I kicked off this morning with the persistent words “A Book, A Thought, A Candle,” blazing in my mind. And since I don’t often get omens or messages from above, I thought this is one I should heed. So I’m going to give my addled brain what it wants.
Let’s start with the book. Have I told you yet about My Year of Meats? I’m sure I have. If not, I’ve been meaning to. It’s about a documentarian (documentariaist?) who’s been hired to make short films designed to encourage meat consumption in Japan. For her job, she traipses around the U.S., filming beef-eating families in ways that might make one want to eat meat. You’ll see what I mean. Just read it. Only one spoiler: You’ll never want to eat meat again. Or smell it. Or see it. And you may want to start caressing cows. (Platonically, of course.) But that’s such a small price to pay for a great book. It’s funny, too.
Onto the thought. It’s: Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy. Other than being the name of an Eagles song, and the title of a recent Thursday Drive post, it’s also a reminder that I’m my own worst enemy. I manufacture thoughts and anxieties and demons and crap, and drive myself crazy. And I want a new car. Or just tires? That would be a better analogy. Although in real life, a new car would work, too.
Let me tell you: the dark post about the ER? It happened, yes. Much the way I described it, except I upped the atmosphere ante because I could. I’m circling in an anxiety spiral lately, exacerbated by my upcoming flight, and it sucks. So what happened is last week, I thought there was something wrong with my leg. I was convinced it was a blood clot, about to travel to my lungs. I lived with it for a week, but the thought of it stayed with me always. Finally, last Saturday at 2AM, when I’d woken up to a red, sore and itchy leg that felt numb and heavy, I freaked myself out. The wheels, remember? I scurried into the bathroom, inspected my right leg, saw some back-of-knee veins bulging and swollen and felt sure that the clot would collapse my entire cardio-pulmonary system. Now I knew The Rock wasn’t going to like this. You may recall that he lives with me and is privy to my anxieties on a regular basis. So being 2AM, I thought it’d be a great time to slip out of the house unnoticed, take a quick trip the the ER, and be back before 5AM, no one but me the wiser.
But first, I needed to thin my blood. Just enough to stay the clot for my ride to the hospital. So I downed two Ibuprofen and some whole garlic cloves. Then, I crept back into the bedroom, swiped some clothes off the dresser, wrote a quick note to The Rock in case, GOD FORBID, he woke up and saw me gone, and bundled myself into the car. I’d made it about a mile, when I saw a crazy-looking dog cross the street. A crazy-looking dog, which reminded me of me. Soon, the dog became my anxiety mascot. But I made him a wolf. It’s scarier that way.
I made it to the hospital, felt like a fool, and spent hours in a foul-smelling exam room, which someone forgot to disinfect. And yes, there were blood smears on the floor. And tangled hair! Who leaves that kind of stuff for a hypochondriac to see? Also, there were crazy people who appreciably succeeded in making me feel less so. One man in particular came in from Mexico, hopped up on some kind of drugs, which he kept denying, and tried to score more from the doctor, who repeatedly asked the man what day it was. This went on and on and I felt like I was in a macabre Cheers episode, if Sam were a doctor and Cliff Clavin were the man from Mexico.
Eventually, the doctor made it in, wrinkled his nose at my pore-seeping garlic scent, gave me a test, and told me there was nothing wrong with my leg. But then he checked my reflexes, which were non-existent to slow on my sore leg, giving me yet another thing to worry about, and then declared me fine to go home.
Which I did. And so at 6AM I slunk into the house, destroyed the note on the kitchen counter, and slipped into bed next to The Rock, who you might guess, was wide awake. God love him, he didn’t get (too) angry and even held me as I cried. Until the garlic ruined everything.
And all this because I need new wheels. And need to Take it Easy.
Finally, the candle. These are the most fragrant candles ever. They used to be $25, but now they’re $26. Inflation, I guess.