked on the exams. Also, when I took the remaining lunch to eat in the cafeteria there, it was a really nice space.

The day brightened considerably after that, partly due to the fact that I no longer had unpleasant things to do, and partly because I took a nap on the subway. Eventually, my charming family arrived, bearing soda, tomato sauce and potting soil, and bound to take me out for Italian food to celebrate my successful defense. It’s been a week, but when I remember that I actually did it I am still sorta elated. Ok, no sorta about it. Elated.

The food at Grazie is always splendid, and the crowd makes you feel like you are at a giant party, not just a table for four. And well, hell, it is always nice to celebrate. So we did, and then I went home and wrote, and considered the day really a success, not worthy of the subject line, but I’ll leave it for now.

He’s not here but / he’ll be round
RR

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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