Thursday, April 17, 2014

Report from Pillville: Pillville Squared

The man who loves me has been in the hospital all week for a myriad of reasons relating to his chemo and radiation. It's felt like this around here:


And it would be swell if some giraffes or trapeze artists swept through here about now.

But instead my mom and I had an encounter with a man walking his personal mental health high wire in the podiatrist's office. He swept in without an appointment in a cloud of perfume wearing an obvious coating of make-up, talking about his gout and how he needed to get it taken care of before he was sent off to active duty in a submarine to deal with Putin, which he was entirely well-suited for because he was in an elite unit that was super-secret and had more expertise than the Navy Seals---AND he was a marksman/sniper. And the poor guy has cancer with metastases and has to have chemo, but the Army needs him. He kept telling my mom she looked like she was17, and that they should waltz.  Oh, and he played classical violin, but he was happy, too, as a rock musician. Holy shit.

And if that didn't make my hair stand on end, my entire do stretched to the ceiling when the doctor got out the sharp instruments, and I suddenly came to my goddamn senses and realized her INR (this has to do with blood coagulation) levels had for some reason skyrocketed  (which I had just discovered when I returned home and tested her while juggling (more circus imagery)  my lunch after visiting the man) and I divulged that to the podiatrist who very gingerly clipped her toenails and sent us home.

And all the way home I pondered my lack of humanity and how I must perform these days as the Amazing Woman Who Must Split Herself in Two. Step right up and watch me kill the emotional me while the administrative me is a fucking assassin filling out forms and searching the Internet, but don't ask me to smile at you.

And if I told you I once saw my dead father in my kitchen (no, not his ghost, but him in the flesh) or that I spent 10 months encased in a plaster body cast, or that I once let a North African immigrant pick me (and a friend) up in a Paris train station because we were penniless, and that we rode out to les banilieus with him and that he made us dinner and didn't rape us and that the only running water was in the courtyard of his apartment complex and that I still remember his name, or that I once spoke, through an amazing coincidence, to the son I gave up for adoption when I dialed information because he worked for the phone company, or that I auditioned for a crappy TV show singing and juggling while wearing a bikini, or that I saw the entire main street of my college town burst into flame because the moon set it on fire and everything merged into oneness, would you think I  was crazy. No doubt, right? The line is thin sometimes, dear readers, and I hope this man was actually "crazy" and does not have cancer. Because cancer is a bitch. And so am I. But so is mental illness. And I don't want that for him either.

So I made spaghetti for dinner for my mom and me. Spaghetti is comforting. And I feel comforted. We talked about Chelsea Clinton and how she is pregnant, and we both expressed our wishes that Hilary does not go all grandma on us and still runs for president. And that was fun spaghetti for the head. Spaghetti. Confetti. Giacometti. For some silly reason, I now feel like rhyming.

this is me
And in contemplating the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez this evening, I think it is worth noting that sometimes life is actually both magical and real. Really.