Saturday, June 26, 2010

#202: Visiting Hour at the Hospital

I took a trip on my own today. First time  I've driven alone since April. I felt like a grown-up. I went to visit my friend C who thought he was having an asthma attack and wound up diagnosed with little bitty blood clots all over his legs and lungs. He's pretty lucky, actually. If they were a little less tiny,  they would be coronary emboli and he would be in a much colder part of the hospital.

We sat and visited, C and his sweetheart L, and I. We compared ailments like old men, and laughed about how things change when death is around. "I realize now that there's dying and everything else," he said. "It really is all small stuff." I never believed that before, either. My problems all seemed so real and important. Now I know differently. We hugged and talked about things like sugar and steroids and tubes and short walks. It was a nice time. I started to tire, which C noticed before I did and he thanked me for coming. L walked me to the elevator. She's doing OK too, though in some ways it's harder on her than on C. He's a scientist and is kind of digging all the technology of what they're doing to him. She just wants him to be better and could live without the waiting. Mrs P and I know how they both feel.

I stopped on the way home and got a car wash. The Honda has been sitting idle for a long time. Apparently the grackles have been having some sort of a contest. They are very good shots. I got an Ale-8-One and watched the big red wheels turn around, scrubbing. The pop tasted pretty bad on my crippled tongue, but it does a great job of cutting the gunk in my throat. The car wash did a terrible job. I wound up cleaning all the windows again myself, and used the squeegee from the pumps to get the last of the poop off of the hood. Lord knows what effect that will have on my paint job. Think I'll wait for the next rain and then try a more thorough car wash.

It's a beautiful day in the Bluegrass. 86 degrees and just hazy enough to keep the sun from cooking you. These are the days when I used to love rehearsing in the park, slathered in sunblock, everyone in dark glasses and floppy hats, speeding through Shakespeare as fast as we could so we could get back to the shade and the ice chests full of water. There is something so right about playing Shakespeare out of doors. I remember touring The Tempest all those years ago. We played some beautiful theatres and fabulous old opera houses, but the best time I ever had with my favorite of his plays was on a platform in the middle of a field in Letchworth State Park in upstate New York. The field was on the edge of a canyon and the ham-bone in me soon learned how to play with the echoes from the other side of that fabulous feature. We played to about three thousand people that night and it felt like walking on the moon. My Prospero was never better.

It is apparently nap time at our house now. Jake is on the floor next to me snoring. Mrs P is on the guest bed behind me doing the same thing. Peaceful day. I don't want to miss a second of my last weekend before chemo on Monday. I've learned to treasure these hours. Hope you get a chance to treasure some, too.


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